Chemistry Coursework

Students in the Chemistry Training Track are required to take these 12 credits of coursework. Most of the courses are team taught, but a primary contact person is shown.

Fall Semester, 1st Year

Chemical Structure and Reactivity 

3 credits; László Kürti, Ph.D.

This course will provide a solid basis for understanding the physical properties and chemical reactivity of biologically active molecules. The concepts conveyed will prepare students interested in small molecules for more advanced studies in organic synthesis.

Topics to be covered include:

  • The chemistry of the major functional groups commonly found in organic molecules
  • Fundamentals of chemical kinetics, including the rate law, transition state theory, etc.
  • The theory and practice of studying equilibrium interactions between molecules
  • Stereochemistry
  • Dynamic properties of molecules, for example, tautomerism. 

Additionally, the course offers advanced discussions of reaction mechanisms. We will focus on chemical catalysis, sigmatropic rearrangements, the conservation of orbital symmetry, and the concept of aromaticity.

Syllabus

Advanced Problems in Reaction Mechanisms I

1.5 credits; Uttam Tambar, Ph.D.

This course will focus on the study of reaction mechanisms and problem solving relevant to synthetic chemistry. It will serve as a problem session to support the didactic courses.

Syllabus

Chemical Synthesis - Part I

1.5 credits; Uttam Tambar, Ph.D.

The first part of the course will introduce the major classes of synthetic transformations with a heavy emphasis on methods and reaction mechanisms. Control of reaction regio- and chemoselectivity in the assembly of carbon-carbon, carbon-heteroatom, and heteroatom-heteroatom bonds will be discussed. 

Multiple tactics for acyclic diastereoselection will be covered during discussions of the Aldol and Claisen condensations. Olefin synthesis, principles of transition-metal catalysis, and the major types of carbon-based cycloadditions will conclude the first eight-week session.

Syllabus

Protein Thread of the DBS Core Course

Instruction includes the energetic basis of protein structure; stability; ligand binding and regulation; enzyme mechanics and kinetics; methods of purification; and analysis by spectroscopic methods.

Syllabus

Spring Semester, 1st Year

Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis

3 credits; Joseph Ready, Ph.D., Jef De Brabander, Ph.D.

This course will be offered to second year students who have completed the Chemistry Core Course in their first year. The focus will be on advanced methods for stereoselective and asymmetric synthesis. 

Particular emphasis will be placed on contemporary methods for molecular catalysis and new avenues in synthesis made available by them. Topics will include transition metal-catalyzed transformations, asymmetric catalysis, kinetic analysis of catalytic reactions, and organometallic reaction mechanisms.

Syllabus

Advanced Problems in Reaction Mechanisms II

1.5 credits; Jef De Brabander, Ph.D.

This course will focus on the study of reaction mechanisms and problem-solving relevant to synthetic chemistry. It will serve as a problem session to support the didactic courses.

Syllabus

Chemical Synthesis - Part II

1.5 credits; Chuo Chen, Ph.D.

The second part of the course will move into a more architectural mode. Concepts and strategies for assembling complex organic structures from simpler components will be tackled. This will include discussions of orthogonal protection, template- or reagent-based diastereoselection, and the compatibility of functional groups. 

Methods for chiral synthesis, including communicated and induced asymmetry, will open the floor to several case studies that highlight state-of-the-art methodology and achievements in the field.

Syllabus 

Small Molecule Structure Elucidation

1.5 credits; John MacMillan, Ph.D.

This course will be offered to second-year students who completed the Chemistry Core Course in their first year. The focus will be the elucidation of small-molecule structure through chemical and spectroscopic means.

Syllabus