The interface between chemistry and biology is an exciting research frontier and an active area of research in the department of chemistry at Brown University. In many cases, faculty and their research groups utilize techniques and reagents from the chemical sciences to answer biological questions. In other cases, faculty research in chemistry is inspired by reactions or molecules of living systems. On-going research in the department includes investigations of natural product biosynthesis, identification of biomarkers for autoimmune diseases, mechanisms of DNA damage and repair, nanomaterials for imaging and drug delivery, and chemical synthesis of antibiotics, enzyme inhibitors, and nucleic acid analogs.
Given its interdisciplinary nature, students in chemical biology research groups have broad exposure to and training in experimental methods of both chemistry and biology. Chemical biology is also the basis of many research collaborations with chemistry faculty and scientists in the life sciences, especially colleagues in the Brown University Division of Biology and Medicine.