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Organic Chemistry

The flower of a yew tree.

Compounds from the plum yew are effective in treating certain cancers. But deriving these benefits is costly, so chemist Chris Beaudry and collaborators work to create synthetic compounds with the same benefits but greater yield.

Organic and bioorganic chemistry at OSU is a vibrant and exciting program

We offer a flexible Ph.D. curriculum in which the coursework and research projects are tailored to the student's interests. In addition, many of the research groups have joint projects and combined meetings that foster additional interactions and interdisciplinary training.

Our faculty have wide-ranging interests including the discovery and total synthesis of biologically active natural products, study of new asymmetric methods in organic synthesis, computational studies of organic reaction mechanisms & selectivities, evaluation of drug leads, the probing of the biosynthetic and metabolic pathways and organotransition metal chemistry for the development of new catalytic transformations. Short descriptions of each faculty member's research interests are listed below.

“We are always trying to make more of what nature gives us. We always want to know more."

-Rich Carter

organic chemist and CEO of Valliscor

We are accepting graduate students!

Our graduate program at OSU is geared to provide the student with a solid foundation in organic and bioorganic chemistry.

Learn more about becoming a graduate student 
Find out about our first-year courses 
Visit Corvallis! 

Research seminars

We maintain an active seminar program with both academic and industrial speakers from across the country and around the world. These seminars are typically given on Thursday afternoons at 4 pm.

Students actively participate in the seminar program through individual meetings with the speakers. In addition, students also have more informal interactions including lunch with the visiting scientists. In fact, many of the lunches have ultimately translated into postdoctoral positions and job opportunities.

Each spring, a leader in the field of organic chemistry is invited to present the James D. White Honorary Lecture. This award was started in 2011 to honor the distinguished Professor Emeritus Jim White. Professor White has made sizable contributions to organic chemistry research for over four decades at Oregon State University and was honored with the Centenary Medal (1999), Cope Scholar Award (2003), and MDF Discovery Award (2004).


We have state-of-the-art research facilities with outstanding NMR instrumentation (300 MHz, 400 MHz, 500 MHz and 700 MHz), an in-house X-ray facility staffed by a full-time Ph.D. crystallographer and a world-class in-house low / high resolution mass spectrometry service. In addition, the chemistry department supports an electrician and machine shop to assist with research activities.