CHEM 895 - Research in Chemistry
Fall 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Chemistry (CHEM)
Department: LSA Chemistry
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1 - 8
Advisory Prerequisites:
Approval of Graduate Committee. Graduate standing and permission of instructor.
May be elected three times for credit.


Research, the core of Michigan’s Ph.D. program, involves applying state-of-the-art experimental techniques and theoretical frameworks toward developing a complete understanding of the nature of chemical and biological systems. Although you will be immersed in your chosen area of concentration, you will be encouraged to pursue an interdisciplinary approach to research. As the questions chemists ask become more complex, our vision must focus beyond fundamental chemical sciences into the interface with other disciplines. Joint studies are offered in many areas such as medicinal chemistry, macromolecular science, chemical physics and biophysics. Research groups in the department are organized into several areas:

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY. The development of cutting-edge techniques and their application to real-world analytical problems are the research domains of this group at Michigan. Faculty and student research focuses on immunoassay development; chemical sensors; high-speed chromatographic and electrophoretic separations; mass spectrometry; solid-state NMR, vibrational spectroscopy; and spectroscopic imaging. Faculty and students collaborate regularly with biomedical and industrial scientists to tackle difficult analytical challenges in fields ranging from clinical analysis and gene sequencing to chemical process control and environmental monitoring.

CHEMICAL BIOLOGY. Chemical Biology studies the fundamental chemical principles that govern all biological systems. The Chemistry Department at Michigan is home to an exciting multidisciplinary program at the interface between Chemistry and Biology. Synthesis, measurement, and theory of biological molecules (including proteins and nucleic acids) are important components of the program. Particular areas of expertise are Metallo-Biochemistry, Biological Catalysis, Biomolecular Structure & Function, Chemical Genetics & Bioorganic Chemistry, and Chemical Imaging & Sensors. Research in these areas often involves the synthesis of a particular ligand as a probe of biological function, or the use of chemical, biophysical, molecular biological, and genetic methods to modify and examine biomolecular structure and function. Michigan is one of a select group of universities nationwide funded by the National Institutes of Health specifically to train graduate students in this exciting and interfacial research area that spans the departments of Chemistry, Biological Chemistry, and Medicinal Chemistry. The Chemical Biology program at Michigan has pioneered the department wide research course system that provides first year students with the opportunity to work in two or three different laboratories before selecting a research mentor. For more information see:

INORGANIC CHEMISTRY. Inorganic chemists at Michigan pursue a broad array of research topics primarily focused in the areas of bioinorganic and materials chemistry. Current research groups have interests in supramolecular, surface, solid state and polymer chemistry. Objectives include: the design and study of organic-based zeolites and superconductors; microelectronic device structure and reactivity; fire-resistant, liquid-crystalline, and pre-ceramic polymers; catalysts used for oxidation, desulfurization and polymerization of hydrocarbons; high-temperature superconductors; non-linear optical and magnetic materials. There is also a strong interest in bioinorganic chemistry, studies of metal catalyzed reactions in photosynthesis, in elucidating the chemical mechanism of nitrogenase, and in de novo metalloprotein design. Organometallic chemistry, as applied to the activation or recognition of small molecules, represents another area of interest and is often related to biochemical, materials or catalysis themes.

MATERIALS CHEMISTRY. Materials chemistry at Michigan combines well-grounded training in chemical sciences and experiences in the real world of materials. Novel paradigms for the synthesis of monomers for polymeric substances have been undertaken with a keen eye for their metal ligating properties. Whole classes of new substances with unusual thermal, mechanical, electrical and catalytic properties are currently under investigation. Fundamental investigations of the structure and bonding of adsorbed species on surfaces are providing promising leads on corrosion phenomena and new concepts and structures in the design of sensors. Theoretical and experimental studies in supramolecular architecture have led to the development of organic zeolites that have changed the traditional concepts regarding zeolites. Relationships between molecular structure and chemical reactivity are being exploited in designing highly reactive organometallic and metallo-organic precursors for the low temperature synthesis of magnetic, electronic, and structural ceramics. Michigan’s program in Materials Chemistry was recently awarded an IGERT (Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training Program) grant from the National Science Foundation to help train the next generation of chemists with interest in materials. For more information see:

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY. Research in organic chemistry at Michigan is broad in scope yet rigorous in approach. Faculty interests include the development of new synthetic methods for the assembly of complex organic molecules in a stereocontrolled fashion; the synthesis of natural (and unnatural) products with unique biological properties and biomedical significance; the design and synthesis of molecular probes of biochemical function; and the preparation of polymers and other molecules of potential use in new materials applications. Organometallic chemistry using both transition metals and main group elements is an active area of research, spanning the range from synthetic methods development to the design of novel promoters of polymerization. A number of industrially sponsored fellowships in the area of organic chemistry are awarded each year to students in the program.

PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY. Research in physical chemistry at Michigan is aimed at developing a comprehensive and fundamental understanding of chemical phenomena, building on a solid foundation in quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and chemical kinetics. Current faculty efforts involve the design and application of novel theoretical and experimental methods, from the use of EXAFS, EPR, and solid-state and solution NMR, to the development of theoretical and computational models; from the employment of ultra-high vacuum techniques to the application of microwave, X-ray, gamma-ray, and ultrafast laser spectroscopy. The ubiquitous nature of chemistry leads to exploration in a diverse range of areas, including the study of critical phenomena, non-linear systems, complexity theory, and the excitations and chemical processes that occur at surfaces, in nanostructures, in low-dimensional solids, in the atmosphere, in isolated small molecules and clusters, and in biological systems.


CHEM 895 - Research in Chemistry
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001 (IND)
 In Person

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