Some of the most exciting opportunities for research in the biomedical sciences are to be found at the intersection of the traditional scientific disciplines. A working definition of chemical biology is (a) "To provide chemical tools for studying mechanisms and pathways of biological processes and (b) to use these tools for altering such biological processes for improvement of health." The development and use of these chemical tools will contribute to a deeper understanding of biology, which can lead to new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of disease (NIH).
Chemical Biology thus presents a framework for the modern approach to studying the complexities of biological processes. It is already a leading focal point for research in the 21st century, integrating concepts and information from the molecular to the cellular level. This new interdisciplinary degree program has participants from The Departments of Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medicinal Chemistry, and Pharmacology within the College of Humanities and Sciences, School of Medicine, and School of Pharmacy (VCU Bulletin).