Chemistry & Biochemistry


Teri Vogel (, Science & Engineering Library
Resource Guide:

Department Profile

With 60+ faculty (including Nobel Prize winners Roger Tsien and Mario Molina), the UC San Diego Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is one of the largest programs in the country. In the 2008-2009 school year, the department awarded 202 B.S. degrees (3rd in the US), 58 Master's (1st) and 40 PhD's (8th). This does not include the hundreds of students who are not chemistry majors but take courses to meet their degree requirements.

The breadth of the department's research is evident in their graduate program tracks:

  • Analytical & Atmospheric Chemistry - theoretical and experimental physical chemistry, with specific applications to atmospheric and environmental chemistry. Includes Chemical Center for Innovation, Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment.
  • Cellular & Systems Biochemistry - signaling networks, macromolecular behavior, cellular behavior, systems biology, and computational modeling; genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, lipidomics, mass spectroscopy, immunochemistry, protein and nucleic acid analysis. Includes BioCircuits Institute and the San Diego Center for Systems Biology.
  • Chemical Biology - molecular techniques to create, study new function in biological systems.
  • Inorganic Chemistry - nano-materials synthesis and characterization, energy conversion and storage, bioinorganic and biomimetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, electrochemistry, organometallic synthesis, catalysis, structure determination, magnetic materials development, spectroscopy and sensor design. Some faculty are involved in the DOE's "Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels" Hub initiative, as well as the Department of NanoEngineering.
  • Organic Chemistry - organometallic, physical organic, materials, bioorganic, and natural products chemistry. 
  • Molecular and Structural Biophysics - protein and RNA biochemistry; experimental and computational biophysics; and molecular structure, mechanisms and evolution.
  • Physical Chemistry - spectroscopy and microscopy are employed to reveal reactions and interactions crucial in biology, materials science, solar energy conversion, and gas phase dynamics; theoretical and computational methods are developed to discover mechanisms of protein folding and function or to develop new drugs; quantum and statistical mechanics are applied to model electron and energy transfer, biochemical reactions, aerosol chemistry, and gas adsorption in porous nanomaterials.

The department houses facilities for biophysics instrumentation, cryoelectron microscopy, inorganic characterization for materials, molecular mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, protein crystallography, proteomics and biomolecular mass spectrometry, and small-molecule X-ray crystallography.

Many of the faculty have ties to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Moores Cancer Center, School of Medicine, Jacobs School of Engineering (including Bioengineering, NanoEngineering and Materials Science), and the Departments of Biology and Physics.

Collection Strengths

The Libraries vigorously collect print and online chemical and biochemical information resources in the above-mentioned areas to support the research and instructional/learning needs of the faculty and students, with an emphasis on materials that will be used rather than trying to build a "comprehensive collection for the ages." This includes upper-level undergraduate and graduate level textbooks, handbooks, resources for chemical and physical (including crystallographic) property data, and appropriate major reference works.

Beyond some essential titles that support research in core areas, we do not collect heavily in agricultural chemistry, food chemistry, textile chemistry or radiochemistry.

Notable Information Resources

  • Databases: SciFinder, Reaxys, PubMed, Web of Science, Compendex, Science of Synthesis, Knovel, Cambridge Structural Database, Inorganic Crystal Structure Database
  • Journals: We have current subscriptions, and backfiles in most cases. with all of the major society and commercial publishers of chemistry journals
  • E-Books: Springer, some Elsevier, Wiley and Royal Society of Chemistry

Most of the electronic information resources are licensed in consortial agreements for most or all of the UC Libraries, through the California Digital Library.

Core information resources we do not have

At this time, we do not have Nature Chemistry due to protracted negotiations between the University of California and Nature Publishing Group. Because of the budget cuts and licensing renewal cycles for our subscriptions, we may not be able to subscribe to new journals (even from core publishers) until we renew the license with that publisher.

Additional information resources that would support research
Potential one-time and ongoing funding opportunities

  • American Chemical Society Symposium Series: online backfile and frontfile.
    We have most of the backfile in print, and we selectively order current print volumes as appropriate.
  • SpringerMaterials (formerly Landolt-Börnstein).
    We have the L-B volumes online through an archive, but do not have access to data that has been published since the launch of this new database
  • Royal Society of Chemistry E-Books frontfile.
    The 1968-2011 e-books package was recently purchased, 
  • Bio-Rad's KnowItAllU
    Database of 1.4 million spectra
  • Additional major reference works from Wiley and Elsevier
    Organic Reactions, Patai's Chemistry of Functional Groups, Organic Reaction Mechanisms, Inorganic Syntheses, Comprehensive Natural Products II, etc.
  • Additional property data collections
    NIST/TRC Web Thermo Tables