About the Department

A word from the Chair

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences is consistently ranked within the top 5 departments of its discipline in Canada and is one of the top 200 departments worldwide by national and international ranking bodies (QS World University Rankings for Chemistry as an example). We are comprised of a diverse range of passionate educators and researchers including over 40 full-time professors and more than 100 active graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. These strengths are reflected in outstanding teaching ratings, plus national and international awards for innovative approaches to chemical education. Research performed by our faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows is recognized by an abundance of national and international awards, medals and other distinctions. We have two former winners of the Hertzberg Medal as well as winners of Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Memorial Medals in Chemistry as examples. I am proud to say that our department has been resilient through extraordinary challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and has continued to develop and deliver outstanding educational and research programs by innovation, collaboration and a commitment to excellence. Our department is one of the crown jewels of the University of Ottawa - a special place that is steeped in excellence.

The Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences is located in four different buildings across the downtown campus, and houses leading-edge technology and expertise in our core facilities. Our department is also home to exciting research centres that concentrate expertise, infrastructure and innovators to push the boundaries of our understanding and develop new technologies and solutions to complex problems. These centres include the Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation (CCRI), the Centre for Advanced Materials Research (CAMaR) and the Centre for Chemical and Synthetic Biology (CCSB). These facilities enable the training of highly qualified personnel who have the opportunity to develop the skills, expertise and passion to become tomorrow’s leaders in industry, academia and government research.

Our department is proud to offer first-class undergraduate programs in pure Chemistry (with options in Ecochemistry and Materials Science), and tremendously popular programs in Biochemistry (with several biomedically relevant options) and Biopharmaceutical Sciences. These undergraduate programs are mirrored by leading edge research in these same fields being conducted within our department at the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduate students can compete for Undergraduate Research Scholarships at the start of their degrees and continue to compete for Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) - Scholarships as well as prestigious scholarships offered through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). These awards are coupled with unique and innovative opportunities for hands-on undergraduate research experience.

It is my pleasure to welcome you to our department! If you are looking for an exciting and innovative environment in which to pursue your studies you will find great opportunities with us. Come join us and be part of what makes us special at the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

John Pezacki
Chair - Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
STEM Complex, room 342
Ottawa ON Canada
K1N 6N5

Telephone: (613) 562-5769
Fax: (613) 562-5170

Contact information for the Office of the Chair

Former Chairs
Years Chairs
1954 - 1960 Raymond Lemieux
1961 - 1967 Keith Laidler
1967 - 1970 Brian Conway
1970 - 1976 Hans Baer
1976 - 1981 Brian Conway
1981 - 1983 Tony Durst
1983 - 1986 Howard Alper
1986 - 1989 Robert Fraser
1989 - 1994 Howard Alper
1994 - 1997 Christian Detellier
1997 - 2000 Barry Morrow
2000 - 2003 Darrin Richeson
2003 - 2009 Alain St-Amant
2009 - 2012 Tito Scaiano
2012 - 2016 Paul Mayer
2016 - 2021 David Bryce
Chair’s Service Excellence Award

The Chair’s Service Excellence Award was established in 2017 to recognize outstanding service and outreach contributions by a member of the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences.


2021 - Chris Boddy

2020 - Alison Flynn

2019 – Sean Kirkwood, David Needham, Michael Robb

2018 - Kathy-Sarah Focsaneanu

2017 - Daniel Lafleur, Wendy Pell


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