Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry


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 & 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

Athan Zovoilis

U of L scientists add to knowledge of RNA-based mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease

UofL researchers who found a new molecular mechanism involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in mice have confirmed the same mechanism is at work in patients with the disease. In both cases, the use of high throughput sequencing techniques that study the DNA readout of brain cells helped identify a class of biomolecules, called SINE RNAs, that are produced in different patterns in AD patients versus healthy individuals. These findings will help guide the way for future studies to identify early indicators of AD before symptoms occurs, as well as targets for therapeutic intervention.

The study, led by Dr. Athan Zovoilis, a Canada Research Chair in RNA Bioinformatics and Genomics, was recently published in EMBO Reports, a peer-reviewed scientific journal for molecular biology that ranks among the 10 per cent of most-cited journals. The research was a collaborative effort between the Southern Alberta Genome Sciences Center (SAGSC), the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN) and the Calgary Brain Bank at the University of Calgary.

SAGSC logo

Careers in Genomics & Bioinformatics – Career Transitions/Career Exploration Session

Attention HIgh School Students

TUE, APR 27, 2021 from 4:30 PM TO 6:00 PM

Have you heard of genomics and bioinformatics? Do you want to join the 4th industrial revolution?

Registration is now open through Career Transitions at

Since the sequencing of the first human genome in 2001, genomic technologies have enabled us to characterize and quantify biological molecules, such as DNA and RNA, which has made a huge impact across many fields such as medicine, agriculture and environmental management. To tackle with the vast amounts of generated biological information generated by the use of genomics, bioinformatics emerged as a specialization of data sciences that focuses on the analysis of such large data sets.

Genomics and bioinformatics are part of the 4th industrial revolution, which includes technologies that merges hardware and software with biology, creating many new educational and employment opportunities that will shape our world in the next decade. Universities and companies are increasingly leveraging genomics and bioinformatics, rapidly transforming the nature of human labour by increasing reliance on technology and computer algorithms and, thus, the field faces a huge surge in demand for skilled genomicists and bioinformaticians and consists of an attractive career path for young Albertans.

Trushar Patel

PUBlic Professor Series | Dr. Trushar Patel

Join chemistry & biochemistry professor, Dr. Trushar Patel, as he explores How not to get viral: Understanding the communication between viruses and humans.

Thursday, March 25, 2021 7 p.m.
Live Online
. Register here.

Dr. Patel's goal is to obtain detailed insights into how viral nucleic acids interact with host proteins by employing interdisciplinary approaches. Information on the specific sites of host proteins that communicate with viral nucleic acids will ultimately allow the development of therapeutics that prevent host-viral communication. These interactions are essential for the survival and replication of the virus - stopping the interactions is thus of benefit for treating viral infection. Patel's research program is timely given recent global incidences of viral outbreaks and, in many cases, the lack of available treatment and the failure of currently available drugs designed to target viral components. In this PUBlic Professor Series talk, he will provide an overview of human-viral communications and discuss some of his recent work.

The Global Citizenship Cohort and Co-op Opportunities Inspired Antoine Gendron to Create Environmental Change

After his final project in the GCC, Antoine was invited to sit as a board member on the Oldman Watershed Council from June 2017 until June 2019. He founded the Earth Day Symposium, …

Read more

Angeliki Pantazi, MD, PhD: International Day of Women and Girls in Science

"Science explores the parts of our world that are still unknown and beyond our perceptions, and scientists use instinct to imagine the undiscovered and rationality to test their hypotheses." ~ Dr. Angeliki Pantazi

Read more

Introducing Jean-Denys Hamel

Hailing from Quebec City and joining us from his postdoc position at Berkeley, Jean-Denys Hamel will join the U of L as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry in January 2021. …

Read more

Career Bridge: Centre for Work-Integrated Learning and Career Development

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 University of Lethbridge is proud to offer you an exceptional opportunity to explore professional development through academic programs and services designed to give you a competitive edge in a fast-changing world.

You have a bright future — experience it via Career Bridge at uLethbridge!

Learn More

Follow us on social media to keep up with the latest news, notices and events!

Instagram Facebook  Twitter