Chemistry is a central science contributing to the understanding of biological and environmental processes and the development of new materials. Researchers at The Open University are involved in a wide range of projects including developing analytical techniques for the diagnosis of medical conditions, exploring potential new drugs and biomarkers, and investigating new materials for industrial applications. We have an international reputation for excellence in silicon chemistry and analytical methods. A number of projects have an applied focus to tackle modern challenges in industry, with part-time students combining their studies with working in industry.
Research in Chemistry and Analytical Science contributes to the University’s interdisciplinary research centre for physical and environmental sciences, CEPSAR, the biomedical research network, BRN, and the science and engineering educational research centre, eSTEeM.
There are three major research themes:
- Medicinal chemistry and diagnostics
- Materials chemistry
- Chemistry education.
Researchers in medicinal chemistry and materials chemistry have a suite of laboratories on the OU campus. Facilities include NMR and ESR spectroscopy, Faraday susceptibility balance, FT-IR, fluorescence and UV spectrophotometry, GC-MS, HPLC (coupled to MS, fluorescence, electrochemical and photodiode detectors), automated DNA synthesizer and Atomic Force Microscopy. Other centralised research facilities include support for DNA sequencing, real-time PCR and a Typhoon imager for quantitative nucleic acid detection and other fluorescent studies They also have access to the University’s IMPACT computing cluster.