Welcome to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Chemistry studies the elements that comprise all matter. Everything around us — the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, cars we drive, even our bodies — are made from these elements.

Chemistry is often called the central science as it deals specifically with the 112 elements that comprise all matter. Everything around us - the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, buildings we live in, cars we drive - our very bodies - are all made from these elements. There are five main branches of Chemistry: Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Theoretical Chemistry.

The primary focus of the program is to provide you with extensive theoretical knowledge in all five branches of Chemistry, while enhancing your technical and practical skills with hands-on experience and research opportunities.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is home to many advanced instruments which enable cutting-edge research. These tools include nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infra-red, Raman, UVvisible, atomic absorption spectrometers, macromolecular x-ray diffractometer, isothermal titration calorimeter, and a surface plasmon resonance spectrometer.

Department Highlights

iGem 2019

University of Lethbridge iGEM team earns gold for project that designs oral insulin delivery system

The University of Lethbridge’s Collegiate iGEM team set its sights on solving a problem that affects nearly nine percent of the world’s population and earned a gold medal for their efforts at the recently concluded International Genetically Engineered Machines World Jamboree in Boston, Mass.

The collegiate team, accompanied by the U of L’s High School iGEM entry that achieved a silver medal standing for its project, presented Algulin, which is the development of a novel method for the manufacturing and oral delivery of insulin to diabetics.

Joe Ross

Diverse experience as a post-doc opens doors to industry

Dr. Joe Ross, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Nehal Thakor’s lab, is poised to make the move to working in industry thanks to the many diverse experiences that came his way as post-doc, including the chance to work in Thakor’s lab beginning in 2016.

“I was doing RNA structure and function work at my previous post-doc, which was a two-year contract in Denmark that was coming to an end,” says Ross. “I started looking for something in Canada and I liked the idea of applying my RNA skill set toward Nehal’s biofuel project. That was what initially attracted me to Nehal’s lab, but I haven’t laid a finger on that project. When I got here, Nehal asked me to start working with cancer cells.”

His willingness to take on the work and expand his repertoire led him in new directions. His first post-doctoral position was with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada looking at antimicrobial resistance in soils. His post-doctoral work in Denmark was a departure from working in agriculture and a step into learning all about RNA structure and function.

Borries Demeler

U of L researchers awarded more than $1.8 million in NSERC funding

Eleven University of Lethbridge researchers have been awarded Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grants worth approximately $1.8 million, payable in instalments of anywhere from one to five years. Congratulations to Dr. Borries Demeler, Canada 150 Research Chair and a professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry - he is a leading biophysics scientist with expertise in analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC). AUC is used to analyze molecules in solution. He has established the Canadian Center for Hydrodynamics, which is equipped with three unique AUC instruments to accelerate biophysical research in Canada. He hopes to develop new analysis protocols and software tools that will benefit basic research in biochemistry, physics and material science.


Career Bridge | Co-operative Education & Applied Studies

Career Bridge


Put Your Knowledge to Work 

Whether you’re looking for a more in-depth learning experience by assisting with research projects on campus or by testing your knowledge in a real-life work setting, we can help! The programs available in the Career Bridge office will provide you with a solid foundation for further studies and an excellent framework for a challenging and rewarding career — whatever direction you decide to go. Explore career options, participate in research and develop skills that complement your degree.

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