Chemistry Research

Our internationally recognised Chemistry research focuses on many emerging fields of study including drug-synthesis for resistant bacteria, cancer treatments and renewable energy. 

Chris Sumby in a chemistry lab

Energy, materials and environmental chemistry

We undertake research in key areas of energy conversion and storage, catalysis, and environmental chemistry. Research is conducted into the design and synthesis of novel organic and inorganic molecules, molecular assemblies and solid-state materials. This enables the construction of new types of molecular devices, catalysts, porous adsorbents, molecular transporters and stimuli-responsive sensors. Such activities intersect with research priorities in energy, defence and advanced manufacturing. 

Lead researchers

Medicinal and biological chemistry 

We investigate the chemistry of proteins and peptides, to answer important biological questions relating to the causation and prevention of diseases. We also focus on drug design and development, including the identification and synthesis of novel small molecules to block or activate cellular targets. These activities overlap with research priorities such as healthy ageing and understanding the mechanisms of disease. 

Lead researchers

  • State-of-the-art international research facilities

    Adelaide Proteomics Centre 

    Supported by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, the centre provides expert services in mass spectrometry-based protein identification, quantitation and characterisation of post-translational modifications. 

    Adelaide Molecular Analysis and Characterisation (AMAC)  

    AMAC provides a range of research equipment including high-field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometry, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy instrumentation. 

    Bragg Crystallography Facility 

    The facility provides both single crystal (SCXRD) and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) capabilities for research and industry which enables structure determination and rapid, non-destructive analysis of compounds and multi-component mixtures with simple sample preparation.  

    Centre of Advanced Nanomaterials Laboratory 

    The lab has facilities for materials’ synthesis and characterisation, including state-of-the-art low and high pressure adsorption instrumentation. 

    Analytical facilities

    Dry and wet measure analytical equipment is available for materials characterisations and syntheses through the high-tech facilities within the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.

  • Research seminars

    Our researchers host regular seminars to showcase their cutting-edge scientific work across applied projects. These seminars are open to the public, industry, researchers from other departments, schools and universities, and to current and past students.  

    2023 seminars

  • Higher Degrees by Research opportunities

    Whether intending to work in research or industry, a higher degree by research or other postgraduate study can equip students with a clear competitive edge.  

    Find out more about studying a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).  

    HDR opportunities