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Research at the Chemistry section

The Chemistry Section is made up of three highly prominent chemistry departments, all specialized and leading in their respective area.

The Department och Biochemistry and Biophysics

The Department och Organic Chemistry

The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry

Research at the departments span a wide rage of areas, where both subject specific as well as interdisciplinary research is conducted - from curiosity-driven basic research to application driven research. The section's research is extensive and there are currently more than 240 graduate students at the section's departments.

Researchers from our section are involved in four of Stockholm University's leading research areas: biological membranes, climate, oceans and the environment, catalysis in organic chemistry and materials chemistry. The Chemistry Section is also active in key areas identified by the faculty such as chemical biology and theoretical chemistry.

Researchers from the Chemistry Section are also very active in the prestigous national centre Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. SciLife Lab is located in Solna and is a science hub and joint effort between Stockholm University, the Royal Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University.

The Chemistry Section carries a long tradition and prides itself of having a research environment that is very dynamic and inspiring. Many of the researchers are distinguished scientists and recognized as thought leaders internationally. This is highlighted by their commitment and involvement as members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Prize Committee for Chemistry.

Professor Robin Rogers.
Photo: Alec Tremaine Photography

Prominent US chemists guest professors at Stockholm University

Paul Anastas and Robin D. Rogers are world-renowned for their work on developing eco-friendly chemicals. In 2019 and 2020, they hold guest professorships at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry. The two tenures highlight the university’s leading position in the field of green chemistry.

David Drew. Photo: Magnus Bergström/Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

Scientists discover how malaria parasites import sugar

Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics has established how sugar is taken up by the malaria parasite, a discovery with the potential to improve the development of antimalarial drugs. The research is published in the scientific journal Nature.

The molecular structure of the photosynthetic complex I protein, which is located in the thylakoid membranes of cyanobacteria. The protein consists of various coupled modules, which capture electrons from the other photosynthetic proteins, pump protons across a biological membrane, and concentrate carbon dioxide. Picture: Patricia Saura.

Protein machine by which cyanobacteria concentrate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere revealed

For the first time, researchers from Stockholm University together with collaborators from Germany and Japan have solved the atomic structure of the photosynthetic complex I – the protein responsible for the carbon concentration process in the atmosphere. It is a step towards understanding how photosynthesis, the driving force behind all aerobic life on Earth, works at cellular level. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.


Mitochondrial ultrastructure facilitates ATP production in mitochondria by kinetic coupling

A new study by scientists from the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics indicates how the mitochondrial ultrastructure enables efficient energy conversion. The study is published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).

Xiaodong Zou, Foto: Yi Luo/Stockholms universitet

Funding of almost SEK 50 million granted to chemistry professor

The Swedish Research Council has selected the applications to be granted funding within the distinguished professor programme. One of the grants goes to Chemistry at Stockholm University.

Respiratory supercomplex from Mycobacterium smegmatis

Finding out more about the cell’s energy factories

New opportunities for the development of drugs against tuberculosis and an increased understanding of how the cell’s energy factory works. These topics are highlighted when Martin Högbom and his research team at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics take a closer look at the energy factories in the bacterium Mycobacterium smegmatis.

Martin Högbom

Ground-breaking research projects receive massive grants

We congratulate two professors at the Chemistry Section, who both received large grants from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for their exciting and ground-breaking research: Professor Anja-Verena Mudring and Professor Martin Högbom.

 Photo: Niklas Björling

Designing on a nanoscale for a more sustainable society

Using a 3D printer and forest waste to create new sustainable materials is one of Aji Matthew's special areas. Aji, a professor at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, has been researching nanocellulose for many years. The result is different nanomaterials with tailored properties and a clear sustainability profile.


Gunnar von Heijne

Gunnar von Heijne to receive 2020 Anatrace Membrane Protein Award

Gunnar von Heijne, Professor of theoretical chemistry at Stockholm University and Director of the SciLifeLab National Cryo-EM Facility, has been named the recipient of the The Biophysical Society’s 2020 Anatrace Membrane Protein Award.



Building Xbrane Biopharma

On the Nature Bioengineering Community webpage Xbrane's co-founder Jan-Wilem de Gier tells how in 2007 Xbrane was conceived at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and how it matured into a biosimilar developer.

Micro-crystal 3D electron diffraction

First new protein structure solved using micro-crystal 3D electron diffraction

In collaboration with scientists at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, the Högbom laboratory at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics has solved a new protein structure using a method called micro-crystal 3D electron diffraction, MicroED.


SciLifeLab, Stockholm University and AstraZeneca use cryo-EM to advance biomedicine

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics/SciLifeLab Fellow Alexey Amunts and his team in collaboration with AstraZeneca unravel the molecular details of the extracellular region of the receptor tyrosine kinase RET involved in cell signalling.

New microscope finally in place

New microscope finally in place

After almost five years and major renovations in the Arrhenius Laboratory, the University’s new electron microscope is finally in place.


Versatile solvents offer hope for greener chemistry

Recycling of electronic scrap, lubricants for electric vehicles and perhaps eventually more energy-efficient light sources. Ionic liquids are versatile solvents with a number of promising applications. For Professor Anja Mudring and other chemists, ionic liquids present an opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable society.