California State University, Long Beach Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Home

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

Thank you, Women & Philanthropy!

Women & Philanthropy Scholars

Each year, Women & Philanthropy awards up to 20 scholarships across the University to support undergraduate research students and re-entry students. W&P has been very supportive of our Department in recent years, and this year is no exception: five of their eight 2015 W&P Undergraduate Research Scholarships were awarded to Chemistry & Biochemistry students. From left to right, our 2015 W&P Scholars include Chemistry major Annabelle Cantu of the Schramm Lab, Chemical Engineering/Chemistry double-major Kylie Couch and Biochemistry major Brittany Daws of the Mezyk Lab, Biochemistry major Dakota Rochelle of the Sorin Lab, and Biochemistry major Phuc "Sam" Nguyen (not pictured) of the Acey Lab.
       Annabelle, a future research chemist, is pursuing new methods of synthesizing boron-dipyrromethene fluorophores, which are expected to have future applications in drug discovery, biomedical imaging, and optical sensing. Kylie, a future environmental engineer, is studying the use of chlorine in the treatment and recycling of wastewater to address our water crisis. Future medical researcher Brittany is studying the remediation of pesticide-contaminated waters so as to reduce the incidence of bee colony collapse disorder. Dakota, who will enter dental school in 2016, applies computer modeling and simulation to study the physics of ribonucleic acids, with a focus on the structure and function of riboswitches and ribozymes. And, as a future biochemical researcher, Sam studies the purification and expression optimization of metallothionein, a protein with the potential to remove toxic heavy metals from water.
       Our Department congratulates these outstanding students on their achievements and offers our most sincere gratitude to the Women & Philanthropy organization for supporting the scholars of tomorrow!

Department News [Archived Here]

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!

The Derakhshan Lab published an article entitled "CaYGaO4: a fully ordered novel olivine type gallate" in the Journal of Alloys and Compounds, co-authored by undergraduate Ryan Clark and recent B.S. Chemistry graduate Sarah Zhu. Professor Bu and his former postdoctoral researcher Dr. Shu-tian Zheng collaborated on the single crystal X-ray diffraction study.

Slowinski becomes new Assc. Dean Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Chair Kris Slowinski has been appointed to fill a new Associate Dean position within the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. As interim Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Evaluation, and Advising, Prof. Slowinski will focus on curriculum, enrollment, scheduling, and oversight of the CNSM Academic Advising Center. Congratulations to Prof. Slowinski on his new appointment!

vas Lab Publication Prof. Vas' research team recently published their article "A Novel Pyrene Based Fluorescence Approach to Study Conformation of Apolipoprotein E3 in Macrophage-generated Nascent High Density Lipoprotein," which appears in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The article was co-authored by CSULB students Sea Kim, Shweta Kothari, Arti Patel, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab collaborator John Bielicki.

Acey Lab receives cash gift fot research Prof. Roger Acey recently received a $125,000 private gift to support his research program at CSULB. This is the largest private gift that the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry has ever received and the largest private cash gift for research on our campus. More info, via the Inside CSULB story, is available here. Congratulations to Prof. Acey and the Acey Lab for their ongoing success!

Shon Publication Image The Shon Lab recently published their article "Mechanistic Insights into the Formation of Dodecanethiolate-Stabilized Magnetic Iridium Nanoparticles: Thiosulfate vs Thiol Ligands" in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. The article is co-authored by MS student Diego Gavia and undergraduate Yeonjin Do, as well as collaborating author Prof. Jiyeong Gu of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, who studied the magnetic property of this iridium nanoparticle.