Augusta University research in chemistry covers a range of areas with an emphasis on biomolecular compounds and drug discovery. The department houses the Chemical and Biomolecular Analysis Facility as a core resource to facilitate research with major instrumentation that includes NMR, ICP, CD, and XRD spectroscopy among others. Below are research areas of the department showing faculty with expertise in each of these areas.
Biochemistry, or biological chemistry studies the compounds and transformations that are associated with living organisms. This includes investigation of the substances involved, the pathways and their mechanisms, signaling and regulation, energy changes, and the interaction of biomolecules with other substances.
Chemical education research seeks to understand how students learn chemistry and how to improve student understanding of chemistry through the teaching methods employed.
Computational chemistry examines the chemical design of potential pharmaceutical agents through an understanding of the pharmacological targets using quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR), Molecular modeling and dynamics.
Energy-related science and technology becomes increasingly important in our society, and therefore seeks the development of eco-friendly and highly-efficient energy sources as well as energy storage and conversion devices. Research of current interest seeks to increase the efficiency, durability and lifetime of materials and devices for lighting (LEDs), solar energy conversion and lithium-ion batteries.
Green chemistry is concerned with designing materials and processes in a manner that reduces or eliminates generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture, and application of chemical products.
Materials science seeks to understand and develop materials with new applications and improved performance to provide solutions to technological, societal, and environmental problems.
The study of compounds of with pharmaceutical activity comprises medicinal chemistry. It includes the design and synthesis of new drug compounds, identification and isolation of medicinal compounds from nature, and processes for producing drugs in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.
Natural products are substances produced by living organisms and thus found in nature. Many natural products have valuable properties and this field is concerned with discovery, isolation, identification, and properties of potentially useful new natural products.
Nuclear science is the study of isotopes whose nuclear instability results in decay with emission of radioactivity. It includes the study of the radiation amounts and the effects of exposure from radioactive material, and separation methods for application to nuclear forensics and the nuclear fuel cycle.
Organic compounds represent the largest type of known substances (over 9 million of the approximate 10 million known substances) and include molecules with many applications such as drugs, food, fuel, explosives, plastics, enzymes, cosmetics, fabrics, and biological molecules. Organic synthesis involves the design and intentional construction of desired organic substances, and includes the development of new reactions.
Photonics is the science related to the generation, manipulation and detection of light for various applications such as light-emitting devices (LEDs), lasers and the telecommunications. A research area of interest herein lies within the field of Plasmonics, which studies the interaction of light with metals confined to nanoscopic scale dimensions thus supporting surface plasmons.
Physical Chemistry deals with the fundamental understanding of physical and chemical properties of atoms and molecules in gas and condensed phases, and solid-state materials for various technologies. Research continuously pursues connecting theory and experiment within the broad topics of thermodynamics, kinetics, quantum mechanics and spectroscopy.
Phytochemistry is the bridge which connects chemistry and botany. Phytochemistry is concerned primarily with two problems, (1) a study of the chemical composition of plants and (2) explanation of the various plant processes in which chemical phenomena are concerned.