Redefining the interface between chemistry, biology and human health
Chemical Biology is home for our interdisciplinary graduate training program in Quantitative and Chemical Biology (QCB) and attracts students interested in exploring problems at the interface of chemistry, biology, and human health. A highly collaborative research environment that integrates synthesis, structural biology, biophysical chemistry, proteomics, drug discovery and state-of-the-art instrumentation provides students an unparalleled opportunity to design a unique course of study in preparation for careers in academic science and biotechnology.
|Dann III DiMarchi Giedroc Oakley Schlebach Widlanski Zlotnick|
Douglas Novotny Ortoleva Pohl Thielges VanNieuwenhze Yu
Former Professor Erin Carlson’s research program focused on the development and application of new technologies...
...to explore the mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis and identify potential therapeutic agents. To accomplish these goals, we work at the interface of chemistry and biology using techniques ranging from organic synthesis to mass spectrometry-based systems and methods common to biology. In particular, we are pursuing the development of new technologies for natural product discovery including innovative approaches for compound isolation and screening. We are also utilizing state of the art metabolomics and proteomics to map the biochemical pathways associated with bacterial pathogenesis and antibiotic resistance.
Richard DiMarchi is extremely active in advancing biotechnology in academic and commercial ventures
At Indiana University his research group has discovered a set of incretin peptides that demonstrate unprecedented activity in animal models of diabetes and obesity. The central elements to success has been the chemistry to install within single peptides simultaneous agonism at related G-protein coupled receptors, and the counter-intuitive discovery that glucagon and GIP agonism could synergize the proven efficacy of GLP-1 in the treatment of the metabolic syndrome. Drug candidates differing in biochemical character are independently being advanced clinically by three separate pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Widlanski's research emphasizes an eclectic approach to solving biochemical and biomedical problems using a broad array of chemical approaches
This approach includes the design and evaluation of enzyme inhibitors, the elucidation of enzyme reaction mechanisms, the development of new synthetic methods to access important biologically active compound analogs and biological probes, and the study of components of signal transduction pathways, including those associated with a variety of disease states ranging from cancer to HIV.
The Oakley lab studies the structure and function of bacterial proteins...
...that are important for the appropriate distribution of chromosomes into daughter cells. Their work takes advantage of structural understanding of the E. coli condensin, MukB, to dissect its role, along with other cellular factors, in organizing bacterial chromosomes during all phases of the cell cycle. This work combines biochemical, biophysical, and microbial cell biology techniques to address this important but unsolved biological problem.
We study the biophysical chemistry of infectious disease
We are a highly collaborative, problem-oriented group that uses the tools of structural and chemical biology and biophysical chemistry to understand biological regulation at the molecular level. Current projects are focused on 1) transition metal homeostasis and resistance in microbial pathogens; 2) inorganic sulfur sensing and assimilation by the major hospital pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, and 3) RNA structure and protein-RNA interactions in SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)-related coronaviruses. Biomolecular NMR spectroscopy to understand the structure and dynamics of proteins and RNAs figures prominently in our research.
The Dann lab characterizes RNA and protein macromolecules using techniques including X-ray crystallography to understand molecular interactions...
...at the level required to development therapeutics for human disease or in vivo biosensors for small molecules. Our research revolves around small molecule sensing by both RNAs and proteins. Specifically, we are interested in human folate trafficking as it relates to targeted drug delivery for the treatment of cancer and autoinflammatory disease as well as the development of RNA-based biosensors using naturally occurring riboswitches as scaffolds. Researchers in the lab will learn computational modeling, structural and biophysical techniques in addition to biochemistry and molecular biology in both RNA and protein systems.
4th year Graduate Student
My decision to attend graduate school to further my academic pursuits was motivated by my interest in the scientific challenge of research and curiosity in understanding the behavior of materials. Specifically, I chose to attend IU because of the quality of education offered in its Ph.D. program, well-equipped research facilities, and interactions with professors and graduate students during recruiting weekend.
At IU, I have had the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment which encourages the freedom to pursue my ideas for projects under the guidance of my advisor, while having access to other professors and graduate students' experiences. The professors are great individuals who have shown consideration and interest in educating their students, and this has provided a solid foundation for me to grow as an independent scientist. My experiences as a graduate student have been phenomenal and I am very pleased to have chosen IU as my academic home.
“At IU, I have had the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment which encourages the freedom to pursue my ideas.”
2nd year Graduate Student
I was initially drawn to Indiana by the quality of research and level of science being undertaken in the chemistry department. While I was already impressed by the research before visiting Bloomington, the faculty and technology of the department exceeded my expectations after seeing it firsthand. During my visitation weekend I was welcomed by the chemistry family and met several graduate students who described their wonderful and challenging graduate experience at Indiana.
Although I was excited to begin working on cutting edge science at Indiana, I was also very excited to move to Bloomington. I've found it is a great college town with lots of things to offer a new resident, such as myself. The community is hilly and beautiful, and has several great restaurants and bars to experience when I'm not working hard in science. Overall, my decision to come to Indiana has paid off greatly, and I'm excited for the years to come in Bloomington
“While I was already impressed by the research before visiting Bloomington, the faculty and technology of the department exceeded my expectations.”
2nd year Graduate Student
I came to IU's chemistry department after completing my B.S. in chemistry at Allegheny College. I made the decision to attend IU because everything about the university and Bloomington seemed to be all that I was looking for and something extra: the faculty, the facilities, the staff, the arts, the diversity and the restaurants.
After completing my first year of coursework and research, I transitioned to the MAT program to pursue my masters in teaching and become a licensed educator. I have the unique opportunity to also teach undergraduates in the process, which is invaluable experience. I have also appreciated the support from faculty and staff that I have received throughout the transition process. The Chemistry Department at IU has helped me along the path to achieve my goals in becoming a more knowledgeable scientist and valuable teacher.
“The Chemistry Department at IU has helped me along the path to achieve my goals in becoming a more knowledgeable scientist and valuable teacher.”
3rd year Graduate Student
As a third year student at Indiana University, I can't imagine receiving a degree from another institution. When choosing a graduate school, my decision was based on who I would work for, what facilities would be available to me (NMR, MS, etc), and my overall feeling about the department. Here at IU, all of my requirements were met and exceeded. The expert faculty and state of the art facilities have allowed for a collaborative environment with limitless possibilities for my project. I have also been fortunate to travel for conferences and to our collaborating lab in Michigan for experience and interaction with the top researchers in my field. Outside of lab I also enjoy Bloomington and try to enjoy as much of it as I can in my free time. The town is very active with lots of amazing restaurants, trails for hiking/biking, live music on the weekends and fun things to enjoy like the farmers market or our local winery/breweries. Choosing IU was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I am excited to be here for another three years.
“Choosing IU was one of the best decisions I've ever made.”
3rd year Graduate Student
Indiana University has been a wonderful place to pursue my graduate studies in analytical chemistry. The university provided me the amazing opportunity to work with world-renowned researchers who have shown a great willingness to help and mentor me in my academic pursuits with learning opportunities through both structured and casual conversations with faculty and peers alike. The facilities and cutting-edge research of the University is matched only by the proficiency and friendliness of the staff that enthusiastically assists graduate researchers in their endeavors. From labmates across the room to collaborators across the ocean, I have never found a shortage of knowledgeable people with varied skills, experience, and perspective with whom to discuss your research and successfully tackle the challenges of instrumentation development. Located in a quintessential college town and surrounded by the beautiful, rolling hills of southern Indiana, IU has not only surpassed my expectations in terms of academic and professional development, but also has provided a vibrant environment in which to live.
“The university provided me the amazing opportunity to work with world-renowned researchers who have shown a great willingness to mentor me.”
3rd year Graduate Student
Selecting a graduate school is one of the most important choices we make. I consider myself very fortunate to study chemistry at Indiana University. The faculty is inspiring and outstanding in all areas of chemical and biochemical research. They give the full breadth of the subjects and encourage researchers in multidisciplinary thought. The instrumentation facilities are well-equipped, and the chemistry library is well established with extensive scientific literature.
“The instrumentation facilities are well-equipped, and the chemistry library is well established with extensive scientific literature.”
2nd Year Graduate Student
IU chemistry was my program of choice when I decided to return to school after 2 years in the pharmaceutical industry. I was impressed by the diverse faculty and world class research facilities. I have found the faculty, students and support staff here to be friendly and approachable which encourages exchange of ideas and facilitates learning.
The department offers opportunities for multidisciplinary research in a congenial work environment. In my short time here I have fallen in love with the beauty and cultural diversity of Bloomington.
“I have found the faculty, students and support staff here to be friendly and approachable which encourages exchange of ideas and facilitates learning.”