Indiana University Biochemistry Graduate Program

Indiana University has an active and growing biochemistry research community. The faculty that participate involved in this graduate program are passionate about their research interests, which span nearly all aspects of the structure, function and dynamics of proteins, nucleic acids and other biomolecules. If you are considering graduate and PhD studies in biochemistry, check out Indiana University’s program via the flyer below.




Dr. Alexander Sokolov, one of CBC’s newest faculty members

Welcome one of our newest faculty members, Dr. Alexander Sokolov, to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry! He joins our department after receiving his Ph. D. in Chemistry from the University of Georgia and Postdoctoral work at both Princeton University and Cal Tech. His research aims to develop new theoretical methods for the simulations of light-induced and non-equilibrium processes in chemical systems with complex electronic structure.

Let’s get to know Dr. Sokolov a little better…

Q: What attracted you to Ohio State/Columbus?

There are many great things about OSU. Scientifically, I was well aware of the Ohio State position as the world-class research institution in both chemistry and physics. One of the first things that comes to my mind when I think about research at OSU is the work by Kenneth Wilson who won the Nobel prize in physics for his development of the renormalization group methods. Although these methods originated in physics, they are now increasingly used to solve some of the most complicated problems in quantum chemistry. In the Chemistry and Biochemistry department, research groups are working in almost every subfield of experimental and theoretical chemistry one could only imagine. There is a long history of quantum chemistry in the department that dates back to the early work by Isaiah Shavitt and Russell Pitzer who were among the pioneers in the field. I was also very impressed by the resources available at the university and how beautiful the Ohio State campus is. But probably one of the most pleasant experiences is meeting people at OSU. Everyone is very nice and looks very happy 🙂

Q: Explain your research and what it means to you:

My research is in the field of quantum chemistry, a branch of theoretical chemistry that uses quantum mechanics to study molecules and materials. Quantum mechanics can be used to simulate chemistry: predict the structure and properties of molecules, study the mechanisms of chemical reactions or how molecules react with light. This requires finding accurate approximations to the fundamental quantum mechanical equations that describe how molecules behave in real matter and developing efficient algorithms to solve these equations on the computer. In my research, I am interested in problems that involve complex chemistry, such as understanding how bioactive metal complexes transform when irradiated with light, how photocatalysts initiate chemical reactions under very mild reaction conditions, or how electrons “flow” through a molecule when an electric field is applied. These problems are very challenging for the existing quantum chemical methods and require significant advances in theory. Being able to solve some of these challenges is very exciting and is the constant source of motivation for me every day.

Q: What are your goals here at Ohio State?

One of my main goals at OSU is to become a valuable addition to the department as a researcher, a teacher, a mentor, and a colleague. In my research, my goal is to develop new theoretical tools that significantly expand the range of problems we can solve with quantum mechanical simulations. Some of these new problems I have already mentioned: from understanding the photochemistry of molecules with complex electronic properties to investigating the processes in chemical systems driven out of equilibrium. As a mentor, I would like to create a research environment for my students that will allow them to grow both professionally and personally, so they can be well prepared for their future careers.

Q: What led you to love chemistry?

When I was a child, I was struck by the realization that everything around us consists of just a handful of building blocks that we call atoms. All of the complexity and all of the beauty of the world that surrounds us and is inside of us is just a combination of a few dozen of elements bound together with even a smaller number of elementary particles. This realization that the world has a structure and this structure can be understood and manipulated led to my fascination of chemistry.

Q: Favorite class to teach:

Of course, I enjoy to teach classes on quantum chemistry and molecular electronic structure, a subject that is very close to my heart, but the other subjects that I would love to teach are: group theory, molecular spectroscopy, inorganic and coordination chemistry, photochemistry.

Q: Who do you most admire and why?

People that make an impact on lives of other people through their ideas, hard work, and dedication. There are many examples, I wouldn’t call specific names. From founders of big companies that transform the way we live, scientists with a big picture in mind that drive entire scientific fields forward to people who fearlessly work on issues in our society, demand changes and propose solutions.

Q: Piece of advice for our students:

First, never give up. There are times when things move along and there are times when everything stops. Think about the big picture and don’t be afraid to make steps in the unknown territory. Second, explore all opportunities. Before making an important decision in your life, look around. It may well be that the opportunity you are looking for is just around the corner.

Q: If you weren’t a scientist what would you be and why?

This is a tough question, because I can hardly imagine my life without science. But, looking back at my childhood, there was a time when I was interested in biology and wanted to become a doctor. That interest eventually led me to chemistry.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have two beautiful children and I learn a great deal from interacting with them every day. I also enjoy spending time outdoors (particularly, running and hiking) and look forward to exploring Columbus and the nearby areas.

Q: Random fact about yourself:

The name of my hometown (Snezhinsk) can be translated from Russian as “Snow city”. As the name suggests, it does get lots of snow during the winter 🙂 Also, my last name is the derivative of the Russian word “sokol”, which translates in English as falcon.

Indianapolis Teaching Fellows

Application due: November 6, 2017

Historically, high-need students in Indianapolis have not had equal access to an education that adequately prepares them for college and career. Indianapolis Teaching Fellows provides an accelerated path into teaching for accomplished professionals and recent graduates, while helping these students get the education they need.

During a six-week summer training program, fellows will repeatedly practice foundational classroom management and instructional techniques, and receive direct feedback from skilled coaches. Fellows must pass a series of evaluations in order to be eligible to start teaching in the fall. It is specifically designed for people without prior experience as a licensed teacher.

More information on the Fellows program is available on their website. The online application is currently available.

Ohio State Graduate and Professional School Fair

7th Annual Ohio State Graduate and Professional School Fair
This is a great opportunity for students who are new to Ohio State to begin to think about coursework, extracurricular activities, and co-curricular opportunities that will help them to prepare for graduate or professional school admissions.  It is also a good opportunity for students who are approaching graduation to learn what they need to do in order to apply to an Ohio State program.
Admission representatives from more than twenty Ohio State programs will attend.  In addition, there will be representatives from the pre-law and pre-health programs, ASC Career Services, Financial Aid and the Writing Center.  This event is open to all Ohio State students.  Admission is free and no RSVP is necessary.  Dress is casual.  Refreshments will be provided.  Presented by the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council.
This Fair features only Ohio State programs:  List of Programs Attending
This Fair is an option for Student Success Series credit. 
Wednesday, November 1 from 4:30 – 6:00 PM in the Ohio Union Great Hall Meeting Room

Southern Teacher’s Agency is Recruiting for Science Teacher Jobs Now

The Southern Teachers Agency is the premier placement agency for private schools in the South. Since 1902, they have helped tens of thousands of teachers—both rookie and experienced—find jobs from Maryland to Miami to Midland, Texas. They are now recruiting graduating students who have the potential to become good chemistry teachers at independent schools around the South.

Southern Teachers already has openings listed for the 2018-19 academic year, and is expecting more than 3,000 jobs in total, including hundreds of jobs for science teachers but it can take a bit of time to progress from applicant to active candidate with Southern Teachers: they review each application individually, accept the candidates they believe they can help, interview each accepted candidate to understand their unique job search, and then check their references. With this understanding of what a candidate can do and also wants to do, they can place young teachers in jobs where they will have potential for success in the classroom.

This year they will host a Job Fair for our active candidates on February 3 in Atlanta, GA. In order to take advantage of all these opportunities—and their Atlanta Job Fair—please apply by Thanksgiving to become a candidate with Southern Teachers.

Southern Teachers’ services are free for candidates. Candidates do not necessarily need a teaching license or education major to be hired, especially for those teaching science.

You can learn more about Southern Teachers and their opportunities at their  website.



Jobs Available: Ohio At Home Healthcare Agency

Ohio At Home Healthcare Agency currently has a need for home health aides to cover the hours of clients.
The clients in need primarily live directly across the street from the OSU Wexner Medical Center and has a stop on the CLN/CLS routes, making it perfect for OSU class schedules and those who lives in the dorms. Student Safety can also be accessed at this location. 
Supported clients have developmental disabilities ranging from children with autism to adults with paraplegia/quadriplegia. This is a great way for pre-health students to gain patient care experience, but they also hire students studying other disciplines. They have aides who have majors in other areas like music and languages. Ohio At Home believes everyone’s interests and hobbies can benefit the lives of clients. 
There are a range of hours available, including overnight, afternoon and evening shifts. There is particular need for availabilities during the following shifts: 
-Wednesday’s 12am-8am (arriving Tuesday night and leaving at 8am Wednesday morning)
-Wednesday’s 7pm-12am
-Saturday’s 12am-8am (arriving Friday night and leaving at 8am Saturday morning)
-Saturday’s 7pm-12am
To apply, students can email their resume, general availability (Sunday-Saturday), and a small blurb about themselves to and CC
Priority will be given to those who are willing to work one of the mentioned shifts, as well as those who are willing to work over school breaks, whether it be by staying in Columbus or returning for a couple days each week to help out. This should be included in the email as well in order to expedite the interview process. 

Service Learning: Backpacking with a Purpose


Operation Groundswell is a non-profit organization that runs volunteering programs abroad.  They examine various social justice issues while working in solidarity with local activists, non-profit organizations, and communities.  They welcome globally conscious and socially active students looking to spend their summer exploring some of the most complex and beautiful countries in the world!

If you’re into cultural exchange, meaningful community service, and off-the-beaten path adventure, apply by November 22nd!

Programs are filling quickly so apply as soon as possible.

Student Spotlight: Nathalie Milbrandt

Name: Nathalie Milbrandt

Hometown: Strongsville, Ohio

Major: Chemistry

Year: Senior

Nathalie Milbrandt, is not only a senior Chemistry student here at The Ohio State University, but she is also a TA for General Chemistry and a part of the STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholars Program. Nathalie does research with Dr. Woodward studying the synthesis, crystal structures, and magnetic properties of double perovskites containing 5d transition metals. But, that is not all! She plans on completing an undergraduate thesis with this project. “I find this project especially exciting because it involves synthesizing compounds that have never been made before”, Nathalie stated. Her favorite part about research is presenting it at poster forums, such as Denman, because it is exciting meeting and associating with new people interested in her research.

     If you’re intrigued or considering chemistry or biochemistry as your major, do not fret! “Do not be intimidated!” Nathalie exclaimed. As we know, people will discuss how difficult some of their chemistry courses have been, however if you truly love the subject, you won’t mind putting in the necessary work to succeed! In fact, one of Nathalie’s favorite classes was Inorganic Chemistry with Dr. Cowan. She found this subject extremely interesting and it helped her decide to focus on inorganic chemistry in her future studies! Looking for a fun elective to take? One of her other favorites was Italian Renaissance Art History because it was so different than all the classes she was used to taking. She referred to it as a “nice escape” from all her heavy science courses.

      One thing Nathalie believes every OSU student should do is get involved. Ohio State may seem like a huge school at first, however getting involved and meeting people with similar interests to your own will help to make campus feel smaller and more like home. You’ll be able to find your very own niche within the community here at Ohio State. If you’re out in between classes looking for a place to do some reading, or just relax before your next class, head over to the outside of Celeste in the springtime! The crabapples will be blooming, and that is Nathalie’s favorite place on campus.

What are Nathalie’s career goals upon graduation you ask? Well, like a lot of students here at OSU, she is not entirely sure. However, she really loves research and teaching so she decided to go to graduate school and further her studies in Chemistry! This will offer a wide variety of career paths for her to choose from. Nathalie also studied abroad last spring as part of the Scientific Roots in Europe class and went to London and Paris over spring break! On this trip she explored places such as Darwin’s house, Kew Gardens, the British Museum, and the Pasteur Institute. She said it was an amazing experience that she highly recommends to any Chemistry or Biochemistry student. She was unsure at first how she could fit a study abroad trip into her crazy schedule, however this trip was perfect because it was only 9 days away with a class portion at Ohio State throughout the semester!

We’ll leave you with a few little fun facts about Nathalie – The person she admires the most is her mom. She is always there whenever anyone needs her. She has taught Nathalie that family comes first and always is encouraging her and her sister to do their best. As for when she was in high school, Nathalie was an ice cream server for Mitchell’s Ice cream, a small Cleveland ice cream chain. They have over 40 flavors, and she’s tried them all!

We are honored and privileged to have students such as Nathalie in our department. We wish you the best of luck on all of your future endeavors!