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Faculty with a focus in Physical Chemistry

Physical Chemistry focuses on the fundamental principles that govern all other branches of chemistry, and is typically subdivided into four main areas; Kinetics, Thermodynamics, Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics.

Chemical Kinetics uses aspects of the other three areas of physical chemistry to understand at the atomic level the factors that control the rate at which chemical reactions take place. Thermodynamics is the study of the energetics of a chemical system at a macroscopic level, i.e., where the energies of all the molecules in a system are considered at the same time.

Quantum mechanics uses the non-classical interactions of electrons and nuclei, to explain the structure of molecules and the bonding between atoms in a molecule, as well as to interpret spectroscopic data associated with changes in the energy of a molecule. Statistical Mechanics is the area that bridges the microscopic events described by quantum mechanics at the atomic level with the macroscopic observations of thermodynamics.

Faculty with a focus in Physical Chemistry include the following (explanation of the symbols, *, §, ‡ are listed below):

Edward R. Birnbaum, Ph.D. (Emeritus)

  • Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Lanthanide Chemistry
  • Calcium-Binding Peptides and Proteins

Michael F. Bruist, Ph.D.

  • Nucleic acid biochemistry
  • Chemistry of DNA rearrangements
  • DNA-protein interactions

Zhijun Li, Ph.D. *

  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Molecular Modeling

Madhu Mahalingam, Ph.D. §

  • Chemical education
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Ion-molecule reactions

Preston B. Moore, Ph.D.

  • Molecular Interactions within Biological Systems
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Elisabeth Morlino, Ph.D. §

  • Chemical education
  • Photochemistry
  • Photobiology

Guillermo Moyna, Ph.D.

  • Biomolecular NMR spectroscopy
  • Computational chemistry
  • Computer-assisted rational drug design

Vojislava Pophristic, Ph.D.

  • Molecular Interactions within Biological Systems
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Inorganic Clusters

Frederick T. Schaefer, Ph.D. §

  • Chemical education
  • Computer interfacing
  • Macromolecules

Alexander Sidorenko, Ph.D.

  • Synthesis of polymers and biopolymers
  • Design and modification of thin films
  • Nanostructured and hybrid ("smart") materials

Julian W. Snow, Ph.D. (Emeritus)

  • Structure of serum apolipoproteins
  • Serum apolipoprotein-lipid interactions
  • Thermodynamics of amphiphile-membrane interactions

Rodney J. Wigent, Ph.D.

  • Solution calorimetry and thermodynamics
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics of drug excipients
  • Biophysical chemistry of DNA topology/structure

Randy J. Zauhar, Ph.D.

  • Computational chemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computer-aided drug design

Research Advising Ability

§ May serve as a research advisor for undergraduate students
* Research Professors from other departments who may serve as research advisors for graduate students in their appropriate area of expertise
May serve as a research advisor for both undergraduate and graduate students
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