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Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Making Gas-Powered Cars Obsolete
Synthetic Squid Can Save You From a Sunburn
Revealing Every Enzyme Ever

Find Your Element

On the path of scientific discovery, the 118 individual elements of the periodic table help us to chart our navigation; guiding us through our understanding of the world around us and what is possible. 

Nitrogen was the center of Carl Bosch and Fritz Haber’s research. Together they developed a new process for fixing the element into fertilizer, which lead to an unprecedented boom in food production and thus the global population. 

Marie Curie gave her life by discovering polonium and radium. Through her tireless work and observations, she helped conceive the principles of radioactivity and proved that the atom could be divided.

These discoveries only represent a tiny fraction of chemistry’s past, yet the table still serves as the beacon for chemistry’s future. With it, new science will emerge, like clean renewable energy and life-saving vaccines and antibiotics. 

The College of Science chemistry program, through rigorous real-world preparation, research, and nurturing, will help you find your element to chart your own path. 

Degree Options

Watch Our Video to Learn More About Our Chemistry Program

Watch Our Video to Learn More About Our Chemistry Program

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.

Introduction to Forensic Science
CHEM 1107

Introduces students to the field of forensic science from both a scientific and a legal perspective. Examines the challenges and methodologies of crime scene investigation, forensic biology, and forensic chemistry. Provides real-world case studies and examines some misrepresentations of forensics by television dramas. Emphasizes scientific evidence associated with topics such as DNA analysis, drug abuse, and explosion investigations, as well as other relevant topics

PreMed & PreHealth

Our PreMed and PreHealth Advising program offers personalized expertise to COS students pursuing careers in health careers. This comprehensive program includes application guidance, workshops and presentations, course mapping and more.

Learn More

The Properties of Co-Op

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.

Learn More About Co-Op

Faculty Labs

Chemistry and Chemical Biology
The Beuning Lab
Penny Beuning
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
The Biomaterials Design Group
Leila Deravi
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 biomater..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
The Engen Lab
John Engen
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
The Research Alliance in Science and Engineering (RAISE)
Vaso Lykourinou
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
Lee-Parsons Research Laboratory Website
Carolyn Lee-Parsons
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
The Manetsch Lab
Roman Manetsch
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
The Zhang Group
Ke Zhang
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
The 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..
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Theoretical Photochemistry
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. 
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Laboratory for Neglected Disease Drug Discovery
Michael Pollastri
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.
The Minds Behind COS Chemistry
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.
Sanjeev Mukerjee
The research activity in Professor Mukerjee’s group is an interdisciplinary approach, namely working to develop technology to lower the cost of fuel cells for consumer vehicles.


Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University
January 13, 2020

Cannabis Products Are Everywhere. But What Do They Actually Do?

January 13, 2020

He’s Training Computers to Find New Molecules With the Machine Learning Algorithms Used by Facebook and Google

Using the same techniques that help social media learn about you, Northeastern assistant professor Steven Lopez is training machine learning algorithms to find millions of new molecules to help make…
Fresh Test: Co-op Kevin Coghlan holds two avocados bought on the same day. Using a silk-based protein, Cambridge Crops is able to keep one fresher for longer.
December 18, 2019

The Secret Formula That Will Keep Your Produce Fresher

Chemistry major Kevin Coghlan is on co-op developing silk-based solutions to extend the shelf life of foods at Cambridge Crops.
December 2, 2019

The Deep Ocean Is Not on Fire. So What’s All That Soot Doing in There?

Aron Stubbins, an associate professor of marine and environmental sciences at Northeastern, teamed up with a group of researchers who tested the  long-established idea that rivers eventually transport black carbon…

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