Human life is played out against a background of molecular processes that operate on a scale far below our normal perception. Earth is a molecular realm. We interact with molecular substances in many forms when we breathe air, consume food, walk upon the ground, dwell and work within structures of various materials, or manufacture objects. Almost every aspect of human life depends upon molecules. Indeed, every organism is a complex collection of molecules.
The goal of molecular science is to better understand fundamental chemical and biological phenomena, which is essential to improving the quality of human life. Basic research in disciplines such as chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, neuroscience, astrochemistry, and materials science leads to a better comprehension of our world and the development of new drugs and advanced materials.
Molecular science is a global enterprise to which many thousands of people contribute. Science works through a combination of cooperation and competition. We are a team of individuals with different strengths and interests contributing toward something much bigger than one person can ever hope to achieve. At the same time, we compete against other scientists who are trying to solve similiar problems from different angles.
Our areas of current emphasis are:
Computer-Aided Drug Design entails the use of computational methods to develop novel bioactive agents that are effective in therapeutic treatment of various human ailments.
Macromolecular Modeling simulates the structural and functional behavior of complex biological molecules such as proteins and enzymes.
Pharmacology is the study of drugs, including their preparation and the evaluation of their therapeutic efficacy by means of in vitro and in vivo experiments.
Neuroscience is the study of the development, function, and modulation of the nervous system.
Astrochemistry & Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, and extent of life in the universe. Our emphasis is on characterizing processes that can lead to the formation of the chemical building blocks of life in nebulae, comets, or in the atmospheres of extraterrestrial planets or their satellites.