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The WPI Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry (CBC) offers an interdisciplinary culture, a focus on practical problem solving, and a close one-on-one mentorship from world-class faculty that put students at the center of groundbreaking research impacting human health, society, and environment.

Our programs balance rigorous theory with practical applications, equipping students with the hands-on experience and innovative mindset that prepares them to solve real-world problems with ease. Students collaborate with faculty members and industry professionals in state-of- the-art facilities like our Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, a thriving research and business complex that promotes interdisciplinary research.

Degrees & Certificates

Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
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How Heavy Metals Are Escorted into Cells

Lifesaving Treatments

In his busy lab, José Argüello, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is studying the biochemical ballet by which cells transport metal micronutrients, such as copper, zinc, cobalt, and iron, across their membranes and to the sites where they play fundamental roles.

Finding Proteins that Can Attack Disease

Preventing Disease

Toxic proteins are at the root of many diseases, so pharmaceutical companies look for compounds called ligands that will bind tightly to these proteins and deactivate them. George Kaminski, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has developed powerful new computational tools that will make the search faster and more precise.

WPI alumna Marni Hall Washington DC
Alumni Success Stories

Science, Data & the Pandemic: Marni Hall ’97

 Marni Hall ’97, an authority on real-world evidence who double majored in chemistry and science, technology, and policy studies during her time at WPI, is helping the nation—and the world—respond to COVID-19.

WPI alumna standing in front of building
Alumni Success Stories

The Path Less Traveled: Hilary Stinnett Adragna ’09

For Hilary Stinnett Adragna ’09, a biochemistry major, the road to her post at The Estée Lauder Companies has been anything but linear. And that has made all the difference.

More from the WPI Journal

Sharon Savage ’91

For Savage, MD, chief of the clinical genetics branch at the National Cancer Institute, telomere biology may be the key to fixing what’s broken.

Meet Our Students

WPI student sitting outside

Catherine Reynolds '23

BS in Biochemistry

As a varsity volleyball player, Catherine knows the importance of teamwork—and from her first days on campus, she was working in teams in the classroom as well.

Image of Ishani Bedre

Ishani Bedre '23

BS in Biochemistry

As a student leader and researcher, Ishani appreciates WPI’s many opportunities for growth and collaboration as part of the campus community.  

Portrait of Mark Xaste

Mark Xatse

PhD in Biochemistry

Mark’s passion for science and research in his PhD program is enriched by his involvement in the WPI community.  

Headshot of Brandon Rein

Brandon Rein ‘23

BS in Biochemistry, Pre-Medicine

A pre-med student, Brandon knows that his connections on campus have helped him thrive as a student and make a difference in the community. 

ACS and ASB logo

Accreditation

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has accredited the Chemistry & Biochemistry department for a major in chemistry. The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has accredited the Chemistry & Biochemistry department for a major in biochemistry.

Career Outlook

Today’s fast-paced research requires chemists and biochemists who can hit the ground running. With their emphasis on hands-on learning and practical applications, WPI’s Chemistry & Biochemistry programs prepare students to transition seamlessly to meet such real-world challenges. Our graduates can be found everywhere, from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and academia.

Meet Our Students

Media Coverage

BBC Earth featured the self-healing concrete developed by Associate Professor Nima Rahbar and Professor Suzanne Scarlata in an episode about climate-friendly ways to heat residential homes. The self-healing concrete uses an enzyme found in red blood cells to heal itself, thereby filling cracks before they cause larger structural issues.

Industry Dive spoke with Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering Associate Professor Nima Rahbar and Chemistry & Biochemistry Professor Suzanne Scarlata about their work to create an enzymatic construction material, which could be a sustainable alternative to concrete. The material removes carbon dioxide from the air during its formation and self-healing process.

Calendar

Announcements

February 09, 2022
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
February 04, 2022
School of Arts & Sciences
February 04, 2022
School of Arts & Sciences
November 17, 2021
Advancement
Scarlata picture

Spreading the Word

Suzanne Scarlata, the inaugural Richard T. Whitcomb Professor of Biochemistry, is president of the Biophysical Society, with over 9,000 global members. Her goals in the new role include efforts to establish a more stable U.S. research funding system, spreading the word about the biochemical and physical science realm of WPI, and forging more community collaborations with groups like UMass Medical School.