Molecular Science

a new chemistry and biochemistry

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The Evolution of Chemistry and Biochemistry

The School of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University was created from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in response to a natural evolution in the research activities of the faculty from pure discipline-based problems towards more mission-based projects, many of which extend beyond the boundaries of the traditional disciplines. Our faculty and students continue to expand fundemental understanding of moleular processes, but also apply this knowledge to address real-world problems.

The new School embraces this new role for traditional chemistry and biochemistry, and provides a use-inspired environment within which to train the next generation of students in ways that will allow them to thrive in an increasingly post-disciplinary scientific world.

Our Societal Impact

A major research goal of the School of Molecular Sciences is to develop molecular level solutions to major real-world societal problems, in areas such as energy, sustainability, diagnosis of disease, sensing and detection and the environment. Here are some of our major research areas.

In the News

Investigating the shape of water

March 9, 2018
Investigating the shape of water

SMS Regents' Professor C. Austen Angell and his colleagues from the University of Amsterdam have published a new piece of research in Science on the first ever observation of one of the more intriguing properties of water predicted by theoreticians.


Meilin Zhu and Humza Zubair

April 11, 2018
Two SMS juniors win Goldwater Scholarship

Arizona State University juniors Humza Zubair and Meilin Zhu have won Goldwater Scholarships, the most prestigious national award for undergraduates in math, science and engineering. They are both are both students in the School of Molecular Sciences and Barrett, The Honors College.

Nanorobots seek and destroy tumors

February 12, 2018
Nanorobots seek and destroy tumors

Arizona State University scientists including SMS professor Hao Yan, in collaboration with researchers from the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have successfully programmed nanorobots to shrink tumors by cutting off their blood supply.

Molecular Sciences by the Numbers


ranking worldwide in high-impact journal citations


ranking in number of graduating chemistry and biochemistry majors


ranking in publications in the journals Science and Nature