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Welcome from the Director


In early 2016, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at ASU became the School of Molecular Sciences.  This is a reflection of the fact that modern chemical science now has profound impact well beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries of chemistry and biochemistry.  Scientific discovery in the 21st century is inescapably contextual; we live in an age where sophisticated technology is a necessary part of everyday life, and increasingly our society looks to science and technology to provide solutions to its most pressing problems in areas such as medicine, energy and the environment.  At the heart of these new technologies are the structures of the molecules and materials that make them up and the chemical functionalities that emerge from those structures.   Our School’s mission is to extend the limits of our fundamental understanding in molecular and materials science, pass that understanding and passion for discovery on to a new generation of scientists and translate what we learn into meaningful applications of relevance to the community.

Performing molecular science in this broader context requires tremendous intellectual and technical diversity.  As you surf through the pages of our website, you will find students and faculty actively engaged in subjects as diverse as creating new catalysts and nanoscale devices, developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics, unraveling the complex reactions that take place in our water and atmosphere, probing the energetics of protein dynamics, creating new electronic materials and exploring new avenues for converting solar energy into useful fuels.  Whether you are prospective student interested in joining us, a colleague looking to collaborate, a company that wants to work with us to solve a problem or a member of the community who would like to become involved, we hope you will join the ever widening sphere of activity that makes up the ASU School of Molecular Sciences.


Neal Woodbury

Professor and Director
School of Molecular Sciences

In the News

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.

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.


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.