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Vicki Grassian, Chair Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Vicki Grassian, Chair
Distinguished Professor
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Welcome to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UC San Diego! With over sixty faculty members, the department is one of the largest on campus. Since its founding nearly sixty years ago, our distinguished faculty include Nobel Prize winners, Howard Hughes Medical Investigators and members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Additionally, over the past four years, we have hired more than ten new faculty. The experimental and theoretical research we engage in is marked by its breadth — from atomic to cellular, from origins of life to climate change, from single molecules to systems level, from sustainable energy to cancer cures, from nanomaterials to solar systems, from infectious diseases to semiconductors, from RNA splicing to condensed phases, from protein structure to three-body problems, from lipid maps to stable carbenes, from drug discovery to molecular polaritons. 

Along with these research areas, our faculty focus on how best to teach and communicate scientific knowledge to our students as well as to the public. Each year, we have undergraduate course enrollments approaching 22,000 and graduate course enrollments exceeding 2,400. Our department is home to some 1,500 undergraduate majors along with about 100 Masters and 270 PhD students, and we train more than 100 Postdoctoral Researchers annually. Our undergraduate and graduate students receive prestigious fellowships and awards as do our postdoctoral researchers and our alumni, the department is proud of their accomplishments!

Diversity, equity, and inclusion among our faculty, staff, and students are part of our department and university core values and our faculty is one of the most diverse among departments nationally. These values are reflected in our departmental vision statement that states:

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry strives to be a top-ranked and recognized leader in the chemical and biochemical sciences through transformative research and impactful educational programs.

  • We are committed to scientific excellence in the pursuit of innovative ideas that can improve the world
  • We are committed to excellence in teaching and mentoring excellence and supporting students and postdoctoral researchers in safe and inclusive learning environments as they prepare to become leaders in science and society.
  •  We value collegiality, equity, and diversity within the Department, and promote a culture of collaboration and transparency.
  • We aim to enhance our impact in local and global communities through partnerships with other educators, industry, government, and professional societies.

If you are in the area, come visit us to learn more about our strategic planning to re-vision the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the 2020s and beyond as we reflect on our past 60 years as a department and university while looking forward to the next 60.

Vicki H. Grassian

Distinguished Professor and Chair

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry