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Chair's Welcome Message

Department of Chemistry Chair Keith Hodgson

Welcome to Stanford Chemistry!

Message from the Chair, Keith Hodgson

Come and explore the molecular frontier. Humankind’s ever-developing scientific knowledge and technology rely heavily on chemistry, with molecular advances opening new vistas in medicine, biology, materials science, physics, energy, geology and environmental science, to name a few. In the Stanford Chemistry Department, we study all manners of atomic and molecular systems, create new forms of matter, and develop experimental and theoretical tools to understand and control the behavior of electrons, atoms, molecules and materials – to the benefit of science and society. In addition to our role providing foundational scientific knowledge, Chemistry’s natural synergy with other sciences leads our faculty and students into fascinating exchanges across disciplines, across campus and around the globe.

These synergies light the path forward as our department pursues collaborative projects across all aspects of science, engineering, medicine. The department’s deep expertise in organic, inorganic, physical, theoretical/computational, life-science related, materials chemistry and catalysis attracts talented students and researchers from around the world. Our distinguished faculty and alumni include many members of the National Academy of Sciences, Nobel laureates, and recipients of numerous other national and international awards.

Our department sits at an intellectual and physical nexus of basic sciences, applied sciences/engineering and medicine at Stanford. In our Center for Molecular Analysis and Design (CMAD), graduate students are paired with two faculty mentors who offer alternative and complementary perspectives to a compelling research problem. Many of our faculty and trainees bring a chemical approach to bear on problems in biology and medicine as members in the ChEM-H Institute. Our researchers leverage the advanced x-ray facilities of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource and the Linac Coherent Light Source to investigate materials and molecular structure and dynamics. Those pursuing research related to energy and environmental solutions participate in Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project and Precourt Institute for Energy Research, among many cross-disciplinary centers on campus.

The Sapp Center for Science Teaching and Learning

Speaking of collaborations, we’re excited to join the Department of Biology and newly combined science libraries in January 2017 for the opening of the Sapp Center for Science Teaching and Learning (STLC). Residing in the newly renovated and revitalized historic Old Chemistry Building, STLC will house all undergraduate Chemistry lecture courses and, starting in summer 2017, undergraduate chemistry labs, as well as Biology teaching and undergraduate labs and the Robin Li and Melissa Ma Science Library, combining chemistry, biology and math resources. By bringing together undergraduate Chemistry and Biology, the learning center reinforces their natural synergies, as a hub for interdisciplinary learning.

Pardon Our Dust – More Science on the Way!

If you’re in science, engineering or medicine, you’ve likely noticed the fences and heavy equipment across Campus Drive from the Clark Center. While construction near the Mudd Chemistry Building is making it tougher to find the Chemistry Department, it is opening the way to a new multidisciplinary research center for Biology (the Bass Biology Building) that will provide modern laboratory research space for faculty in Biology. Apologies for the dust! Together with STLC, the new quad surrounded by Chemistry and Biology will really begin to take shape.

Explore Chemistry

Please explore our new Chemistry Department website – we welcome your feedback as you browse – to learn more about our faculty, chemistry education and research programs, and collaborations across campus and all areas of science!


Keith Hodgson, Chair, Department of Chemistry,
David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor of Chemistry,
and Professor of Photon Science at SLAC