Our Department

Message from the Head

I invite you to explore our Department website, to learn more about the cutting-edge research and teaching initiatives in our Department.  Since our modest beginnings in the early 1900’s with two faculty members, Chemistry has become a cornerstone of the university.  Some of the significant discoveries in chemical research made in the Department include the synthesis of the first compound of the noble gas group by Neil Bartlett in 1962, the invention of a now widely used mass spectroscopy technique (FTICR-MS) by Mel Comisarow and Alan Marshall in 1974, and the foundational work leading to the photodynamic drug Visudyne by David Dolphin in the 1990’s.

With over 60 faculty, nearly 200 graduate students and 60 dedicated staff members, UBC Chemistry is one of the world’s top Departments, boasting outstanding research infrastructure, well-equipped shops and services and an unparalleled location on Canada’s beautiful west coast. 

Current research in the department spans the traditional disciplines of chemistry, and extends well beyond these borders with exciting work in nuclear chemistry, biomedical research, ultracold chemistry and materials science among others.  Our faculty have received numerous awards for their research and teaching.  Please take some time to explore their websites where you can learn about many of the recent advances they have made.

We have an invigorated curriculum leading to undergraduate degrees in Chemistry, including a vibrant co-op program offering students the opportunity to gain experience working in industry.  Joint degrees with many other disciplines are available, and our undergraduates are highly sought after for jobs in chemical industry as well as for graduate and professional programs.

I would especially like to reach out to our alumni, and to encourage them to participate in continuing to make our Department great.  My door is always open, and I welcome the opportunity to tell you about our future goals and aspirations.

Michael Wolf, Professor and Head