Chemistry and Biochemistry

Research Experiences for Undergraduates

An REU Site to Prepare Students for Graduate School and an Industrial Career        

Application Download


Overview: This REU site will provide you with the opportunity to spend 10 weeks (June 4, 2018-August 9, 2018) performing research in a state-of-the-art chemistry or biochemistry lab of your choice. In several labs you will solve research problems connected to chemistry or biochemistry industries.


You will also be exposed to:


You will receive:


Prerequisites: We invite student from 4-year and 2-year universities and colleges to apply. For most labs, completion of freshmen chemistry and lab is required. Organic classes and lab are required for some, but not all organic labs.


Honor Code: Everyone is welcome at BYU. You are required to commit to living the honor code during your time at BYU. The honor code provides an extremely safe and enjoyable atmosphere. Please review this document.


Contact Program Directors with Questions:

Professor Daniel Ess

Professor Rebecca Sansom 

Professor Kara Stowers 


Participating Labs:




Professor Daniel Austin 

Industrial Problem: Design and optimize performance of miniaturized ion-trap mass spectrometers for portable chemical analysis. Together let’s design for space missions!


Professor Adam Woolley 

Industrial Problem: Design and production of integrated microfluidic systems for complex biological analyses. Together let’s build and analyze biological molecules!


Professor Kara Stowers 

Industrial problem: Developing heterogeneous catalysts for ethane to ethylene conversion. Together let’s use ultra-high vacuum to study catalyst surfaces!


Professor Steven Castle 

Industrial problem: Synthesis of anticancer compounds for drug discovery. Together let’s synthesize beautiful and important organic compounds!


Professor Jeremy Johnson

Industrial problem: Designing and characterizing organic nonlinear optical crystals. Together let’s use lasers to understand and design materials!


Professor Brian Woodfield

Industrial problem: Improve zeolites and metal organic frameworks (MOF) for use in commercial catalyst applications. Together let’s use very low temperature calorimetry to understand materials!


Professor Paul Savage 

Industrial problem: Generation of complex oligosaccharides for use in vaccines. Together let’s synthesize and test new vaccines!


Professor David Dearden

Industrial problem: Development fundamental and use of state-of-the-art extremely sensitive chemical analysis tools. Together let’s develop instruments to detect compounds one billionth of a gram!


Professor Daniel Ess 

Industrial problem: Use computational chemistry to design homogeneous catalysts for natural gas conversion to liquid alcohols. Together let’s use supercomputers to understand transition states and make experimental predictions!


Professor Roger Harrison 

Industrial problem: Detecting and quantifying drug contaminants in water. Let’s build new compounds and analytical machines to detect medication contaminants in water sources!


Professor Jaron Hansen 

Industrial problem:  Biomass waste conversion to biomethane. Let’s develop and build bacterial biodigesters to create energy from biomass!


Professor Matthew Linford

Industrial problem:  Develop chromatograph using silica-hybridized polymer monoliths. Let’s create, characterize, and test new separations materials!




Professor Ken Christensen 

Industrial problem: Test small molecule analogs as therapeutics. Let’s develop and use biochemical assays and data analyses to identify “hit” anti-parasitic compounds that block glucose uptake and metabolism!


Professor John Price 

Industrial Problem: Quantifying dynamic in vivo protein synthesis. Let’s use metabolic isotope labeling with quantitative and kinetic mass spectrometry to analyze stimulus-dependent changes in the mRNA and protein concentration and protein turnover kinetics for thousands of proteins!


Professor Steven Graves 

Industrial problem: Develop biomarkers assays for Alzheimer’s disease. Let’s create and use serum lipidomic studies in search of diagnostic biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease!


Why BYU?

Provo is wonderful: BYU has a unique and friendly campus environment that is extremely safe! BYU is located in Provo, Utah, which is 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City. There are many mountains, lakes, and rivers within just a few minutes of Provo. Several national parks are within a few hours’ drive. With a population of approximately 250,000 in Utah Valley, there is a diversity of restaurants (Indian, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, etc.) and entertainment (music, comedy, etc.).


BYU central mission: To provide outstanding undergraduate education and research training with state-of-the-art equipment. The chemistry department faculty are experienced at guiding undergraduate students to become functional researchers and coauthors in a short period of time.


Publish: Over the past five years the chemistry research faculty published an average >30 articles per year with undergraduate coauthors that made primary contributions. We want you to be a co-author!


Success placing students in graduate school: BYU has a culture of promoting graduate school and has been ranked 5th in the nation by NSF for undergraduates who go on to earn PhDs.


Honor Code


General Honor Code Statement: We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men...If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Brigham Young University exists to provide a university education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This atmosphere is preserved through commitment to conduct that reflects those ideals and principles. Students, staff, and faculty of Brigham Young University are expected to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus their commitment to the BYU Honor Code and all moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will:


Dress and Grooming Standards: The dress and grooming of both men and women should always be modest, neat, and clean, consistent with the dignity of representing Brigham Young University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


The BYU Dress and Grooming Standards are as follows: Clothing should be modest in fabric, fit, and style, and appropriate for the occasion. Clothing should be knee-length or lower. Clothing which is sleeveless, strapless, or revealing is not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in public campus areas. A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extreme styles and colors. Men's hair should be trimmed above the collar, leaving the ear uncovered. Earrings for men are unacceptable. Men should be clean shaven. Beards are not acceptable, except for certified medical or religious reasons. If worn, mustaches should be neatly trimmed. Men's sideburns should not extend below the earlobe or out onto the cheek.