Chemistry – The Central Science

Chemistry students in a lab class. The American Chemical Society calls the discipline of chemistry “the central science.” This phrase was first used in the title of a textbook published almost 40 years ago (Brown and LeMay's Chemistry: The Central Science, now in its 13th edition!) to describe the pivotal role that chemistry has in acting as a bridge between the physical and life sciences. Today, even moreso than in 1977, chemistry is at the heart of the transformative discoveries and technologies that will change society in the 21st century. In the modern world, chemistry connects the basic sciences with all of the applied sciences, including medicine and engineering. The foundation of the world’s economy in the next generation, including advanced materials, fuels, energy, nanomaterials, medicines, sensors, biotechnology, genomics, etc., will all have chemistry at their core.

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham leads the way in providing students with the education and practical experience needed to participate in these new scientific frontiers. Our Chemistry Scholars Program provides exceptional undergraduates with the opportunity to participate in a unique peer learning and teaching program. Our graduate students work alongside world-class faculty in state-of-the-art research facilities to advance the boundaries of chemical scholarship and discoveries.

UAB chemists are particularly known for our work in the areas of:
  • drug discovery,
  • biophysical chemistry,
  • nanomaterials,
  • organic polymeric and inorganic materials chemistry, and
  • chemical education.
This expertise is reflected in the number of honors won by faculty and students, including such prestigious awards as Goldwater, Fulbright, Beckmann, Merck, Humboldt, and DAAD fellowships.

This is an exciting time to be in the field of chemistry, and especially at the Department of Chemistry at UAB, as we grow and expand. Whether you are a prospective undergraduate or graduate student, a post-doctoral scholar, or whether you are simply interested in learning more about our Department, welcome to our web site.

Richard A Dluhy


Richard A. Dluhy

Department Chair