School of Molecular Sciences

In 2015, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Arizona State University became the School of Molecular Sciences to recognize the fact that modern chemical science now has profound impact well beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries of chemistry and biochemistry.  

Innovation in Research and Education

Pioneering Researcher

Michael O'Keeffe is a towering figure in crystalline materials. He and ASU colleagues generated the first pictures of atomic orbitals and invented metal-organic framework structures (MOFs). From 2000 to 2010, he was the world's third most cited chemist.

Structural Revolution

Petra Fromme's group was part of the team that generated the first crystal structure of a protein using femtosecond X-ray nanocrystallography, a tool so powerful it promises to revolutionize the field of structural biology.

Critical COVID-19 Response

Joshua LaBaer leads ASU’s COVID-19 response that developed novel large-scale saliva-based PCR testing that protects the safety of ASU students, faculty and staff, and of essential workers and underserved populations statewide.

Access and Opportunity

The School of Molecular Sciences hosts the nation's only full online chemistry and biochemistry degrees, that feature innovative instructional models including hands-on lab courses that meet the needs of working students who are otherwise excluded from a college education.

Recent Faculty Awards

Michael O'Keeffe-2019
Aminoff Prize

Peter Buseck-2019
Roebling Medal 

C. Austen Angell-2019
Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award 

Everett Shock-2019
ACS Geochemistry Medal  

Recent Junior Faculty Recognition

  • 5 NSF CAREER Award
  • 2 NIH New Innovator Award
  • Air Force Young Investigator Award
  • Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship
  • DARPA Young Faculty Award
  • DOE Career Award

New Faculty

Laura Ackerman
Sustainable synthesis and catalysis 

Kyle Biegasiewicz
Organic synthesis and biocatalysis 

Christina Birkel
Non-conventional materials synthesis 

Audrone Lapinaite
Function-mechanism of modified RNA

Teaching for Inclusion

ASU’s online chemistry and biochemistry degree programs are designed to provide diverse and underrepresented student populations access to a college education.

Average age
Increase in Black Students*
Increase in military/veteran students*

*compared to the on-ground population

Research with Impact


Patents filed
science 2015


research expenditures
in publications in Science and Nature
since 2000*
in high-impact publications in

*Source: Web of Science
**Thomson Reuters 2011 Journal Citation Reports(JCR)