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Department Mission & Profile

Our Department is committed to rigorous and innovative curriculum that focuses on developing problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills, and provides high quality education in chemistry and biochemistry. We offer a B.S. Chemistry degree program that is accredited by the American Chemical Society, as well as a B.A. Chemistry degree, a B.S. Biochemistry degree that is accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and a research-intensive graduate program leading to M.S. Chemistry and M.S. Biochemistry degrees. Our award-winning faculty are vigorously involved in research projects with undergraduate and graduate students alike, and receive significant external grants and contracts annually. Our Department offers extensive opportunities for students to participate in novel research projects across a broad spectrum of areas in the chemical sciences. Our modern facilities are housed in the recently-built Molecular Life Sciences Center and the newly-completed Hall of Science. For further information, please contact our Department office or our academic advisors.

Dept Faculty 2009

Department Welcomes New Analytical Faculty in Fall 2015: Dr. Fangyuan Tian

Dr. Fangyuan Tian

Assistant Professor Fangyuan Tian will join the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at CSU Long Beach in August 2015. Dr. Tian is originally from China, where she graduated from Jilin University with a B.E. in Polymer Science and Technology. She later went on to earn her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Delaware in the lab of Dr. Andrew Teplyakov. Her graduate work focused on the modification and functionalization of semiconductor surfaces with wet chemistry, and she then pursued post-doctoral research in the area of carbon dioxide adsorption on zeolitic imidazolate frameworks in Dr. Lauren Benz's group at the University of San Diego, where she also served as an instructor of General Chemistry. Dr. Tian will be teaching Instrumental Methods of Analysis (CHEM 451) and Quantitative Analysis (CHEM 251) lectures and laboratories, and graduate level courses in Surface Chemistry and Nanomaterials. Dr. Tian has broad research interests in the interdisciplinary area of surface and materials chemistry, with a focus on environmental and energy related questions. Specifically, she studies the fundamental properties and chemical reactivity of nanostructured surface-anchored metal-organic frameworks, with applications in greenhouse gas capture, storage, and conversion. Both undergraduate and graduate research students with various background including analytical, physical, and inorganic chemistry, are invited to join Dr. Tian's new laboratory at CSULB. To learn more about research opportunities and projects in her lab, please contact Dr. Tian at

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Department News [Archived Here]

Weers Lab News The Weers lab recently published three manuscripts. With former students Jake Thistle and Daisy Martinon, they designed tryptophan variants in Galleria mellonella apoLp-III (Chem. Phys. Lipids 193, 18-23). In collaboration with Dr. Karin Crowhurst from CSU Northridge and with the help of MS student James Horn they are solving the NMR solution structure of G. mellonella apoLp-III (Biomolecular NMR Assignments), and with faculty from the University of Calgary they developed a biochemistry lab section on protein-membrane interactions (Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ. 44, 86-94). Congrats to Weers Lab authors!

Distinguished Lecturer The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is pleased to announce our 2016 Allergan Distinguished Lecturer! Prof. Eric V. Anslyn of The University of Texas at Austin will visit campus on Wednesday, February 17th. Dr. Anslyn will provide a general talk at 11:00 AM and a research seminar at 4:00 PM. For more information, please click here for the official announcement.

BUILD The NIH funded Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program is developing innovative means to recruit & develop the next generation of human health researchers. Our first cohort began working with research mentors in summer 2015. Profs. Buonora and Weers are the Director of the Research Enrichment Core and co-director of the student training core, respectively, and Profs. Mezyk, McAbee, and Sorin are developing curriculum for new research-infused courses.

APS winners The 2015 Far West (regional) meeting of the American Physical Society, which took place here at CSU Long Beach, saw two of our graduate student researchers win awards: David Russell (pictured, Derakhshan Lab) received the Margaret Burbidge award for Best Experimental Research by a graduate student and Walter Alvarado (Sorin Lab) received the Best Graduate Student Poster award. Way to go, gentlemen!

Award for Andrea Chen Department Lecturer Andrea Chen has now been honored with back-to-back Mayfield Awards! Named after Prof. Darwin Mayfield, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry from 1956 to 1989, the award is given annually to the outstanding instructor chosen via popular vote by CNSM students. Congrats to Ms. Chen for earning such an honor twice in a row!

To match the American Chemical Society accreditation of our B.S. Chemistry program, our B.S. Biochemistry program was recently accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, making it one of only three such accredited degrees in California and the only ASBMB-accredited biochemistry program in Southern California.

Graduate student Skylar Chuang of the Vas and Shon Labs won 1st place in the statewide 29th Annual CSU Student Research Competition, held in San Bernadino this May, for his presentation titled "The Role of Nanogold apoE Reconstituted Vehicles (NERVs) as Potential Drug Delivery Systems." In addition, Mezyk lab undergraduate Brittany Dawes and Weers Lab undergraduate James Horn both received honorable mention in February's CSULB Student Research Competition.

The Shon Lab recently published their article "Graphene Oxide-Promoted Reshaping and Coarsening of Gold Nanorods and Nanoparticles" in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, co-authored by MS students Hanqing Pan & Serena Low and undergraduate Nisala Weerasuriya. Also published was a minireview "Catalytic Properties of Unsupported Palladium Nanoparticle Surfaces Capped with Small Organic Ligands" in ChemCatChem co-authored by MS student Diego Gavia.

Profs. Bhandari and Narayanaswami were both awarded 2015 CSUPERB research grants! Dr. Bhandari's funded project is titled "Unraveling Cell Survival Mechanisms During Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress," and Dr. Narayanaswami's project, which was written with Prof. Young Shon and includes a partnerhip with Dr. Hagen von Briesen of the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering in Germany, is titled "ApoE/Gold Nanoparticles as drug delivery agents across the blood brain barrier." Congratulations to Drs. Vas and Deepali!

Professors Shon, Bu, and Derakhshan, in collaboration with Profs. Gredig and Peterson in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, recently received a $500,000 grant from the Keck Energy Materials Program (KEMP) to develop a new interdisciplinary, research-oriented, materials science degree program. We thank these dedicated teacher-scholars for earning such a prestigious award and for bringing a new and exciting program to CSULB!

The Li and Weers Labs were both awarded 4-year, $300,000 SCORE grants from the National Institutes of Health this year! Dr. Weers' project is titled "Antimicrobial activity of apolipoprotein A-I" and Dr. Li's project is titled "Non-heme Iron Nitrosyl Complexes: Structures, NO Release & Applications." Congratulations to Professors Li and Weers on their continued funding and highly productive research programs!