Welcome from the Chair
It is with excitement and enthusiasm that I welcome you to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma. We invite you to accept the challenge of becoming an agent for positive change in the 21st century. As our nation and world struggle with a multitude of problems ranging from growing energy needs to human health and welfare in a shifting climate, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is taking a leading role in the discovery and development of new approaches to improve the human condition. With 35 faculty representing diverse areas of expertise in the chemical and biochemical sciences, our department is interested in educating and training the best and brightest future leaders of tomorrow’s academic, industrial and government institutions.
Supporting this effort, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry moved in the summer of 2010 to the 160,000-square-foot Stephenson Life Sciences Research Center. More than 110 graduate student and postdoctoral researchers work side-by-side with faculty in a highly interactive environment to solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time. The Stephenson Life Sciences Research Center was created with an eye toward further growth, with several new faculty from cutting-edge disciplines expected to join our team during the next few years. The center is home to several major core facilities and research support services, including mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction facilities.
Our faculty are among the top-funded researchers at OU, with numerous external research grants and contracts. Nine of our faculty hold distinguished or endowed professorships and 12 have received awards for excellence in teaching and/or research. The faculty are committed to offering new cross-disciplinary courses for our students. The department encourages undergraduate students to get started in research early and graduate students to develop personalized research programs that cut across traditional barriers in the chemical sciences. For example, a student can opt to study biochemistry, conduct research in an organic chemistry laboratory and attend regular meetings in the analytical sciences. Our faculty work closely with each student to tailor a graduate program that specifically suits his or her needs and interests.
I encourage you to explore our department, who we are, what we do, and what you can accomplish here. All of us in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry look forward to answering any questions you may have about where we are going and how you can contribute to becoming an agent for positive change. This is an exciting time for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and I am honored to serve as its chair.
John W. Peters
Associates Second Century Presidential Professor