Undergraduate Research

Chemistry is a uniquely central science that touches on theory, physics, environmental sciences, bioinformatics and geology on one hand and biology, psychology, drug design and medical sciences on the other. The Department of Chemistry at Georgia State University thus occupies a special, central role in the University. We are addressing questions that affect our lives in a broad range of areas such as rapid identification of disease, the safety, design and response variations of drugs, damage to our genetic DNA by radiation and chemicals, and the fundamental basis for bio-molecular structure, interactions and recognition. Our faculty is devoted to teaching and working with both undergraduate and graduate students. For information on conducting undergraduate research at Georgia State University Chemistry please consult this FAQ and consider taking Chem 2950 (Sophomore Research Seminar).


Any chemistry major may participate in undergraduate research with faculty consent. You should try to get started in research as soon as possible, especially if you are considering
graduate school. It is common to sit in on weekly meetings of the research group (the “group Seminar”) for at least a semester before you start actual laboratory research.
You should look at the faculty pages on the website. These sites contain brief descriptions of the research interests of the faculty members. Please contact the groups that are of interest to you. The groups vary greatly in the background required to join the group and the commitment required to do research. These issues are addressed on a group-by-group basis.
In general, you will be able to do research with a faculty member in biology and have it count for research in chemistry. You should make all the arrangements with the biology faculty member and then see either Dr. Joan Comar or Dr. Jeremiah Harden for help with the paperwork.
In general, you will be able to do research with a faculty member in chemistry and have it count for research in biology. You should make all the arrangements with the chemistry faculty member and then see Dr. Therese Poole for help with the paperwork.
This is a required course. Students register for CHEM 4160 in their Junior or Senior year. If you want to take 4160 earlier in your career, please see Drs. Comar or Harden. Enrollment in CHEM 2950 is also an option, as it is supervised chemical laboratory research at the lower undergraduate level.
Yes. Dr. Ray and Dr. Mariani both teach a CHEM 4160 course that does not involve joining a research group.

Dr. Ray has a computer based capstone course in which students do an independent project on a topic related to chemistry and their career interests.  The topic is explored in depth, including biochemical, organic, physical and analytical aspects, and molecular graphics. Dr. Ray teaches her course once a year. There is limited enrollment so register early.

Dr. Mariani leads a biochemistry-based group where students have an authentic a research experience. This involves examining enzyme active sites on flavoproteins specifically by performing site-directed mutagenesis on enzyme targets from the Gadda lab. This course is very similar to joining a lab and lasts a semester. There is limited enrollment.

Yes. Currently there are fellowships available through the Molecular Basis of Disease (MBD), Brains and Behavior (B&B), University Scholars Program and the McNair Program. Each of these fellowships has their own University Website where information can be found. Check due dates and plan ahead.
Summer research opportunities are available to undergraduate students both at Georgia State and elsewhere. Please review the website for links to many of the programs available. Note that many of the programs have fairly early deadlines.