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

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.


ARRTI Guest Speaker - Eric Mathison

Eric Mathison

Clinical Ethicist, Alberta Health Services

January 21, 2020

The Ethics of Human Gene Editing: Pathways and Roadblocks


The rapid development of gene editing techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9/13 has not been matched by international scientific consensus and national policy regarding the ethics of such techniques. At the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in 2018, a Chinese scientist announced that he had used CRISPR-Cas9 to delete a gene in human embryos to make them resistant to HIV. This reaffirmed the need for an international discussion about the ethical permissibility of gene editing, and led to calls for a moratorium on germline editing research in humans. The summit’s Organizing Committee released a statement calling for, among other things, the development of a translational pathway to guide future research. In this paper, I survey the current debate about the ethics of gene editing and outline a translational pathway, including the role of RNA techniques.

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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