Chemistry and Chemical Biology (PhD)

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Degree Offered: PhD
Program Leadership:
Jason Gestwicki, PhD, Program Director
Danica Fujimori, PhD, Associate Program Director
Admissions Inquiries:
Arezou Razavi, Program Coordinator

Program Description

The Chemistry and Chemical Biology Graduate Program (CCB) prepares scientists to address problems at the intersection of chemistry and biology. The program gives students a foundation in chemistry for understanding complex biological processes at an atomic level, and provides training in the sciences related to chemical biology—integrating both with respect to atomic, molecular, and cellular levels of structure. This interdisciplinary study of molecules in living systems in the setting of a health science campus helps to integrate the traditional disciplines of chemistry and biology.

The CCB program at UCSF ranks among the top such programs in the nation according to a 2010 report by the National Research Council. The program is set within the interdisciplinary educational environment for which UCSF is so well known, and it is physically located on UCSF’s contemporary Mission Bay research campus. The program has strong connections with other UC campuses and the biotech industry in the region, further increasing students' research opportunities.


About 50 faculty members are associated with the CCB program. They are affiliated with the departments of pharmaceutical chemistry, bioengineering and therapeutic sciences, cellular and molecular pharmacology, biochemistry and biophysics, physiology, and otolaryngology, as well as the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, the Helen Diller Cancer Center, the Gladstone Institute, and the Cardiovascular Research Institute.


  • Biological chemistry and synthetic biology
  • Chemical synthesis and natural products
  • Computational chemistry and biology
  • Drug discovery and design
  • Macromolecular structure and function
  • Protein and cellular engineering

The CCB program office is located at the Mission Bay campus. Visit the program website for more information.

The CCB program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division, administered by the UCSF School of Pharmacy, and delivered by faculty members in the UCSF schools of pharmacy and medicine.

Additional Information

Program Faculty

Career Outcomes