The Chemistry of Life Processes Institute empowers a new paradigm of scientific discovery that converges and integrates the current molecular approach – centered on the role of molecules (DNA, RNA, proteins, etc.) – with another layer of information that describes the impact of chemical (ionic strength, metals, and chemical modifications to molecules) and physical forces (such as density, crowding, tension, and elasticity) on the shape of molecules and their interactions. This new, multi-dimensional approach enables scientists to obtain a more detailed understanding of life processes and develop fresh approaches to problems of human health, disease control, the environment, and agriculture.

CLP accelerates the pace of discovery and innovation at Northwestern by providing researchers with powerful tools and exceptional expertise and supporting the development of new transdisciplinary team research programs to address high-risk, high-reward research problems. Institute faculty have developed unique strengths in nanoscale imaging, top-down proteomics, theranostics, epigenetics, computational modeling, and inorganic physiology.

CLP transforms the training of the next generation of scientists capable of working at the interface of multiple disciplines. CLP creates new curricula that focuses on skills development and hands-on training across a broad spectrum of instruments and methods. Graduate students learn multiple languages of scientific inquiry through working with mentors in multiple fields, spending time in complementary laboratories, and interacting with peers and faculty across a range of disciplines. Our goal is to become a national model for transdisciplinary graduate postdoctoral training.

This bold undertaking to transform how we do science, how we teach science, and how we translate scientific discoveries into new therapeutics and diagnostics, is powered by a diverse teams of chemists, life scientists, engineers, physicists and clinicians from three schools and more than 20 departments.