Research Opportunities in Chemistry

High-quality research programs are active in synthetic and physical organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, bioorganic and biological chemistry, biophysics, and physical and computational chemistry. Undergraduate students can choose to work in any of these areas as early as their freshman year. Some undergraduates stay for an additional year to conduct more comprehensive projects as part of the BA/MA program. Students in the PhD program are extensively involved in research under the active advisement of their faculty mentor.


O’Neil Lab: Linking the structure of protein aggregates to the cellular outcomes of neurodegenerative disease
Smith Lab: Dynamics of computationally designed and naturally occurring proteins
Taylor Lab: Enzyme mechanism and dynamics study, plus gene function assignment
Etson Lab (MB&B): Investigating protein-DNA interactions using single molecule fluorescence microscopy

Computational Chemistry

Calter Lab: Use of ab initio computational modeling to understand the mechanism for asymmetric induction with organocatalysts
Jimenez-Hoyos Lab: New electronic structure methods for quantum chemical problems
Northrop Lab: Use of ab initio computational modeling to understand the properties of π-conjugated molecules and mechanistic analysis of pericyclic reactions
Smith Lab: Protein molecular dynamics simulations and design, algorithm development
Taylor Lab: Virtual inhibitor screening and protein molecular dynamics simulations
Thayer Lab (Integrative Sciences): Molecular dynamics simulations, network analysis
Frisch Lab (Tishler Professor): Prediction of molecular structure, properties and reaction mechanisms

Drug Design

Calter Lab: Development of natural product analogs as anticancer, antiviral, and antifungal therapeutic agents
O’Neil Lab: In vitro and in vivo studies toward neurodegenerative and cancer therapeutics
Taylor Lab: In silico, in vitro and in vivo studies toward antibacterial drug discovery and development

Inorganic Chemistry

Westmoreland Lab: Development of MRI contrast agents, NMR properties of aqueous solutions of paramagnetic ions


Northrop Lab: Design and synthesis of discrete π-conjugated compounds for use in organic electronic and optoelectronic materials

Organic Chemistry

Calter Lab: Organic molecules as asymmetric catalysts, synthesis of complex, biologically active natural products and their analogs
Elling Lab: Methods to synthesize functional polymers focusing on renewable feedstocks, material reprocessing, and polymer end of life
Northrop Lab: Design, synthesis, and analysis of π-conjugated molecules and pericyclic reactions
Taylor Lab: Transition-state and mechanism-based enzyme inhibitor design

Physical Chemistry

Jimenez-Hoyos Lab: Properties of strongly correlated molecules and excited states in molecular aggregates
Smith Lab: Protein nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), dynamics of fluorescent molecules
Westmoreland Lab: Fundamental aspects of coupled group/multielectron transfer reactions

Polymer Chemistry

Elling Lab: New methods to synthesize functional polymers with a focus on using renewable feedstocks, material reprocessing, and polymer end of life
Northrop Lab: Use of self-assembly and dynamic covalent chemistry to design and assemble host-guest systems and discrete macromolecular aggregates.

Summer Financial Support

Ten weeks of full-time in the summer allows students to bring to fruition the work they have done part-time during the academic year. All undergraduate students are eligible for a stipend for a 10-week period during the summer proceeding the junior and senior years. The stipend includes subsidized housing benefits and is sufficient to support students in the Middletown area.  A few students also receive these stipends for the freshman sophomore summer. Many of our chemistry students receive their summer support through the Research in the Sciences Summer Program. Additional students are supported form the individual faculty research plans. Approximately, 60 students each summer will complete research in their area of interest: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science or Molecular Biology and Biochemistry that finishes with a poster session.