Chemical Biology Program

Chemical Biology is an exciting new area of graduate study for students with a background in chemistry or biochemistry. The training includes courses in synthetic chemistry, analytical instrumentation, structural, cell and systems biology, pharmacology, and topics in chemical biology. The Program in Chemical Biology is administered by the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. All of this takes place in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon and the spectacular setting of the Pacific Northwest.

Chemistry laboratory


The program is housed in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and occupies new, state-of-the-art laboratory space on the sixth floor of the new Biomedical Research Building (BRB). The facilities include multiple benches and 8ft. fume hoods designed for modern synthetic chemistry, multiple wet biochemistry and molecular biology benches, numerous electrophysiology rigs, multiple cell culture rooms, solvent purification and chromatography rooms, a radioisotope synthesis and use room, a chemical storage room, multiple animal procedure rooms, dishwashing and autoclaving facilities, a dark room, work stations for computational drug design and custom peptide synthesis and purification capabilities.  In addition, analytical facilities are available in the Bioanalytical Shared Resource/Pharmacokinetics Core Facility (BSR/PK Core) and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Shared Resource (NMR).

Chemist using solvent delivery system

Graduate Education

One of the primary missions of the Program in Chemical Biology is graduate education. Graduate students interested in research at the interface of chemistry, biology, and medicine will find unique and exciting opportunities in this training program. A specialized Chemical Biology pathway has been created in the Physiology & Pharmacology (PH2) track, under the large umbrella of the graduate Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (PBMS). In addition to the PBMS requirements students taking the Chemical Biology pathway will be expected to complete Principles of Chemical Biology (CON 669), Organ Systems (CON 667), Pharmacokinetics (PHPH 617), and Receptor Pharmacology (PHPH 618). Electives and research rotations round out the curriculum.

This course of graduate study will encourage students to explore Chemical Biology from atoms to animals, and ultimately go where ever his/her thesis project leads.