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Graduate Degree Programs
M.S., M.P.S. or Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry of Natural Products

Graduate students in organic chemistry of natural products take a one-year course sequence in mechanistic organic chemistry and another in synthetic organic chemistry. Additionally, one-semester courses are required in physical chemistry and the organic chemistry of natural products.

Courses in biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, statistics and specialized courses in chemistry or biology may be arranged and selected by the student in consultation with faculty.

Research in the field of organic chemistry of natural products takes three paths. These paths are the isolation and characterization of new natural substances; the synthesis of new or improved syntheses of better-known natural substances; and the study of the relation of molecular structure to biological response. Chemical research in each of these areas is coupled with biological testing. Research involving isolation and synthetic chemistry requires the student to develop expertise in separation techniques, such as the several methods of chromatography and spectrometric identification of molecules. Successful investigation in structure/activity relationships requires the student to become familiar with statistical methods of analysis.

Natural products faculty interest areas:

  • structure and function of natural metal chelators (BOYER);
  • marine and freshwater algal toxins (BOYER);
  • synthesis and biosynthesis of biologically active natural products (GINER);
  • analysis and structure determination of sterodial compounds (GINER);
  • isolation and identification of insect and mammalian pheromones and other semiochemicals such as alleomones and kairomones (WEBSTER); and
  • synthesis of new natural products (semiochemicals) with particular emphasis on stereochemistry (WEBSTER).

Natural Products/Organic Chemistry Courses

  • FCH 524 Topics in Natural Products Chemistry
  • FCH 587 Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds
  • CHE 675 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • FCH 630: Plant Biochemistry

Faculty and their Specialties

Follow the links immediately below for detailed descriptions of research of any professor. Many other useful links are found just below the listing of faculty.

Financial Support

Selected applicants to the graduate program will be offered a full tuition waiver and a 12 month stipend that will cover their living expenses, and the costs of books and fees. Students are supported primarily as research assistants rather than teaching assistants, and as a result they have more time to devote to their research.