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Elective list for Majors Fall 2020

UMBC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


CHEM 401 Chemical and Statistical Thermodynamics, Dr. Lisa Kelly

Area: Physical Chemistry. Chemicals react and rearrange. Fluids boil, freeze, and evaporate. Solids melt and deform. Rubber stretches and retracts. Proteins fold. We will study the forces that drive these (and other) processes. Statistical thermodynamics gives us a set of tools for modeling molecular behavior and how it is realized in the macroscopic realm. Most importantly, statistical thermodynamics gives a language for interpreting experiments.    

CHEM 490/654 Advanced Synthetic Methods, Dr. Marcin Ptaszek

Area: Organic Chemistry. The course surveys modern methods of organic synthesis, including classical approaches (enolate chemistry, pericyclic reactions) and new methods (metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions, olefin metathesis). Scope and limitations for each method is discussed. Each method is illustrated by exemplary applications in total synthesis, medicinal chemistry, and material chemistry, from the current chemical literature. 

CHEM 467/667 Advanced Analytical Methods*, Dr. Minjoung Kyoung

Area: Analytical Chemistry.  This course will focus on cutting-edge methods for chemical and biochemical analyses pulled from current literature. The focus of this course will be on providing insight into the fundamentals of each method as well as the molecular information that can be obtained from the various methodologies discussed as well as current advances in these areas.

CHEM 490/684 Molecular Imaging for Drug Discovery*, Dr. Songon An

Areas: Biochemistry, Chemical Biology, Cell Biology.  In this class, students will learn how chemistry and biology meet together to provide new insights in basic sciences and, further, how such interdisciplinary approaches are implemented for modern drug discovery platforms for human health.

CHEM 490/684 Nanoparticles, Dr. Marie-Christine Daniel-Onuta

Area: Inorganic Chemistry/Materials Chemistry. The goal of this course is to give an overview of the different kinds of nanoparticles and their multiple applications. After a brief explanation of the particularity of NANOparticles in general, and an overview of the main characterization techniques for nanomaterials, the course will cover the different existing types of semiconductor and metallic nanoparticles (synthesis, characterization, properties and applications). Due to time constraint, nanorods and other shapes of nanoparticles will not be discussed here. However, they can be the subject of the paper to be written as part of this course.

CHEM 490/684 Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy, Dr. Chris Geddes

Area: Physical Chemistry.  In this advanced level course, we introduce quantum chemistry and how the interactions of electrons and nuclei give rise to our understanding of modern day spectroscopy.

CHEM 490 Advanced Medicinal Chemistry*, Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke

Areas: Organic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry.  Principles of medicinal chemistry, including modern rational approaches to drug design and development will be covered using a literature-based, discussion approach. Topics for discussion may include, for example, issues with various types and classes of drugs, current topics in the literature related to medicinal chemistry and drug design, as well as new approaches and tools for therapeutic uses, and specific case studies.


New Courses!


CHEM 490 The Chemistry and Biochemistry of Brewing, Dr. Paul Smith, Steve Frazier**

Areas: Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry.  This interdisciplinary course provides an in-depth exploration of the chemical and biochemical processes fundamental to the different stages of the brewing process.  Topics will include water chemistry, malting and grain processing, the organic chemistry of hops, and the microbiology and biochemistry of yeast. Integral to the course is the exploration of how fundamental chemical and biochemical processes affect different aspects of the brewing process as well as specific qualities of the beer produced.  

Pre-requisites:  MATH152, PHYS122, CHEM300, CHEM352, CHEM351L.


**Steve Frazier is an 18 year veteran of the Maryland brewing industry, working as a brewer, educator, and consultant. He holds a Diploma in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, and currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. Steve is a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists and the Brewers Association, and has judged at the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival numerous times. He currently spends a majority of his working hours in and around the breweries of Maryland. 


CHEM 490 Sustainable Nanotechnology, Dr. Zeev Rosenzweig


Area: Material Science.  The goal of this course is to describe common synthetic nanomaterials and their impact on human health and the environment. The nanotechnology revolution has already resulted in a broad range of applications including in broadly distributed technologies like cell phones, TVs, tablets and light emitting displays. With the exponential growth of nanotechnologies come human health and environmental concerns due to potentially adverse impacts of synthetic nanomaterials on biological and natural systems. The course will cover the main mechanisms of interactions between synthetic nanomaterials and model membranes and organisms with a molecular level focus. The course will also describe chemistry oriented solutions to mitigate adverse impacts of synthetic nanomaterials by novel surface chemistries and by replacing toxic with benign components. Finally, the course will describe how theoretical and computational techniques could be used to explain and predict the impact and enable the design of new nanomaterials that maintain desirable functions with reduced impact on human health and the environment.

The course is appropriate for graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Departmental of Biological Sciences, and the Department of Chemical Environmental and Bioengineering with strong background in chemistry. The course is also appropriate to chemistry undergraduate students who completed the inorganic chemistry lecture and laboratory courses (CHEM 405 and 405L) and to biochemistry undergraduate students who completed Biochemistry I (CHEM 437)


*Approved as an elective for the undergraduate major in Biochemistry