Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Northeastern’s Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis celebrates 50th anniversary by looking to the future
Do parasites actually ‘eat’ human tissue? And how do they end up in the brain?
Northeastern professor Eugene Smotkin named fellow by prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science

The Central Science

Chemistry and chemical biology is the central science charting our path of inquiry, guiding us through our understanding of the world around us and revealing what is possible.

Life-changing discoveries of chemistry past have enabled the modern world by impacting everything from food production to medicine.

As new generations of chemists harness the nature of matter, their discoveries will improve our health, our environment, and our lives.  The impact of CRISPR and gene editing on novel medicines, the directed evolution of enzymes and protein design on life-saving vaccines, and the development of renewable energy sources, such as lithium ion batteries, on the preservation of our environment represent just a fraction of the possibilities.

The College of Science chemistry program, through stimulating and supportive real-world preparation and research, will help you navigate your own path to discovery and pursue a meaningful career in any field.

Diversity & Inclusion

The College of Science supports a culture where each person feels they belong, regardless of race, color, religion, religious creed, genetic information, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran or disability status. We celebrate the diversity of our community, and we seek to expand representation to further excellence. We commit to be a College where members act with respect, trust, collaboration, and communication, and where inappropriate behavior is reported and acted on without fear of retaliation.

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Northeastern’s Chemistry Program

Northeastern’s Chemistry Program

Faculty Labs & Research

Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Ondrechen Research Group
Prof. Ondrechen’s research group spans the areas of theoretical and computational chemistry, computational biology, bioinformatics, protein design, and drug discovery. Areas of interest include functional genomics – predicting the biochemical functional roles of gene products (proteins), protei..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Lee-Parsons Research Laboratory Website
This research group is applying metabolic engineering principles and methodologies to improve the production of important compounds, i.e. critical plant-derived pharmaceuticals or biofuels, from plant cell & tissue cultures and microalgae cultures.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
O'Doherty Group
This research group has been working in two related areas of organic synthesis: carbohydrate synthesis and natural product synthesis.  The unifying theme that connects the research in these two areas is the method of synthesis (asymmetric catalysis) and target selection (anti-cancer, anti-viral an..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Laboratory for Neglected Disease Drug Discovery
This research program focuses on those areas of research that will impact on treatment of human disease and on areas that will expedite the drug discovery process.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Beuning Lab
The Beuning laboratory at Northeastern is focused on understanding the structure-function-dynamics relationships of proteins and enzymes, with a particular focus on proteins involved in DNA metabolism and DNA damage tolerance.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Biomaterials Design Group
The Biomaterials Design Group at Northeastern University works at the interface of bio-analytical chemistry, materials science, and design. We investigate fundamental mechanisms behind systems in biology and use our understanding to better inform the design new classes of protein-based biomaterials..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Engen Lab
The Engen Lab uses hydrogen exchange and mass spectrometry (HX MS) as our core technology to probe protein conformation, conformational changes, dynamics, protein folding and the effects of binding.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Zhang Group
The Zhang group develops macromolecular systems to provide answers to important questions in biology and medicine.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
SunnyLand applies protein chemistry, analysis and engineering to biology and medicine.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Manetsch Lab
The Manetsch laboratory addresses various aspects of medicinal chemistry related to optimization of anti-malarial, anti-leishmanial, and anti-bacterial agents., as well as developing and applying LC/MS-based approaches facilitating synthetic and medicinal chemistry.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Theoretical Photochemistry
The Lopez group uses quantum mechanical and machine learning techniques to identify next-generation organic materials for applications in renewable energy and photomedicine.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Research Alliance in Science and Engineering (RAISE)
Through integrative education and collaboration between undergraduate chemistry students and faculty mentors, RAISE continues the teaching curriculum beyond the classroom and into the real world.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Budil Lab
Prof. Budil’s group is interested in the physical behavior of macromolecules, including both synthetic polymers and biopolymers such as large proteins. Their principal investigative tool is electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy, including very high-frequency ESR.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Makowski Lab
Image and signal processing as applied to biophysical data designed to answer fundamental questions about the molecular basis of living systems
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Stubbins Lab
Aron Stubbin's research fouses on environmental chemistry, geochemistry, the carbon cycle, freshwater, coastal and ocean biogeochemistry, feedbacks between natural biogeochemical cycles and climate change, permafrost, black carbon, and aquatic microplastics
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Hanson Research Group
Professor Hanson’s research group focuses on the application of synthetic organic chemistry to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic agents for neoplastic diseases.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Oyinda Oyelaran's Lab
Oyinda Oyelaran is the co-PI of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology department's NSF-REU site program.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Mattos Lab
Research in the Mattos Lab focuses on understanding the rules that govern the recognition, assembly and function of macromolecular complexes.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Kirss's Lab
Kirss's lab's research interests are in synthetic and mechanistic chemistry of iron and ruthenium. Projects are underway in synthesis of new ferrocene derivatives with potential biological activity and kinetics of phosphine substitution in catalytically active ruthenium compounds.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Booth Lab
The Booth lab undertakes drug developing starting with a GPCR structure-based ligand design approach using molecular modeling experiments, followed by synthesis of target ligands and in vitro molecular pharmacology assays to delineate their a nity and function.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Smotkin Lab
The central theme of Prof. Smotkin’s group is the discovery of better materials for clean energy sources and processes through electrolytes and electrocatalytic materials.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Chemical Imaging of Living Systems Institute
The Institute develops imaging tools to highlight chemical processes - enabling clinicians to better diagnose and treat disease.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis
The Institute was established in 1973 as a center for advanced interdisciplinary research in the chemical analysis sciences at Northeastern University, in the educational hub of Boston, Massachusetts. Today, with over 50 scientists and an $8 million endowment, the Institute is recognized internatio..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR)
The Center’s objective is simple: think networks. Research focuses on how networks emerge/evolve, how they look, and how they impact our understanding of complex systems. CCNR’s research has developed to unexpected areas, including the topology of the World Wide Web; complex networks inside th..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Center for Drug Discovery
The Center for Drug Discovery is dedicated to the discovery of novel medications and the development of approaches and technologies aimed at improving the discovery of new therapeutic drugs. Faculty include: Raymond Booth, Sergiy Tyukhtenko and Jeff Agar
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Northeastern University Center for Renewable Energy Technology
Northeastern University Center for Renewable Energy Technology focuses on carbon-free technologies which are sustainable from materials and techno-economic point of view.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Center for STEM Education
This university-wide center aspires to play a key role in shaping and implementing the K-20 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education strategy at Northeastern University, and to impact STEM teaching and learning at all levels, both locally and nationally.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Joshi Lab
The group generally works at the intersection of biomaterials science and synthetic biology. A major focus of the group’s research is on Engineered Living Materials, especially in genetically programming microbial cells to secrete and direct the assembly of biopolymeric matrices.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Dong Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Lab
The Dong Lab develops and applies physics-based and data-driven computational methods to understand multiscale processes, from electronic structures to emergent properties. We use such understandings to develop design strategies for molecules, materials, and processes that matter in renewable energ..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Sayre Photocatalysis Research Group
Photocatalysis captures the energy of light to power chemical transformations. The Sayre Photocatalysis Research Group designs low-energy photocatalysts and investigates the mechanisms of light-activated chemistry. Applications of photocatalysis include solar fuels, pharmaceutical synthesis, plant-..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
DMAS Research Group
We are interested in finding alternative techniques to manufacture materials in a more sustainable fashion. We work at the interface of polymer chemistry and materials science, developing cutting-edge technologies based on macromolecules.
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Sherbo Lab
The Sherbo Lab is focused on converting abundant and waste gases like CO2 and N2 into foods, fertilizers and fuels. The lab uses two main strategies to accomplish this goal. The first is electrocatalysis, a method of performing chemical reactions like gas reduction using clean electricity. The seco..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Weng Laboratory
Our lab explores the origin and evolution of plant specialized metabolism at the enzyme, pathway, and systems levels. We have a broad interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms and functional implications underlying chemical interactions between plants and other organisms, including humans...

Explore our shared Northeastern research facilities.

Learn More

Interested in pursuing an advanced degree?

The Minds Behind COS Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Faculty Spotlight
Leila Deravi
Deravi’s team investigate fundamental mechanisms behind systems in biology and use their understanding to better inform the design of new classes of protein-based biomaterials that may interface with or enhance the performance of humans.
Steven Lopez
The Lopez group uses quantum mechanical and machine learning techniques to identify next-generation organic materials for applications in renewable energy and photomedicine.

The Kirss Lab at Northeastern

The Kirss Lab at Northeastern

Interested in working with us?

Co-op Experiences

Chemistry students will emerge from college into a competitive space. When it comes to landing a highly esteemed role at biopharmaceutical company or major academic medical center, real-world experience will be all the difference.

Northeastern’s signature co-operative experience provides you with the unique opportunity to work in a variety of research settings, giving you the confidence and first-hand knowledge to graduate ready for the next challenge.

Camille Martin
COS alumna, Camille Martin and Chemistry professor Leila Deravi co-founded Seaspire Skincare, a promising 2019 startup.
Meet Camille
Kayla Mathiowetz
Kayla Mathiowetz, S'21, is a Chemistry Major on the Premed track.
Meet Kayla
Cameron Young COE/COS’21
``The most rewarding and exciting moment during my undergraduate career was when I accepted my first co-op.``
Meet Cameron

Degree Options

Coursework and Requirements
A sampling of the types of courses you could take here.
Environmental Geochemistry
CHEM 3410

Offers students who wish to work in the geosciences or environmental science and engineering fields, including on the land, in freshwater, or the oceans, an opportunity to understand the geochemical principles that shape the natural and managed environment. Seeks to provide a context for understanding the natural elemental cycles and environmental problems through studies in atmospheric, terrestrial, freshwater, and marine geochemistry.

Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHEM 3401

Traces the development of chemical thermodynamics through the three major laws of thermodymamics. These are applied to thermochemistry, chemical reaction and phase equilibria, and the physical behavior of multicomponent systems. Emphasizes quantitative interpretation of physical measurements.

Organic Chemistry of Drug Design and Development
CHEM 4456

Offers students majoring in chemistry an opportunity to apply the principles gained in two semesters of organic chemistry and chemical biology to a relevant disciplinary context. The discovery, design, and development of biologically active compounds for medical purposes uses knowledge and techniques gained in both organic synthesis and chemical biology. It directs those skills to incorporate specific chemical features into organic compounds to meet biological criteria. As such, it seeks to develop problem-solving skills that are valuable across a range of chemical disciplines and not confined to synthetic organic chemistry alone.

The Northeastern chemistry department is dedicated to the Green Chemistry Commitment and infuses every aspect of the curriculum with the best sustainability and environmental practices — shaping students into more responsible scientists.


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What is ‘marine snow’? And how do microplastics slow the rate at which carbon is pulled from the sea surface to the depths?

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