A PhD in chemistry can change the world – here’s how


Crispr-Cas9 is a method of manipulating genes by cutting DNA and then doing natural DNA repair processes. It is touted as a way to “rewrite the code of life”.

In lithium-ion batteries, lithium ions migrate from the negative electrode to the positive electrode when discharging and back when charging. From the smartphone or laptop you read from? That and electric cars and life-saving medical devices like cardiac defibrillators are powered by this lightweight and rechargeable invention.

Enzymes make everything from pharmaceuticals to biofuels. Antibodies developed using a method called phage display fight autoimmune diseases. In some cases, they cure metastatic cancer – in other words, they take control of evolution.

These are the inventions and discoveries that have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry over the past three years. Yet they represent only a tiny part of the role chemistry plays in almost every action on earth and in every object we touch.

As the award ceremony shows, it is an exciting, fulfilling field that brings the greatest benefit to humanity. Several North American universities offer prestigious PhD programs to give you a head start in this field. Here are four that are worth considering.

Michigan State University – Faculty of Chemistry

Michigan State University

One of the best chemistry PhD programs in the United States is located on a beautiful 5,200-acre campus in the greater Lansing, Michigan area. Michigan State University‘s graduate program in chemistry hosts a PhD student body of 200 students and holds an annual research grant of over $ 9 million.

“Chemistry graduate education focuses on an original research project that you undertake under the direction of our faculty,” explains Professor of Chemistry and Chairman Robert E. Maleczka, Jr. “Our goal is to educate the next generation of scientists and everything do to support the students on their way to graduation and to prepare the students for an independent career in industry or science. “

You start in the first semester with a conversation with lecturers and choose a research advisor so that you can start your dissertation project in the second semester. The faculty’s diverse research interests are grouped into a matrix of different aspects of traditional areas of chemistry: analytics, physical, organic and inorganic. Specific interests range from “Ultrafast Spectroscopy: Photosynthesis and Nanomaterials” to “Nuclear Chemistry” and “Evidence-based Approaches to Improving Chemistry Education”. You will also need to hold two seminars, one in the sophomore year and one before graduation.

Assistance is provided at every point of your MSU journey. There are typically two types of financial support available: teaching assistance and research assistance. Career advancement is just as excellent. This includes up-to-date information on academic, government, and industrial positions and postdoctoral fellowships; individual advice; and workshops on job search strategies, résumé writing and interviews.

These offers make the chemistry department at MSU a springboard for a successful career. Many leading companies, including Dow, DuPont, and Pfizer, are actively recruiting PhD students from this program, and alumni can be found at Dow, DuPont, BASF, ExxonMobil R&D, Hewlett Packard, Procter & Gamble, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States Food and Drug Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation, among many others.

University of Oregon

PhD in chemistry

The University of Oregon Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is located in the city of Eugene. Source: University of Oregon Facebook

The UO Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry She may be of medium size, but her research in traditional areas of biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry has earned her a reputation as a leading innovator. They lay the foundation for new discoveries in materials science, molecular biology, optics and theoretical chemistry.

Since UO sees the importance of diversity and breadth in graduate education, her doctorate takes a multidisciplinary approach. Here, researchers from different disciplines often cooperate and cooperate. You will have access to institutes and centers that enable scientific investigation at the frontiers of traditional fields, such as the Institute of Molecular Biology, the Institute of Fundamental Science, the Materials Science Institute, the Oregon Center for Optical, Molecular and Quantum Science.

You can also write theses under the guidance of faculties from other departments, such as biology or physics. The result? Special opportunities for UO in defining and solving scientific problems

Oregon’s science complex, as well as state-of-the-art buildings and facilities, ensure PhD students have all the tools to push the boundaries of science. There is a wide range of modern research instrumentation, with highly qualified, full-time instrumentation specialists available to support the training and optimization of experiments. Add a scientific library, nationally recognized computer resources, and fully-staffed technical support shops – all in close proximity – and you’re ready for a stimulating PhD trip at the UO.

Other highlights of the UO PhD program include face-to-face interaction between faculty and students, mechanisms for critical feedback and support, and opportunities to present their research results to a general audience. On the weekends, the beauty of Oregon and the urban offering of Eugene (one of the best places to live) beckon.

McGill University

In 1910, Annie MacLeod was awarded the first McGill doctorate in chemistry. Since then, nearly 1,500 doctorates have been earned in McGills’ long and impressive history Institute of Chemistry.

“Many benchmarks in chemistry have McGill origins, including Soddy’s research on the transmutation of the elements, Belleau’s discovery of the antiviral 3TC, and Ogilvie’s co-development of the first ‘gene machine,'” says Professor and Chair Dima Perepichka. In addition to the departments of analytical, physical, inorganic and organic chemistry, the faculty members work in the fields of materials, chemical synthesis, bio-organic chemistry, biophysical chemistry and nanochemistry.

These awards are based on a culture of support that is characteristic of this department. 39 professors, over 150 doctoral students and 40 postdocs work together here and establish meaningful connections.

While doing a PhD in Chemistry at McGill, you will work with faculties and students from all over the world. Outside the campus, the environment is just as dynamic. McGill is located in Montreal, and while it gets freezing, Quebec’s largest city has street festivals, outdoor performances, and pop-up markets on cobblestone streets and French architecture that will warm your heart.

University of Georgia

At UGA, you have the privilege of working under the guidance of academics elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Source: University of Georgia Facebook

The recent election of Professor Dr. Gregory Robinson of the UGA Foundation in the National Academy of Sciences – one of the highest honors a scientist can deserve – is a reflection of the spectacular science that has emerged from his laboratory, as well as the Institute of Chemistry. Together with his team in the field of organometallic chemistry, Robinson deepened the fundamental understanding of the structure, bonding and reactivity of elements such as aluminum, silicon, phosphorus and sulfur. It paves the way for replacing less common and more expensive elements.

“Regarding my choice of NAS, such awards are always team achievements, and I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some exceptional people, most notably Dr. Yuzhong Wang, Senior Research Scientist, here at UGA, ”he said. “Also, my research program has always received strong backing from senior management at the University of Georgia.”

UGA PhD students have the privilege of working under the guidance of greats like Robinson and Wang. As Graduate Teaching Assistants, you are not just employed technicians. Instead, you will play an active role and work with the faculty supervisors. This also includes participation in political decisions. As a research assistant, you are also fully involved in the management of your dissertation research project and are responsible for it. Your research mentors offer broad access to multidisciplinary research skills as well as a deep understanding of a targeted research project.

Both roles ensure that doctoral students at UGA have a voice in the educational decision-making process. It’s sure to be a satisfying and constructive experience.

* Some of the schools featured in this article are Study International commercial partners

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