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Department of Chemical Biology

Department of Chemical Biology

Chemical biology examines how chemicals—including food, drugs, and environmental agents—interact with biological systems, especially the human body. We develop new insights into these processes, then parlay that knowledge into a better understanding of human health and novel pathways for confronting human disease. Through our work, we improve individual health and make lasting contributions to the wellbeing of society.

Renping Zhou, PhD
Professor and Department Chair

Faculty Research

Our faculty of distinguished scientists includes a member of the National Academy of Sciences, editors of prestigious journals, and recipients of major research awards. They run active research labs and collaborate with colleagues, making the fundamental discoveries in chemical biology that lead to disease prevention and treatment.

Research conducted by our faculty has produced:

  • insights into the prevention and treatment of numerous cancers through drugs, exercise, and dietary compounds
  • the identification of the molecular basis for melanoma and a new approach to its treatment
  • an improved understanding of nerve regeneration through research on ephrins and Eph receptors
  • fundamental information on the role of PAK proteins in learning, motor activity, and aggression
  • and many more important advances.

We are the founding department of the Center for Cancer Prevention Research, one of the nation’s few research centers focused on preventing—rather than treating— cancer. Click here to see our brochure.

Our research has attracted over $47 million in funding over the past 10 years, primarily with grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Undergraduate Education

We are fully engaged in the education of PharmD students, through both teaching and research. Students attain a solid foundation in the application of the biological sciences to pharmacy practice through our three undergraduate courses:

  • Molecular Biology and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Microbiology
  • Diet and Nutrition and Disease Prevention

The fresh knowledge our faculty brings to the classroom comes from their own research labs and their connections to the world’s leading pharmaceutical scientists. We encourage PharmD students to experience the rewards of scientific research for themselves. We support their efforts through:

  • academic credit for students who collaborate on faculty research
  • assistance in landing fellowships at the NIH and other research institutions

Graduate Education

We are dedicated to mentoring the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists. Our faculty members are involved with the following Rutgers and UMDNJ graduate programs: