Research Centers & Programs

Center for Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences

CAMOS was founded to coordinate and promote research and training in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences.

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Center for Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences


CAMOS was founded in 1987 at the University of Virginia to coordinate and promote research and training in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences. The Center brings together faculty and students from across the Schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering. Research activities are diverse in this multidisciplinary center, with examples ranging from theoretical studies of atomic and molecular structure, to advanced laser synthesis and processing of materials.


Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalization

The CCHF brings together research groups from ten different institutions to develop new catalyst technologies for hydrocarbon functionalization

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Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalization


Catalysts are central to the efficient and clean utilization of energy resources, and they impact all aspects of the energy sector. With the University of Virginia as the lead institution, the Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalization fosters collaborations between groups at ten different institutions with expertise in catalysis, electrochemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and quantum mechanics. To enable fundamental advancements in the design and development of next generation catalysts for selective, low temperature, hydrocarbon functionalization, the research team will seek to attain new levels of control over catalytic steps involved in the reaction of hydrocarbons and oxygen-delivery reagents. This initial focus will serve as a foundation to build the collaborative team into the cohesive group needed to achieve successful catalysts for diverse areas related to alternative energies.


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Center for Chemistry of the Universe

The CCU forges a unique research collaboration among leading scientists in the field of astrochemistry

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Center for Chemistry of the Universe


The Center for Chemistry of the Universe (CCU) will allow scientists to explore new types of chemical reactions that occur under the extreme conditions of space. The center will combine laboratory experiments, theoretical studies, and radio-telescope observations to dramatically expand our understanding of the processes that build molecules that may “seed” young planets with the building blocks of life. The CCU forges a unique research collaboration among leading scientists in the field of astrochemistry from the University of Arizona, The Ohio State University, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and a group of chemists and physicists at the University of Virginia engaged in research to understand the fundamentals of chemical reactions.

Read more at UVA Today


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Functional Proteomics Undergraduate Research Initiative

Undergraduate biochemistry research laboratory focused on characterizing protein functions

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Functional Proteomics Undergraduate Research Initiative


This laboratory was created to expand the undergraduate independent research opportunities available. This undergraduate research laboratory was developed in an effort to expand on the work of the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) Centers. The PSI centers have determined over 3,500 protein structures, yet greater than 1,400 of these proteins have unknown functions and many more, although functionally annotated by bioinformatics approaches, have not been functionally characterized. Research in the laboratory will focus on approaches to characterize the function of these proteins and will complement the curriculum of the Biological Chemistry Laboratory II (CHEM4421) course, which is designed around the functional characterization of proteins. In both the Functional Proteomics Undergraduate Laboratory and CHEM4421, students are responsible for a bioinformatics investigation of the putative function of the protein of interest (e.g., operon structure and protein structure comparison), designing appropriate spectroscopic assays to assess for the putative function, and a systematic perturbation of the assay (e.g., temperature dependence, pH dependence, and/or cofactor requirements).


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Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Scientific and Technological Advanced Research

The nanoSTAR Institute encompasses nanoscale and quantum research

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Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Scientific and Technological Advanced Research


Nanoscale research at UVa encompasses three broad theme areas: electronicsbiomedicine, and energy & the environment, and the university has several core facilities that support the research community.  Please visit the Researchers page for more detailed descriptions of nanoSTAR faculty research interests and expertise.


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Research Training Grants

Chemistry Ph.D. students can apply to these training grant programs for funding