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, the water we drink, the food we eat, the cars we drive, and even our bodies - are made from these elements.
Biochemistry is the study of all living systems at the molecular level. It looks at the chemical and physical basis of life and how these living systems interact with their environments.


Chemistry is often called the central science as it deals specifically with the 112 elements that comprise all matter. There are five 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 Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Biological Sciences jointly offer a multi-disciplinary major in biochemistry for the 40-course Bachelor of Science (BSc). You can also select a general major in the sciences and choose biochemistry courses as options. Biochemistry will help you develop a strong background in the basic sciences and extensive laboratory skills. Thereby, it provides background for a diverse range of careers in the life sciences, including professional programs such as medicine and veterinary medicine. 

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

Taking the fear out of chemistry, University names Wayne Lippa Board of Governors Teaching Chair

An instructor who has made it his quest to take the fear out of learning difficult concepts in chemistry, Wayne Lippa has been named the University of Lethbridge’s 2024 Board of Governors Teaching Chair.

By adopting a student-centred approach based on his experiences as a student and incorporating strategies whereby students learn chemistry by doing chemistry, Lippa is noted as an effective and reflective teacher, constantly evaluating the methods he utilizes in his classrooms and labs.

Internationally recognized inorganic chemist, Dr. René Boeré, earns 2024 Speaker Research Award

An internationally recognized inorganic chemist and leader in his field of chemistry, Professor Emeritus Dr. René Boeré has been named the 2024 winner of the University of Lethbridge’s Speaker Research Award.

Boeré has inspired his fellow scientists within the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at ULethbridge since he became a faculty member in 1988. In addition, his work has spawned collaborations with scientists at universities across the globe, all while leading a highly productive research program that has been continuously funded for more than 30 years.

Ying Zheng, Instructor III, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Ying Zheng came to ULethbridge in 2000 when her husband, Dr. Amir Akbary, was hired by the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science. An experienced teacher, she started working for the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry as a sessional instructor. Then she was hired by Research Services to develop a partnership between government, industry and academia on water research in southern Alberta and the funding application for the water building. Zheng devised the acronym WISE: Water Institute for Semi-arid Ecosystems.

Shining Student Uvindu Abeysekara: A journey of academic excellence, research, and community engagement at ULethbridge

With unwavering determination, creativity, and an outgoing nature, Uvindu Abeysekara's ULethbridge journey serves as an inspiration, urging us to seize opportunities and push beyond our comfort zones for a transformative university experience.

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From iGEM to innovating antibiotics: Sydnee Calhoun's inspiring journey at ULethbridge

From her early involvement in the iGEM competition to her research in the field of biochemistry, Sydnee Calhoun (MSc '23 (BSc Co-op '19)) has left an indelible mark on the University and …

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Shining Student Ty Dudas

Third-year neuroscience student Ty Dudas embraces ULethbridge’s liberal education philosophy and takes courses outside his major. This discovery led him to organic chemistry and research he hopes will be used to make …

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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!

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