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 2016-17

Department Welcomes New Physical Faculty in Fall 2016: Dr. Hadi Tavassol

Dr. Hadi Tavassol

Dr. Hadi Tavassol will join the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at CSU Long Beach in August 2016 as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Tavassol received his BSc in Applied Chemistry from the Sharif University of Technology (Tehran, Iran). He then joined the Northern Illinois University, where he received his MSc in Analytical Chemistry with Professor Petr Vanysek. Dr. Tavassol completed his PhD in 2014 in the group of Professor Andrew A. Gewirth at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on interfacial processes in Lithium-ion batteries. In fall 2014, he joined the group of Professor Sossina Haile at the California Institute of Technology (now at Northwestern University) as a postdoctoral scholar, working on O2 reduction catalysis in the CsH2PO4 solid electrolyte system. His research program will focus on fundamental understanding and design of the processes across chemical interfaces, especially as they relate to advanced electrochemical devices (e.g. batteries, electrolyzers, fuel cells, and sensors) as well as biological systems, such as lipid bilayers and membranes. In particular, projects related to chemomechanics in catalysis, interfacial effects in solid state Li-ion batteries, and electrochemical processes across soft interfaces will be studied. Dr. Tavassol will teach Chem 553, Fundamentals of Electrochemical Methods and Materials, and Chem 385, Materials Science, in Fall 2016. Students working in his group will have the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary projects while developing and using unique laser spectroscopy and electrochemical instrumentation for in situ analysis of chemical systems. All interested undergraduate and graduate students are invited to join his group at CSULB. To discuss research opportunities in his lab please contact Dr. Tavassol at

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Department News [Archived Here]

Summer Classes Summer Classes are almost here and the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry will be offering numerous courses this summer including Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 100), the General Chemistry (CHEM 111A/B) and Organic Chemistry (CHEM 220A/B and 223A/B) sequences, Quantitative Analysis (CHEM 251), and Fundamentals courses in both Organic Chemistry (CHEM 227) and Biological Chemistry (CHEM 448). Click Here for more information!

Weers Lab News Weers Lab researcher and Beckman Scholar Lukas Fuentas received a Best Poster Award in Biochemistry at this year's Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students meeting in Tampa, Florida for his presentation titled "Ionic Interactions of the C-terminal Domain of Apolipoprotein AI are Responsible for Oligomerization". Way to go to, Lukas!

Slowinska Lab Pub The Slowinska Lab recently reported a new analytical method that allows for target-free cell selection and uptake that has potential for clinical applications in cancer. The article, titled "Thermoresponsive Collagen/Cell Penetrating Hybrid Peptide as Nanocarrier in Targeting-Free Cell Selection and Uptake", published in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, was co-authored by CSULB students Myungeun Oh, Chloe Hu, Selina F. Urfano, and Merlyn Arostegui.

Bhandari research The Bhandari Lab recently had their manuscript "Biochemical, Biophysical and Cellular Techniques to Study the Guanine nucleotide Exchange Factor, GIV/Girdin" accepted for publication in Current Protocols in Chemical Biology. The manuscript reports protocols they have developed/optimized for studying the signaling protein GIV and was co-authored by biochemistry graduate student Peter Nguyen in collaboration with the Ghosh Lab at UCSD. Congratulations to Dr. Bhandari!

Derakhshan research The National Science Foundation recently awarded a 3-year $300k grant to Prof. Shahab Derakhshan through the Research in Undergraduate Institutions program. The proposed work was titled "Heavy Element Transition Metal Oxides; Low Dimensional Magnetism vs. Geometrical Magnetic Frustration" and the award will enable Derakhshan's team to study the impacts of various structural and electronic parameters in the resultant magnetism. Congratulations to Dr. Derakhshan and the Derakhshan Lab!

Tian research Prof. Fangyuan Tian, whose primary research interests include heterogeneous catalysis, thin films, and methane capture, recently received a CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) New Investigator Award to support her project titled "Using metal organic framework film as a drug-eluting stent coating" ... Congratulations to the Dr. Tian and the Tian Lab!

Southern California 
Undergraduate Research Conference On Saturday April 23rd our Dept was honored to host the 2016 Southern California Undergraduate Research Conference, which was a great success! Students from 10 CSU's (LB, Dominguez Hills, Pomona, Fullerton, Northridge, Channel Islands, LA, Bakersfield, San Bernardino, San Marcos), 3 UC's (LA, Riverside, Irvine), and 10 private colleges presented 28 talks and 90 posters. The event was capped off by an incredibly entertaining and informative Keynote Address by Dr. Greg Weiss of UC Irvine and SAACS did a fantastic job of sponsoring this event!

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.

Shon research The National Institutes of Health recently funded a 4-year grant for over $442,000 to Prof. Young-Seok Shon titled "Metalloenzyme Mimics with Unsupported Metal Nanoparticle Catalysts" to support the Shon group's research on understanding how near-surface steric controls, non-covalent interactions, and chiral interactions determine the catalytic properties of modified nanoparticles towards the model organic reactions relevant to biologically important transformations. Congratulations to Dr. Shon on his continued success!

Shahab Derakhshan Derakhshan's Lab recently published two papers: "Long-Range Antiferromagnetic Ordering in B-Site Ordered Double Perovskite" has been accepted in Inorganic Chemistry with MS graduate David Russell as the first author, and "Synthesis, Crystal Structure and Magnetic Properties of the Two Polymorphs of Novel S =1 Osmate" has been accepted by the Journal of Solid State Chemistry with MS graduate Sophia Nguyen as the first author and Malinda Tan as the third author. Congrats to Team Derakhshan!