Department of Chemistry

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Other Graduate Programs

Program in the Chemistry of Life Processes

The Chemistry of Life Processes program gives a focus to the extensive interest and research effort in the chemical aspects of biological systems at Case Western Reserve University. The unusually large degree of collaborative research has arisen because of a commitment by the University to interdisciplinary pursuits and because of the location of basic science and engineering departments, together with the nationally acclaimed CWRU School of Medicine, within a heavy concentration of biomedical research carried out in the University Circle area. Substantial funding for health related research projects is provided by the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Heart Association, and other health agencies.

The primary theme of the program, which differentiates it from traditional offerings of departments of biochemistry, is an emphasis on those areas of biological research in which modern chemical techniques and the basic concepts of organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry are playing key roles in understanding biological processes at a molecular level. Thus the program is suitable for students whose primary training has been in chemistry and who desire to pursue research at the chemistry-biology interface.

The Chemistry of Life Processes program for graduate study leading to the PhD degree consists of (1) course work in the traditional disciplines of chemistry as well as special elective courses offered in the areas of biopolymers, biochemistry, pharmacology, enzymology, radiology, toxicology, environmental science, biophysics, neuroscience, and nuclear medicine and (2) thesis research in an interdisciplinary project involving faculty with primary or secondary appointments in the Chemistry Department. A large range of seminar offerings on the main science campus and in the medical school gives students the opportunity to stay abreast of leading developments in the chemical and biological sciences.

Other Programs in the Chemical Sciences

The Department of Chemistry is the focus of a wide range of activity in chemical science at Case Western Reserve University which extends to a number of other departments. The opportunities for educational and research interactions with these neighboring units are a great asset to students and faculty in the Department of Chemistry. For example, students can take advantage of courses outside of the traditional chemistry discipline in addition to more traditional courses.

Chemistry is a major component of work in the departments of biology, chemical engineering, macromolecular science, and metallurgy and materials science as well as biochemistry and pharmacology (in the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine). Additional departments in which chemistry plays an important role include anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, developmental genetics and anatomy, geological sciences, microbiology, medicine, neurology, nutrition, pathology, pediatrics, physiology, and reproductive biology. Of special significance is the physical proximity of these units, all within a few hundred meters of the Department of Chemistry.

Ties among departments sharing chemical interests are strengthened formally by a number of joint faculty appointments and by joint seminar programs. Schedules of campuswide events in the chemical sciences are published weekly. Less formal but even more extensive are the constant consultations and collaborations that take place among colleagues across these departmental lines.

More Information

More information can be obtained by emailing, or by US mail from:

Graduate Affairs Coordinator
Department of Chemistry
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH  44106-7078


Page last modified: June 8, 2016