About the Department

The Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry has a proud history of excellence in teaching and research.

Honours and postgraduate positions are available in a wide range of research areas including synthetic, organic, inorganic and analytical chemistry, molecular, cellular and structural biology, fundamental and applied biochemistry in the study of microbes, plants and animals, as well as biomedical applications in human health and disease. The department also has strong links with industry having embedded a number of biotechnology companies.

Staff in chemistry investigate a range of projects in inorganic, organic and theoretical chemistry  with a focus on the discovery of new reactivity and bonding, luminescent materials and their properties, bioimaging and synthesis and characterisation of new metal-containing compounds for use as diagnostic imaging agents (radiopharmaceuticals) and fluorescent probes for imaging and sensor applications.

We have a strong focus on laboratory-based classes with a hands-on approach to practical and theoretical study, producing graduates of the highest calibre. We emphasise the importance of real-world experience through industry research and professional development across various community programs. Our small class sizes allow students to work closely with dedicated teaching staff across both the biochemistry and chemistry fields of study. Our state-of-the-art laboratories, facilities and industry partnerships ensure you are well prepared with the practical experience needed when you enter the workforce.

Each year, our chemistry students work on community-based programs in collaboration with our partners. These practical skills allow students to build strong community and professional connections across a broad range of scientific areas.

The Department is situated within the School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment and is based in the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS).

Opened in 2013, the $94.1 million LIMS building offers students and scientists world-class research and teaching facilities. The state-of-the-art research hub is the interface between La Trobe and local and global biotechnology companies, and is a key player in the development of a Northern Bioscience Precinct in Melbourne's fast-growing northern region.

The annual Bruce Stone Lecture was established to honour of the Department’s Foundation Professor. It recognises and celebrates outstanding professional achievements and leadership of alumni and associates in the disciplines of Biochemistry and Genetics at La Trobe University. Read more about the history of biochemistry at La Trobe University [PDF 15 MB].

The annual Max O'Connor Memorial Lecture was established in honour of Dr Max O'Connor's significant contribution to the early development of Chemistry at La Trobe. It recognises and celebrates outstanding achievements by chemists in Victoria.