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.
A Universe of Unexplored Small Molecules
An algorithm tells scientists what kinds of small organic molecules have not yet been synthesized. This tool could help fuel research into new drug therapies.
New Catalysts Improve Production of Important Organic Molecules
A new class of catalysts will let chemists create a wide variety of biologically and medically useful molecules in a sustainable, economical, reliable and environmentally friendly way.
Enzyme Plays a Role in Folic Acid’s Effectiveness
One way folic acid reduces birth defects is by contributing to the production of formate in mitochondria.
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.
Nature: The Master Medicine-Maker
Plants, bacteria, fungi and other organisms are a prolific source of new drugs. Chemists seek to discover, examine and modify natural products with the hope of developing new medicines to improve human health.
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.
Organic chemist Martin Burke is developing new chemical synthesis techniques to make substances that could restore function to molecules.
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.