Why this class?

Through participation in this course, students will:

  1. Implement research-based experiments and collaborative projects within the chemistry curriculum
  2. Increase understanding of non-covalent interactions through visualization and application
  3. Be exposed to interdisciplinary research and real-world applications of chemistry and chemical biology

Through this experience, we hope to observe increased student motivation and engagement regarding the study of chemistry and other STEM fields. Further, experiments completed in this course have the potential to contribute to peer-reviewed scientific publications. We also hope to provide students with foundational skills that will be carried forward in future research experiences.

Topics covered in course:

This course will cover a range of topics pertaining to fundamental aspects of research in chemistry and small molecule targeting of RNA.

Research skills addressed:

This course will provide exposure to general research skills, such as those established as core components of a CURE course, including:

  • Reading scientific literature
  • Formulating hypotheses
  • Designing experiments
  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Collaborating in research
  • Communicating results and interpretations thereof

Project-specific techniques will also be covered, including:

  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Plate-based assays to measure small molecule binding
  • Chemoinformatic analysis
  • Statistical analyses (i.e. principal component analysis)


Scientific concepts addressed:

Participation in this course will also provide exposure to core concepts in biological chemistry and chemical biology such as:

  • Introduction to RNA (structure, function, chemistry)
  • Patterns in RNA targeting with small molecules
  • Chemical properties of biomacromolecules
  • Non-covalent interactions in biomacromolecules