Chemistry and Biochemistry
College of Science and Engineering
Dean: Keith Bowman
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: (415) 338–1288
Interim Chair: Teaster Baird, Jr.
Graduate Coordinators: Andrew Ichimura, Bruce Manning
Program Scope and Career Outlook
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers an outstanding educational environment for undergraduate and graduate students. Our mission is to educate, train, and produce versatile chemists and biochemists that understand both the theoretical basis and practical applications of their discipline. Department faculty provide quality instruction across a wide range of sub-disciplines. Our degree programs are designed to prepare students for various professional positions (i.e., biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, chemical manufacturing, and other laboratory-based industries), health professions (i.e., medical, pharmacy, and dental school), graduate study, and teaching positions.
Students receive significant hands-on experience with modern instrumentation in our relatively small-sized lab classes, and the opportunity to participate in research projects under the direct supervision of our faculty. The department houses a variety of state-of-the-art research instrumentation, laboratory facilities, and computational labs. These include a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility, a Mass Spectrometry (MS) facility, a Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) facility and the Computational Chemistry and Visualization (CCV) laboratory.
The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry program is particularly well-suited for those students whose career goals involve the integration of chemistry with other fields. This program can be combined with another degree or minor to develop the unique synthesis of experience needed for careers in health professions, forensic science, environmental science, regulatory affairs, chemical engineering, patent law, management, sales, marketing, technical writing, scientific journalism, library science, and art restoration. This program also provides excellent preparation for high school science teachers. Students planning to become K–12 chemistry or science teachers should note that additional preparation beyond the major is required to meet the breadth requirements and should consult with the credential advisor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to review the state-mandated requirements.
The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, which is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), prepares students to pursue a career in chemically-oriented industry or to begin graduate study in chemistry and other molecular sciences. The degree provides a solid foundation in mathematics and physics, breadth in chemical sub-disciplines (analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry), and excellent hands-on training in laboratory and instrumental techniques.
The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry is designed for students who wish to be particularly well qualified at the rapidly expanding interface between biology and chemistry. The degree includes extensive laboratory training, provides exceptional preparation for careers in biotechnology, and enjoys a favorable reputation among biotechnology companies in the Bay Area. This degree also provides a strong foundation for a graduate degree in biochemistry.
The Master of Science degree in Chemistry and the Master of Science degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry are programs of study with research at the core. As the student focuses in depth on an independent scientific investigation, solid research and communication skills are developed. The goal of both M.S. degree programs is to provide students with a thorough grounding in laboratory and research skills, and in-depth training in their areas of specialization. Our M.S. program provides excellent training for
- careers in all aspects of the chemical industry (biotechnology, environment, process and analytical, basic research);
- science educators seeking to increase their skill and knowledge base; and
- students whose goal is advanced study at the Ph.D. level.
The M.S. in Chemistry program is approved by the ACS.
Significant features of our department include high-quality teaching, one-on-one advising for all of our majors, and opportunities for students to participate in research under the direct supervision of active faculty members who are recognized authorities in their field. Students interested in becoming involved in research should consult with an advisor and review faculty research interests on our department website (www.chembiochem.sfsu.edu). Examples of research projects currently under investigation by our faculty members and their research students include:
Identification and quantitation of organic pollutants via Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) and Direct Sampling Mass Spectrometry (DSMS). Application of X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) to the determination of toxic elements in foods, supplements, and other products. Development of novel analytical techniques for separation and detection of redox-sensitive trace species.
Structural and functional characterization of acetyltransferases involved in protein modification, antibiotic resistance, cellular homeostasis, and metabolic flux. Active-site mechanism, structure, and engineering of enzymes relevant to human environmental toxicology using single-turnover stopped-flow absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy, rapid-quench, electrochemical, calorimetric, and structural studies of enzyme active sites, protein-ligand, and protein-protein interactions. Characterization of enzymes involved in the nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide cellular signaling pathways. Structural and functional studies of metalloproteins involved in redox reactions, oxygen activation, oxygen transport, and signal transduction. Computational studies of carcinogen modified bases to understand the role of structural features in human DNA repair and recognition, and on the effects of toxic metals on DNA repair efficiency. Protein structure-function relationships, particularly substrate specificity, catalysis and inhibition in serine proteases; engineering serine proteases to alter substrate specificity and protease-inhibitor interactions with implications for proteolytic drug development. Investigations of photosensitizers and their interactions with nitric oxide for their use in biomedical application. Investigations of biofluids to uncover markers for disease.
Biophysical spectroscopic methods, including nanosecond time-resolved polarized absorption spectroscopy, to characterize biological function and examine the molecular basis of disease. Chromatin folding, dynamics, and stability.
Identify student experiences and instructional practices that promote student success in chemistry courses and persistence in STEM majors. Design experiences to engage students in applying course-based chemistry knowledge to address community questions and societal needs.
Detection of trace levels of volatile organic compounds and heavy metals in urban air, water, and soil samples. Determination of structures and speciation of metals and trace elements adsorbed on environmental surfaces by X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Modeling speciation, precipitation, and adsorption reactions of trace elements in environmental systems. Development and characterization of reactive metallic and mineral-based remediation materials for soil and water contaminants. Investigation of the composition and degradation of organic matter in marine systems through quantification and modeling of natural carbon isotopes.
Organic synthesis, chemistry of fulvenes, total synthesis of fulvenoid anticancer agents, singlet oxygen chemistry and organic peroxides. Molecular imaging, synthesis and biological evaluation of natural products, synthetic organometallic chemistry. Design, synthesis, and optimization of novel enzyme and channel inhibitors to treat human disease. Mechanisms of fundamental organic reactions by computational and experimental approaches, design and synthesis of substrate analogs to elucidate the catalytic mechanisms of enzymes, new synthetic methods for heterocyclic molecules.
Materials and Inorganic Chemistry
Synthesis and characterization of semiconducting thin films with applications to solar cells, water splitting, water remediation and CO2 reduction. Growth and nucleation of crystalline TiO2 by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and in situ grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD). Computational approaches to speed the development of solid-state batteries, photocatalysts, and quantum computers using Density Functional Theory and Molecular dynamics.
Natural Products Chemistry
Isolation and characterization of novel compounds from marine microorganisms from sediments, algae, and sponges with anti-cancer, or anti-malarial properties.
Synthesis and characterization of heteroatom substituted zeolites by XRD, solid state MAS–NMR, and optical spectroscopy, with applications to photocatalysis of carbon dioxide to fuels. Photophysics and electron spin resonance (ESR) investigation of thin films for applications in photovoltaics and photocatalysis.
Baird, DeWitt, Erden, Esquerra, Gassner, Gerber, Komada, Manning, Palmer, Simonis, Wu
Amagata, Anderson, Guliaev, Ichimura,
Adelstein, Billingsley, Eroy-Reveles, Kuhn, Vikse
Research Associate Professor
CHEM 100 Preparation for Chemistry (Units: 3)
CHEM 101 Survey of Chemistry (Units: 3)CHEM 115.
- B1: Physical Science
CHEM 102 Survey of Chemistry Laboratory (Unit: 1)
Laboratory to accompany or follow CHEM 101. Extra fee required. (Charges for missing or damaged laboratory locker items apply)
- B3: Lab Science
CHEM 109 Fundamentals of Food Chemistry: Natural Constituents and Additives (Units: 3)
Chemical composition of foods including sugars, starches, fats, and oils; protein, vitamins, and minerals; additives used in food; government role in food processing and distribution.
CHEM 110 Fundamentals of Food Chemistry: Natural Constituents and Additives Laboratory (Unit: 1)
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry (Units: 5)
Prerequisites: CHEM 100 with a grade of C or better (letter grade only) or satisfactory score on chemistry placement exam. ELM with a score of 50 or better or approved exemption, or MATH 70 with a grade of C or better or ESM 70 with a grade of CR.
CHEM 130 General Organic Chemistry (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: CHEM 115 with a grade of C or better.
CHEM 180 Chemistry for the Energy and the Environment (Units: 3)
- B1: Physical Science
- B3: Lab Science
- Environmental Sustainability
CHEM 215 General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts (Units: 3)
Prerequisites: CHEM 115 with a grade of C or better.
CHEM 216 General Chemistry II Laboratory: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts (Units: 2)
Prerequisite: CHEM 215 with a grade of C or better (may be taken concurrently). Determination of thermodynamic quantities; rate laws; acid dissociation constants; preparation and analysis of buffer solutions; synthesis and analysis of a molecular complex. Laboratory. Extra fee required. (Charges for missing or damaged laboratory locker items apply)
CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry I (Units: 3)CHEM 233 is not open to students who have completed CHEM 333.]
CHEM 234 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory (Units: 2)CHEM 234 is not open to students who have completed CHEM 334.]
CHEM 251 Mathematics and Physics for Chemistry (Units: 3)
Prerequisites: CHEM 215, MATH 226, MATH 227, PHYS 220, PHYS 222, PHYS 230, PHYS 232, each with a grade of C or better, or consent of instructor. Concurrent enrollment in CHEM 351 is strongly recommended.
CHEM 300 General Physical Chemistry I (Units: 3)
Prerequisites: CHEM 321 [formerly CHEM 320], CHEM 335, MATH 227, PHYS 121 or PHYS 230 or PHYS 240, each with a grade of C or better. CHEM 340 or CHEM 349 recommended. For Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biology majors.
CHEM 301 General Physical Chemistry II (Units: 3)
CHEM 321 Quantitative Chemical Analysis (Units: 3)
CHEM 322 Quantitative Chemical Analysis Laboratory (Units: 2)
Prerequisite: CHEM 321 with a grade of C or better (may be taken concurrently). For Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biology majors.
CHEM 325 Inorganic Chemistry (Units: 3)
CHEM 327 Practical GC and HPLC (Units: 4)
CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry II (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: CHEM 233 (formerly CHEM 333) with grade of C or better.
CHEM 336 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory (Units: 2)
CHEM 338 Organic Chemistry II: Laboratory Honors (Units: 3)
CHEM 340 Biochemistry I (Units: 3)
CHEM 341 Biochemistry II (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: CHEM 340 with a grade of C or better.
CHEM 343 Biochemistry I Laboratory (Units: 3)
Prerequisites: CHEM 216, CHEM 234 [formerly CHEM 334], CHEM 340 or CHEM 349 (or concurrent enrollment in CHEM 340 or CHEM 349), all with grades of C or better. CHEM 321 is recommended. Priority registration for Biochemistry and Chemistry majors.
CHEM 349 General Biochemistry (Units: 3)CHEM 340 may not take CHEM 349 for credit.
CHEM 351 Physical Chemistry I: Thermodynamics and Kinetics (Units: 3)
CHEM 353 Physical Chemistry II: Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy (Units: 3)
CHEM 370 Computer Applications in Chemistry and Biochemistry (Units: 3)
CHEM 380 Chemistry Behind Environmental Pollution (Units: 3)
- UD-B: Physical Life Science
- Environmental Sustainability
CHEM 390GW Contemporary Chemistry and Biochemistry Research - GWAR (Units: 3)
- Graduation Writing Assessment
CHEM 399 Careers in Chemistry and Biochemistry (Unit: 1)
Prerequisite: Senior standing.
CHEM 420 Environmental Analysis (Units: 3)
CHEM 422 Instrumental Analysis (Units: 4)
CHEM 426 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (Units: 2)
CHEM 433 Advanced Organic Chemistry (Units: 3)
CHEM 443 Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory (Units: 4)
CHEM 451 Experimental Physical Chemistry Laboratory (Units: 2)
CHEM 470 Research (Units: 3)
Prerequisites: One year each of general and organic chemistry and consent of instructor and faculty research adviser.
CHEM 640 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry (Units: 3)
CHEM 645 Research Trends in Chemistry and Biochemistry (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: GPA of 3.0 or better, CHEM 340, one semester of physical chemistry.
CHEM 680 Chemical Oceanography (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: CHEM 215 or equivalent.
CHEM 685 Projects in the Teaching of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Unit: 1)
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor, a grade of B or better in the course in which student will be instructing.
CHEM 693 Cooperative Education Program (Units: 6-12)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
CHEM 694 Cooperative Education in Chemistry (Unit: 1)
Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.
CHEM 699 Independent Study (Units: 1-6)
Prerequisites: Consent of the department and instructor.
CHEM 741 Electron Microscopy (Units: 4)
Prerequisite: Graduate or senior standing, or consent of instructor.
(This course is offered as BIOL 741, CHEM 741, and ERTH 741. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)
CHEM 800 Special Topics in Chemistry (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Chemistry or consent of instructor.
CHEM 820 NMR Applications and Techniques (Units: 3)
Prerequisites: Classified graduate standing in Chemistry or consent of instructor.
CHEM 821 Mass Spectrometry - Principles and Practice (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in Chemistry or consent of instructor.
CHEM 832 Organic Synthesis (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in Chemistry or consent of instructor.
CHEM 834 Organic Spectroscopic Methods (Units: 3)
CHEM 841 Enzymology (Units: 3)
CHEM 842 Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: Classified graduate status in Chemistry or consent of instructor.
CHEM 846 Biology and Chemistry of Signaling Pathways (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: Classified graduate status or consent of instructor.
(This course is offered as BIOL 732 and CHEM 846. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)
CHEM 850 Valency and Spectroscopy (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in Chemistry, passing score on the ACS diagnostic examination in quantum chemistry, or consent of instructor.
CHEM 851 Biochemical Spectroscopy (Units: 3)
Prerequisites: Classified graduate standing in chemistry and passing ACS diagnostic examination in quantum chemistry, a biochemistry course, or consent of instructor.
CHEM 852 Statistical Mechanics: Molecular Relaxation (Units: 3)
CHEM 870 Computational Methods in Chemistry (Units: 3)
Prerequisites: Upper division or graduate standing, one year of undergraduate physical chemistry.
CHEM 880 Seminar (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in chemistry or consent of instructor.
CHEM 885 Teaching College Chemistry (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
CHEM 895 Research Project (Units: 3)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and approval of Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience (CE) forms by Graduate Studies.
CHEM 897 Research (Units: 1-9)
Prerequisites: Classified graduate standing in Chemistry, CHEM 880 (may be taken concurrently), or consent of instructor.
CHEM 898 Master's Thesis (Units: 3)
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and approval of Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) for the Master of Science in Chemistry and Culminating Experience (CE) forms by Graduate Studies.