University of California, Riverside

Department of Chemistry

Analytical Chemistry

analyticalResearch in Analytical Chemistry focuses on the development of new instruments and methods for chemical measurements in complex systems. The UCR Analytical Chemistry Graduate Program is designed to provide students with a sound grounding in analytical chemistry while tailoring their course of study to their individual research interests. The UCR Chemistry Department has a strong tradition in modern analytical chemistry with a special emphasis in bioanalytical chemistry. Bioanalytical chemistry focuses on chemical measurements relevant to living systems including characterization of biological macromolecules (proteins, DNA and polysaccharides) and the analysis of disease markers and drug metabolism. Bioanalytical chemists in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries play critical roles in the process of drug discovery and development.

At UCR, graduate study in analytical chemistry covers a wide range of instrumental methods and exciting applications. Graduate students working in the Ai, Cheng, Julian, Larive, Rabenstein, Wang and Zhong research groups have the opportunity to gain expertise in a variety of important instrumental methods including biosensors, fluorescence spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy, separations and surface plasmon resonance to address a variety of interesting and important problems. Although their primary focus is in another area, Professors Bardeen, Bartels, Mulchandani and Zhang have research projects of interest to analytical students. In addition to the instrumentation housed in the individual faculty research groups, a number of UCR facilities maintain state-of-the-art instruments and other resources relevant for analytical chemistry research.

Faculty Research Descriptions:

Huiwang Ai
Our research focus is to develop chemical tools (i.e. fluorescent probes and photochemical genetics tools) that can be coupled with fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy to solve problems in chemistry, biology and medicine. In addition, we utilize protein engineering and protein chemistry to generate molecular diversities, which are harnessed for new reagents targeting at critical therapeutic targets.

Christopher Bardeen
The Bardeen Lab uses time-resolved laser spectroscopy and advanced microscopy methods to look at dynamics in complex chemical systems. Areas of research include DNA motion in living cells and energy transport in organic semiconductors.

Ludwig Bartels
The Bartels group employs and develops a variety of analytical technique. Foremost, we build and use scanning tunneling microscopes in ultrahigh-vacuum under cryogenic conditions for the atomic scale analysis of surfaces and surface reactions. We also employ laser spectroscopy (ultra-fast, Raman, photoluminescence, etc.) both in vacuum and under ambient conditions. Additionally, the Bartels lab operates an XPS/UPS system for photoelectron spectroscopy and characterization of the composition of 2D materials.

Quan Jason Cheng
Research in the Cheng lab focuses on bio- and chemical sensors, functional biomaterials, and label-free surface plasmon resonance (SPR) techniques. We are particularly interested in measurement techniques involving supported lipid membranes, protein microarrays, surface-assisted MS methods, and novel platforms allowing orthogonal detection.

Joseph Genereux
The Genereux lab develops and applies mass spectrometry-based proteomic techniques that can elucidate molecular mechanisms of lipoprotein folding, assembly, misfolding, and protein homeostasis. By integrating these with in situ analytical approaches, we generate biological hypotheses that are then investigated using molecular and cellular biology.    

Ryan Julian
Mass spectrometry is one of the pillars of analytical chemistry. We emphasize method development rather than application of known protocols. Biological molecules, with an emphasis on peptides and proteins, but also including work with lipids, oligosaccharides, and supramolecular building blocks, are the analytes in our studies. We are interested in structural characterization, ranging from three-dimensional protein structure to amino acid isomerization, facile identification, and quantitation. The Julian lab has developed a suite of bond-selective photochemistry that we couple with mass spectrometry for these experiments. Students gain experience with instrumentation, chemical synthesis, computational chemistry, and bioinformatics. Experts in mass spectrometry with these attributes are highly desired in the pharmaceutical industry and in many other jobs.

Cynthia Larive
Characterization of glycosaminoglycans, especially heparin and heparan sulfate using CE, HPLC, mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy; includes development of nanoliter NMR probes for on-line CE separations and NOE methods for measurements of ligand-protein binding. Metabonomics and metabolic profiling of complex biological systems using NMR, LC-NMR, GC-MS and LC-MS for analysis of biofluids or tissue extracts.

Leonard Mueller
Solid-state and solution-state NMR as a probe of structure and dynamics.

Dallas Rabenstein
NMR studies of peptides, proteins, carbohydrates and red blood cells and binding of peptides by glycosaminoglycans; analytical applications of NMR; biological chemistry of sulfur and selenium; development of NMR methods and techniques, characterization of heparin and heparan sulfates.

Yinsheng Wang
Biological applications of mass spectrometry; reactive oxygen species induced nucleic acid damage.

Min Xue
The Xue group studies peptides that are capable of supramolecular recognition. When coupled with spectroscopy and microscopy, these peptides provide the basis to a series of bioanalytical methods. The long term goal is to use these methods to better understand the cell signaling pathways and develop novel therapeutics.

Yadong Yin
The Yin group is interested in the development of functional colloidal nanostructured materials with unique photonic, electronic, catalytic, and surface properties for analytical and biomedical applications.  Our recent research work includes the design of mesoporous materials for bioseparation, metal nanostructures for surface plasmon resonance based biosensing, and hybrid materials for heavy metal detection and removal. 

Francisco Zaera
Surface chemistry with emphasis on heterogeneous catalysis and materials science; use of several surface sensitive techniques including RAIRS, TPD, XPS, ISS, AES, LEED and SIMS together with molecular beams for kinetic measurements.

Jingsong Zhang
Our research focuses on the oxidation processes of tropospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We are interested in developing sensitive optical instruments for ambient measurements of atmospheric trace species and free radicals. We utilize multi-pass absorption techniques, cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) and cavity enhanced spectroscopy (CEAS), for these atmospheric measurements. We also use spectroscopy and mass spectrometry methods to study chemical kinetics and mechanisms of tropospheric oxidation reactions of VOCs. We are also interested in green house gas (GHG) measurements in California.

Haofei Zhang
Our research focuses on understanding the multiphase physiochemical processes that lead to the formation and evolution of organic aerosol in the atmosphere. In the long term, we want to understand how organic aerosol impacts climate and human health.

Wenwan Zhong
Advancement and applications of separation technologies in study of ligand-receptor interaction and protein complex formation; Signal amplification and on-chip sample processing for detection of disease markers; Preparation of bionanomaterials for sensing and biomolecule preconcentration.

Graduates of the UCR Analytical Chemistry program find excellent job opportunities in the Chemical, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical industries. For example, the following list contains companies and academic institutions that have employed UCR Analytical Chemistry Ph.D. graduates and postdoctoral researchers.

  • Bokai Biopharma

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Chemistry
Chemical Sciences
501 Big Springs Road

Tel: (951) 827-3789 (Chair's Assistant)
Fax: (951) 827-2435 (confidential)