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


Crispr-Cas9 is a method of modifying genes by cutting DNA, then letting the natural DNA repair processes take over. It is presented as a way to “rewrite the code of life”.

In lithium-ion batteries, lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and vice versa during charging. That smartphone or laptop you read on? That, along with electric cars and lifesaving medical devices like heart defibrillators, are powered by this lightweight, rechargeable invention.

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

The above are the inventions and discoveries that have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in the past three years. Yet they are only a tiny sampling of the roles chemistry plays in almost every action on earth and in every object we touch.

As the awards show, this is an exciting field, fulfilling and bestowing the greatest benefits on mankind. Several North American universities offer reputable doctoral programs to give you a head start in this field. Here are four to consider.

Michigan State University – Department of Chemistry

University of Michigan

One of the top chemistry doctoral programs in the United States is located on a beautiful campus of over 5,200 acres in the greater Lansing, Michigan area. Michigan State University Graduate Program in Chemistry is home to a graduate student body of 200 students and has annual research support of over US $ 9 million.

“A higher education in chemistry is focused on an original research project that you will carry out under the direction of our faculty,” explains professor of chemistry and president Robert E. Maleczka, Jr. “Our goal is to train the next generation of scientists and to do everything possible to support students on their graduation journey and to prepare students for their independent careers in industry or academia.

You will start by interviewing professors and selecting a research advisor in the first semester so that you can start your thesis project in the second semester. The various research interests of the faculty fit here into a matrix of different aspects of traditional fields of chemistry: analytical, 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 give two seminars, one in the second year and another before you graduate.

Support is provided every step of the way on your MSU journey. Two types of financial support are generally available: teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Equally remarkable is the career support. This includes daily updated information on academic, government and industry positions and postdoctoral fellowships; individual counseling; as well as workshops on job search strategies, resume writing and interviews.

These offers make MSU’s chemistry department a stepping stone to a successful career. Many leading companies including Dow, DuPont and Pfizer are actively recruiting PhDs in 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 the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among others.

University of Oregon

Doctorate in chemistry

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

UO Department of chemistry and biochemistry may be medium in size, but his research in the traditional fields of biochemistry, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry has earned him a reputation as a leading innovator. They laid the groundwork for new discoveries in materials science, molecular biology, optics and theoretical chemistry.

As UO sees the importance of diversity and breadth in graduate studies, its doctorate takes a multidisciplinary approach. Here, researchers from different departments often collaborate and cooperate. You will have access to institutes and centers that facilitate scientific research at the boundaries of traditional fields, such as the Institute of Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Sciences, Materials Science Institute, Oregon Center for Optical Sciences , molecular and quantum.

You can also choose to carry out thesis projects under the guidance of professors from other departments, such as biology or physics. The result? UO-specific opportunities in defining and solving scientific problems

The Oregon Science Complex, along with state-of-the-art buildings and facilities, ensure doctoral candidates have all the tools at their disposal to push the boundaries of science. There is a wide range of modern research instruments, with highly trained, full-time instrumentation specialists available to help with training and optimization of experiments. Add a science library, nationally recognized IT resources, and professionally staffed tech support stores – all in close proximity to each other – and you’re ready for an exciting UO doctoral journey.

Other strengths of the UO doctoral program include one-on-one interactions between faculty and students, critical feedback and support mechanisms, and opportunities to present their research findings to a general audience. On weekends, the beauty of Oregon and the urban offerings of Eugene (one of the best places to live) invite you.

mcgill university

In 1910, McGill’s first doctorate in chemistry was awarded to Annie MacLeod. Since then, nearly 1,500 doctorates have been obtained in the long and impressive history of McGill University. Department of Chemistry.

“Many references in chemistry have come from McGill, in particular Soddy’s research on the transmutation of elements, the discovery by Belleau of the antiviral 3TC and the co-development by Ogilvie of the first ‘gene machine'”, explains the professor and president Dima Perepichka. Faculty members are active in the fields of materials, chemical synthesis, bio-organic chemistry, biophysical chemistry and nanochemistry in addition to the disciplinary fields of analytical, physical, inorganic and organic chemistry.

These rewards are based on a culture of support specific to this department. Here, 39 professors and more than 150 graduate students and 40 postdoctoral fellows work and forge meaningful bonds together.

While you study for a PhD in Chemistry at McGill, you will work in partnership with professors and students who come from all parts of the world. Off campus, the environment is just as dynamic. McGill is located in Montreal, and although it is freezing zero degrees Fahrenheit, Quebec’s largest city offers street festivals, outdoor performances, and pop-up markets set in cobblestone streets and French architecture that will warm your heart.

University of Georgia

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

The recent election of UGA Foundation professor Dr Gregory Robinson to the National Academy of Sciences – one of the highest honors a scientist can achieve – is a reflection of the spectacular science that has come out of his lab, as well as Department of Chemistry. With his team in the field of organometallic chemistry, Robinson advanced the fundamental understanding of the structure, binding and reactivity of elements such as aluminum, silicon, phosphorus and sulfur. It paves the way for their replacement by less abundant and more expensive elements.

“When it comes to my election to NAS, such accolades are always the result of team effort, and I have been fortunate to have worked with exceptional colleagues, including Dr. Yuzhong Wang, principal investigator here. at UGA, “he said. “In addition, my research program has always been greatly supported by senior management at the University of Georgia.”

UGA doctoral students have the privilege of working under the tutelage of greats like Robinson and Wang. As graduate teaching assistants, you will not be mere hired technicians. Instead, you will take an active role in collaborating with faculty supervisors. This includes contributing to political decisions. Likewise, as graduate research assistants, you will fully participate in the direction of your thesis research project and take responsibility for it. Your research mentors will provide broad access to multidisciplinary research skills as well as an in-depth understanding of a targeted research project.

Both roles ensure that UGA doctoral students have a voice in the educational decision-making process. It will inevitably be a satisfying and constructive experience.

* Some of the schools featured in this article are Business Partners of Study International


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