Our department provides students with a student-oriented curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and applications to interdisciplinary problems. We know that knowledge and practical experience are essential to success in the sciences, and student research is an integral part our program. We also know that college is a formative experience for developing scientists, and the direct access to faculty expertise ensures that our students have extensive support during their time at Mercyhurst.
If you are interested in science, but unsure of a specific career path, let the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at Mercyhurst University introduce you to a student-centered curriculum that provides both the interdisciplinary breadth and individually tailored focus to ensure that graduates have the skills and knowledge they need for graduate work, medical school, or a career immediately after college.
Our students work closely with talented faculty to learn, question and experience science, which helps them to move on to nearly any type of career in healthcare, medicine, science or technology.
As a result of this, our majors have gone on to a variety of advanced degree programs and careers, including:
Our department offers the following majors and concentrations:
|Computational Science Minor|
|Concentration(s)||Sustainability Studies Concentration|
|Certificate(s)||Chemistry Education Certification|
Apply online today -- it's free and getting your application started takes only a few brief minutes. Interested students may also consult the course catalog for more information. As a liberal arts institution, all undergraduate students complete Mercyhurst's core curriculum.
The Mercyhurst University Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is committed to the education and training of the next generation of scientists. Because the nature of scientific endeavors evolves, the most important skills students in all scientific disciplines can possess are independent reasoning and problem-solving abilities. The development of these skills in our programs and courses is facilitated by the following tenets:
These standards are upheld while providing the guidance and mentoring necessary for each student to have the opportunity for success. Students in our courses should acquire the core knowledge in the physical sciences necessary to be successful in their field and as thoughtful citizens. Graduates from our programs have the skills and flexibility to succeed in graduate or medical school, or in an applied science career such as forensics or research.
Students will graduate from our program with:
Our department continually assesses its curriculum to ensure that students receive the best education that we can provide. The metrics that we use to assess curricular effectiveness include student's ability to:
Student research is one of the most important aspects of our curriculum. Majors design and carry out projects with guidance from a faculty mentor of their choice, often starting research during their sophomore or junior year. These projects are excellent learning experiences for future scientists and many are of our students are published in peer-reviewed journals and have their work funded by external research grants.
Our faculty are experts in a wide range of areas, including both traditional fields in chemistry, biochemistry and physics, and emerging interdisciplinary specialties that focus on applications in medicine and industry.
Dr. Ron Brown (Physical and Computational Chemistry)
Students in Dr. Brown’s research group use computational techniques, including electronic structure calculations and the development of Monte Carlo simulations, to investigate surface adsorption and other localized phenomena on extended systems such as carbon nanotubes and graphene.
Dr. Amy Danowitz (Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology)
Students in Dr. Danowitz' research group develop new reactions to make biologically active small molecules, and develop synthetic molecules that affect biological systems.
Dr. Clint Jones (Analytical and Materials Chemistry)
Dr. Jones works with intelligent hydrogel polymers to produce nanoparticles and thin films, which capture targeted chemicals from solution.
Dr. Amy Parente (Biochemistry and Environmental Analysis)
Dr. Chris Taylor (Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology)
Student projects in Dr. Taylor's research group include developing novel methods to synthesize 'drug like' molecules and using a mechanistic understanding of cancer biochemistry to find more effective drug combinations for cancer treatment.
Dr. Jack Williams (Organic Chemistry and Natural Products)
Dr. Williams's research is in the area of flavors and fragrances specifically with respect to the aroma profiles of plants and foods. This research relies heavily on both 1D and 2D Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) in addition to Gas Chromatography Olfactometry (GC-O).
Amy DanowitzAssistant Professor Office: Zurn 308b
Amy ParentePh.D. Assistant Professor Office: Zurn 310 Phone: (814) 824-3876
Carl VoltzPh.D Laboratory Manager Office: Zurn 309 Phone: (814) 824-2058
Christopher TaylorPh.D. Instructor of Chemistry Office: Zurn 308c Phone: (814) 824-2048