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Edward A. Dennis, Chair Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology.
Edward A. Dennis, Chair
Distinguished Professor
Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is a vibrant and dynamic interdisciplinary department on UC, San Diego’s campus with close ties and many joint appointments with the Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Health Sciences, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and the Schools of Engineering and Biological Sciences that combines state-of-the-art research on the most consequential and relevant scientific areas with teaching and education aimed at building our future leaders.

The 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, and from lipid maps to stable carbenes. Along with these research areas, our 65 faculty focus on how best to understand and communicate scientific knowledge to our students. All these research efforts are made possible by the approximately $20M of outside sponsored research funds as part of the annual operating budget of about $50M, and the array of advanced technologies developed and acquired by our faculty to probe ever deeper into fundamental questions. Our faculty continues our almost sixty year tradition of including Nobel Prize winners, members of the National Academy of Sciences, and HHMI Investigators among our distinguished and creative faculty members.

Research is but one facet of our efforts. The other central focus is teaching. In this, we seek not only to convey the wisdom of the ages but also the excitement of new scientific findings. The change in our daily lives that these discoveries are making is enormous, and the pace at which these discoveries are being made is ever increasing. This means that one of our fundamental tasks is to help students understand the forefront of knowledge, so that they can learn and understand the creative process and how best to address current and future problems during their future careers. We find the daily engagement with students at all levels from undergraduates to graduate students to postdoctoral scholars to be energizing, and view scientific breakthroughs to be on equal footing with those moments in which we are able to convey an idea so that a student “gets it.” 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 50 Masters and 270 PhD students, and we train more than 75 Postdoctoral Researchers annually.

The Department recognizes that science is carried out in a societal context, and values diversity, equity, and inclusion among its faculty, researchers, and students. Indeed, our faculty is one of the most diverse among Chemistry departments nationally. We hope you will visit and enjoy our department.

Edward A. Dennis, Chair
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology.