Chemical Biology

Chemical biology research involves the use of chemical tools to gain a deeper understanding of biological systems. Chemical biologists use a range of technologies to study biological systems, and are often working to create new technologies or build tools that may have broad applicability in the biological sciences. 

Representative chemical biology research goals include:

  • Controlling the function of proteins, cells, or multicellular organisms with small molecules
  • Deciphering and manipulating biosynthetic pathways for the production of medically important small molecules
  • Chemical modification of biomolecules
  • Engineering of biomolecules to give them properties not found in nature
  • Coming to a deeper understanding of the chemical basis of life.

To achieve these and other goals, chemical biologists use a range of techniques including: chemical synthesis, spectroscopy, imaging, mass spectrometry, molecular biology, enzymology, protein chemistry, biophysical chemistry, and cell biology.