Science Education: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Understanding the interactions between molecules—that's chemistry. And understanding the chemistry that occurs in living organisms—that's biochemistry. Studies in these areas focus on questions like:
- How do enzymes generate cellular energy and facilitate chemical reactions?
- What roles do natural substances like fats and sugars play in our bodies?
- How can we use chemistry to design new medicines?
Follow the links below to learn more about chemistry and biochemistry, including recent discoveries, and read profiles of researchers working in these fields.
The Chemistry of Health
Showcases the many ways that chemistry is helping make the world healthier.
Computing Chemistry from Computing Life
Explores how combining chemistry and computers helps scientists develop new medicines and new materials.
The Chemistry of Health Poster
Get inspired by chemistry.
NIGMS has a strong track record of funding scientists who receive Nobel Prizes. Learn about NIGMS-funded scientists who have received a Nobel Prize for their chemistry-related discoveries.
The Sweet Side of Chemistry
This year, National Chemistry Week focuses on the chemistry of candy. Studying sugar chemistry is also relevant to our health.
Aspirin's Dual Action
Ever wonder how aspirin knocks out aches? The medicine can help reverse inflammation and prevent it from occurring.
Carbohydrates as Bacterial Camouflage: How Our Immune System Responds
While some bacteria are invisible to our immune system's antibodies, others are easily detected by galectins, a class of proteins naturally produced by our bodies.
Basic Research Fuels Medical Advances
Some 300,000 NIH-funded scientists are working on projects aimed at improving disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention, often through increasing understanding of basic life processes.
The Greening of Chemistry
Researchers are developing new reactions that make the chemical processes used to manufacture medicines, plastics and other products cleaner, faster and cheaper.
Metals: In Sickness and in Health
We're not quite Iron Man, but metals are intricately entwined with our bodies. They make vital functions like respiration, circulation and reproduction possible.
Organic/biochemist Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah designs "smart molecules" that will shut down cancer cells while leaving the healthy ones untouched.
Mesmerized by Metals
Biochemist Amy Palmer tracks zinc in brain cells to uncover the causes of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and prostate cancer.
Drugs from Deep Down
Biosynthetic chemist Brian Bachman studies secondary metabolites found in caves to help find cures for diseases.
Cool Video: Repurposing Genes, Repurposing Drugs
Using an evolutionary approach, researchers have determined that a compound used to treat parasitic and fungal infections could also reduce the size of tumors.
Dr. Martin Burke on Being a Chemist
Martin Burke discusses his current research and how he got interested in it.
Dr. Michael Rogers on Small-Molecule Chemistry
NIGMS' Michael Rogers talks about small-molecule chemistry.
These colorful, computer-generated ribbons show the backbone of a molecule that glows a fluorescent red.
Carbon Building Blocks
The arrangement of identical molecular components can make a dramatic difference.