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Organic chemistry encompasses the creation and study of molecules that are built from carbon. As such, organic molecules are the foundations of biochemistry, biotechnology, medicines, and industries that depend on synthetic materials.

Chemistry lab research

Organic chemistry is focused on the study of the structure, properties, reactions and applications of small molecules containing carbon (organic molecules). The study of organic chemistry dates back to 1828 with the synthesis of urea by Friedrich Wöhler; however, the field has continued to grow and evolve and today encompasses a wide range of research from energy and materials to chemical biology and drug discovery.

Organic chemistry faculty at NC State work to address cutting-edge problems in catalysis, the chemical and biological synthesis of small molecules, peptides and natural products; the design and synthesis of light-harvesting molecules and novel polymers; and computational methods. Many of these projects have direct applications at the interface of biology, physics, engineering, veterinary sciences and human medicine, and our faculty have numerous collaborations on campus and across the globe. These ambitious programs have resulted in numerous awards, high-impact publications and funding from federal, state and private sources.

We are strongly invested in the training of postdocs and students in our research programs and routinely place students in top industrial and academic positions after graduation. During their time in our program, organic graduate students are engaged in broad coursework, participate in a weekly seminar series, and attend national and international scientific conferences. Undergraduates often engage in research projects that lead to publications and independent scholarly activity, setting the stage for their future careers.

Researchers in This Area

Wei-Chen Chang

Associate Professor, LORD Corporation Distinguished Scholar

Jonathan Lindsey

Professor, Glaxo Distinguished University Chair

Joshua Pierce

Howard J. Schaeffer Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and University Faculty Scholar

Gavin Williams

Professor / Department Head / LORD Corporation Distinguished Scholar