Organic Chemistry Coursework

Students in the Organic Chemistry Program 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; Uttam Tambar, Ph.D.; Joseph Ready, Ph.D.; Daniel Siegwart, Ph.D.; Jacques Lux, Ph.D.

This course will provide a solid basis for understanding the physical properties and chemical reactivity of small 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, important C-C and C-heteroatom bond forming reactions

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.

Advanced Problems in Reaction Mechanisms I

1.5 credits;  Uttam Tambar, Ph.D.; Joseph Ready, Ph.D.; Daniel Siegwart, Ph.D.; Jacques Lux, 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.

Small Molecule Structure Elucidation

1.5 credits; John MacMillan, Ph.D.

This course will be offered to first-year students. The focus will be the elucidation of small-molecule structure through chemical and spectroscopic means.

Proteins Thread of the DBS Core Course

2 credits

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.

Professionalism, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Ethics I

1.0 credit hour
Topics covered through lectures and small group discussions: goals of education in RCR; professionalism; collaboration; team building and professional behaviors; everyday practice of ethical science; mentorship; data management and reproducibility; animal research; genetics; and human research.

Spring Semester, 1st Year

Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis

3 credits; Chuo Chen, Ph.D.Jef De Brabander, Ph.D.

This course, focusing on advanced methods for stereoselective and asymmetric synthesis, will be offered in the second semester to students who have successfully completed the first semester chemistry curriculum.

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.

Advanced Problems in Reaction Mechanisms II

1.5 credits; Chuo Chen, Ph.D.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.

Cellular Signaling: Molecular Mechanism to Disease

1.5 credits

General principles of cellular regulation are examined through detailed study of selected molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways. Focus includes mechanisms of receptor function, G proteins as molecular switches and organizers, differential mechanisms and roles of protein kinases, mechanical signaling mechanisms, other protein modifications and turnover in regulation, action of nuclear hormone receptors and analysis of signaling networks. Quantitative approaches, current controversies, and the relationship of mechanisms to disease are stressed where appropriate. Limited lectures are supported by discussion of classic and current research articles, research problems, and presentations by students.

Professionalism, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Ethics II

1.0 credit hour

Topics covered through lectures and small group discussions: codes of ethics and misconduct; building interprofessional teams; conflict of interest; sexual boundaries and professional behavior; applications of genetic testing; technology transfer and intellectual property; plagiarism, authorship, and citation; peer review; image and data manipulation.