BA in Chemistry with Concentration in Chemical Biology Program By Duke University | Top Universities

BA in Chemistry with Concentration in Chemical Biology

BA in Chemistry with Concentration in Chemical Biology

  • QS World University Rankings
  • Degree BA
  • Study Level Bachelors
  • Duration 48 months
  • Scholarships No
Chemistry is typically described in introductory texts as the study of the properties and behavior of matter. A more modern definition might take the microscopic view and describe chemistry as the science of atoms, molecules, and their interactions. As such, chemistry crosses scales from isolated, individual atoms and molecules to complex interacting collections of molecules such as those found in the cell, and disciplines from biology and medicine to materials science and engineering. This broad range of applicability is why chemistry is often referred to as the central science. The field has traditionally been divided into sub-disciplines including analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry, but the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of chemistry makes such categorizations limiting (although they largely persist within the undergraduate chemistry curriculum). Indeed some would describe chemistry in terms of what chemists do, for example designing and synthesizing new molecules and materials, developing new experimental methods and instrumentation to probe, characterize and manipulate molecules, and developing new theories and computational methods to understand and predict molecular behavior. Current interdisciplinary applications of chemistry at Duke range from elucidating and controlling signaling in biological systems, to designing chemical separation and identification technologies for genomics and proteomics, to developing new chemical contrast agents and imaging methods in biomedicine, to the synthesis, assembly, and theory of nanoscale materials and devices. Training in the discipline must then go beyond the traditional areas of chemistry and provide sufficiently general skills and a sufficiently broad understanding of molecular science that the power of chemical thinking can be brought to bear on complex scientific and technological problems for the betterment of society. The Department of Chemistry is pleased to offer A.B. degree in chemistry with a Concentration in Chemical Biology. Certification of the concentration is designated on the official transcript. Chemical Biology is a relatively new scientific area that explores the chemical nature of life. For decades the traditional disciplines of chemistry - synthetic, physical and theoretical chemistry - have been mapped onto the task of understanding discrete biological entities, from proteins to nucleic acids to lipids. In contrast, Chemical Biology focuses on studying biological processes on the molecular level with a chemical approach and on developing molecular tools to both interrogate and manipulate biological processes. Chemical Biology is highly interdisciplinary, and overlaps with many other areas, including molecular biology, structural biology, bioinformatics, proteomics, organic chemistry, pharmacology, and medicinal chemistry. The field is primarily concerned with research at the chemistry-biology interface, but is in practice largely focused on small molecules as research tools and potential therapeutics. Because chemical biology uses small molecules to probe and manipulate biology, the pharmacological treatment of human disease is a natural outgrowth of the discipline. This area of concentration requires that students take specific courses in biological sciences and chemistry, and at least two semesters of research in Chemical Biology. The required courses include BIOLOGY 201L and BIOCHEM 301, which provide the necessary biological background for Chemistry majors to proceed with studies in Chemical Biology, as well as CHEM 517 (Molecules in Life and Disease) and CHEM 518 (Chemical Biology); in certain cases other appropriate courses may be substituted with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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