Research for Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Faculty members are happy to involve undergraduate students in their research projects, using state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Our faculty members often collaborate with other departments, community members and employers on research projects—allowing you to get additional hands-on experience. Two of the U of L’s Research Centres are in our department.

The Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute (ARRTI) is dedicated to fostering and facilitating RNA research and training excellence, to contribute to the multidisciplinary research and teaching community at the University of Lethbridge, its surrounding communities and beyond, ultimately facilitating the transfer of leading-edge knowledge into the private sector as well as academia.

The Canadian Centre of Research in Advanced Fluorine Technologies (C-CRAFT) is the first Canadian centre focusing on research and training around the element fluorine. C-CRAFT brings together a local, national and international team with wide ranges of expertise in fluorine chemistry.

Canadian Center for Hydrodynamics 
The Canadian Center for Hydrodynamics offers comprehensive solution characterization services for scientists studying nanoscale molecules in the solution phase by high-resolution biophysical solution methods such as analytical ultracentrifugation. Our approach is based on problem-solving for research challenges in biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, material science, polymer science and related areas of physical sciences.

You may also have the opportunity to participate in research exchanges or gain experience with agencies like the Animal Diseases Research Institute and Natural Resources Canada, as well as companies like NOVA Chemicals, Husky Energy, Syncrude or Nexen Inc.

The faculty members in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and their research areas are:


  • Dr. Borries Demeler - Our group focuses on biophysical solution methods such as small angle scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation and molecular dynamics  to elucidate the structure and function of bio-macromolecules, assemblies, nanoparticles and synthetic polymers. Contact Dr. Demeler at 
  • Dr. Dylan Girodat – Our research group focuses on investigating how macromolecular machines move as part of their core functionality. The model system that we study is the ribosome, the macromolecular assembly responsible for protein production in cells. To study the motions of ribosomes we use an integrative approach, coupling 3D structure determination and molecular simulations with biochemistry.

  • Dr. Steven Mosimann - Structure and Function of RNA Processing. This laboratory determines atomic resolution, 3D structures (pictures) of proteins that are of medical and biological significance. These structures allow us to understand how these proteins function and contribute to the development of new medicines and biotechnology products.

  • Dr. Trushar Patel (Tier 2 Canada Research Chair) - Biomolecular Interactions: The unifying theme of my research is to study multi-domain proteins, protein-nucleic acids and protein-protein complexes that affect various cellular processes.

Computational and Theoretical Chemistry/Biochemistry

  • Dr. Marc Roussel - Theoretical Biochemistry. The work of my group focuses largely on mathematical problems of relevance to the understanding of in vivo biochemistry.

  • Dr. Stacey Wetmore (Tier I Canada Research Chair) Computational Chemistry. The Wetmore group uses calculations on computers to gain information about the chemistry and biochemistry of modified nucleic acids. Current research uses the full spectrum of computational approaches to study the structure of modified nucleic acids, how modified nucleic acids are processed in our cells, and ways to exploit the properties of modified nucleic acids in novel applications in medicine (chemotherapeutics, bioprobes, antimicrobial/anticancer agents) and nanotechnology (biomaterials).

Inorganic Chemistry

  • Dr. René Boeré - Main group inorganic scientist; topics include a) inorganic ring systems; b) imide, amidines, guanidines and related nitrogen ligans; c) bio-inorganic chemistry; d) preparation of highly reactive molecules containing oxygen and carbon.

  • Dr. Michael Gerken - Inorganic Fluorine Chemistry; the Gerken group investigates main-group and transition-metal fluorine compounds with a particular focus on molecular geometries and weak intermolecular interactions. The research involves synthesis of air- and moisture-sensitive compounds and their characterization by multinuclear NMR and Raman spectroscopy, as well as X-ray crystallography."

Organic Chemistry

  • Dr. Peter Dibble - Synthetic organic chemist; He specializes in methods of generating a class of highly reactive organic molecules known as isobenzofurans.

  • Dr. Jean-Denys Hamel (Tier 2 Canada Research Chair) - Organic fluorine chemist: his group devises ways to construct and manipulate fluorinated organic compounds via catalytic processes, with a particular interest in C-H and C-C functionalization.

Organometallic Chemistry

  • Dr. Paul Hayes (Tier I Board of Governors Research Chair) - Organometallic complexes for application in new chemical transformations and catalysis.

Physical Chemistry

  • Dr. Paul Hazendonk - Nuclear Magnetic Spectroscopy (NMR) in both solid and solution state. His focus is on fluorine-containing materials such as fluoropolymers, inorganic polymers and inorganic fluorides.

Faculty at the University of Lethbridge find themselves in a unique position to:

  • access excellent undergraduate students who can provide research assistance;
  • collaborate with faculty outside of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry on joint projects and research areas;
  • access exceptionally well-equipped facilities both on and off campus;
  • work with community members and local industry on various projects and initiatives;
  • work with exceptional graduate students on research programs of international reputation;
  • collaborate with colleagues in a close-knit, diverse department.

Post-Doctoral Fellows - do research in labs but do not teach classes or labs.

  • Dr. Gunjan Vasudeva
  • Dr. Farhad Faghihi
  • Dr. Saeed Mortezazadeh
  • Dr. Higor Sette Pereira
  • Dr. M. Quadir Siddiqui
  • Dr. Indu Negi
  • Dr. Austin Pounder