The Infochemistry Master’s program at ITMO University was developed by the Infochemistry Scientific Center. The program trains top-tier specialists with an interdisciplinary understanding of complex systems in chemistry and biology as well as skills in studying, modeling and forecasting such systems. Our graduates can work on tasks related to personalized medicine and nutrition by collecting and analyzing Big Data, studying modular systems, and applying the concepts of analogy and synergetics in their work.
Today, global challenges are often tackled with the use of interdisciplinary research. Infochemistry – a field of experimental chemistry that studies the possibilities of recording and storing information at a molecular level – considers the application of IT in a completely new way: at the molecular scale and in chemical systems. Research at the center focuses on several fields: from the creation of artificial cells to systems for the programming of bacterial biofilms; from smart dynamic materials and light-controlled diagnosis systems to the research and modeling of nonlinear chemical processes.
The program offers a novel approach in regard to science and education by combining chemistry, biology, and information technologies. This helps us greatly expand the opportunities for scientific discoveries. The Infochemistry Scientific Center is home to research groups headed by leading international scientists. Its scientific consultant is Jean-Marie Lehn, a laureate of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. All of the program’s Master’s students work on either research or industrial projects of their own at one of the center’s research groups and enjoy free access to high-tech equipment.Program booklet
Features and advantages
Competitive advantages of the Infochemistry program
- Delivered in English
- Research advisors and lecturers with international research experience
- Interdisciplinary approach
- Individual learning paths
- Involvement of industrial partners, opportunities for the commercialization of students’ products and the launch of their own startups
- Paid 1-5 month internships at partner universities around the world
- Free access to high-tech equipment
- Publications in high-ranking journals
- An educational system based on quick, intensive modules gives students the opportunity to take long-term international internships at leading research centers and receive education while doing research
- The program has no counterparts in Russia; the closest program that makes use of a scientific approach to systems chemistry and infochemistry is offered at Harvard University (Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology).
Key educational courses
At the Infochemistry program, students receive advanced knowledge in the fields of biotechnology, chemical technology, materials science, computer science, robotics, and mathematics. The program is rooted in professional training in the fields that call for expert knowledge in science, technology, and research.Curriculum (in Russian)
- University-wide core set of disciplines
- Creative Technologies
- High Tech Business Creation
- an elective Soft Skills course of the student’s choice
- Key modular subjects: relevant fields of chemistry, biology, mathematics and IT
- Data Processing and Analysis
- Applied Artificial Intelligence
Infochemistry The course covers topics such as smart nanocapsule-based drug delivery systems, self-restoration systems, and artificial systems capable of communicating with live cells and the human microbiome. We’ll attempt to answer the questions – what is chemical data? How is it stored and processed on the molecular and supramolecular scale? The course also covers the methods of encoding, storing, and processing information within materials and molecules with the use of various strategies. The terms “data” and “processing” will require an expansion of several definitions that cover the behavior of cells and nature in general within the accepted paradigm.
Systems Chemistry The course will cover the patterns found in the behavior of complex chemical and biological systems. Students will learn to assess the relationships between subsystems – including the formation and destruction of molecules, feedback, and control.
Analytical Chemistry. Physicochemical Methods of Analysis The course aims to train qualified specialists by providing them with fundamental knowledge of contemporary physio-chemical and physical research methods and experience of working with advanced analytical equipment used in various fields of chemistry, biology, medicine, petrochemistry, and geology.
Selected chapters of physical chemistry The students will learn electrochemistry and thermodynamics. Research in the field of electrochemistry offers comprehensive knowledge of electrochemical processes and measurements, especially in fuel cells, light batteries and photosensitive materials. The students will also study molecular dynamics and entropy as an impetus in systems of “soft” materials.
Current trends in colloidal chemistry The course covers the key concepts and trends of green chemistry as well as the physical and chemical properties of colloid systems and phase boundaries. Students will learn to plan, organize, and conduct their own research in the field of colloid systems
Advanced Biochemistry The course focuses on disruptions in the homeostasis of microelements that can result in the development of pathological conditions and diseases. The course deals with the main technologies used to assess patients’ microelement status in a timely manner.
From Logic Gates to Iontronic Devices The course focuses on the key principles of mathematical logic and molecular logic gates. We’ll answer the question of what iontronics is and consider its applications. Students will learn to analyze excited molecules, make conclusions about the mechanisms involved in various processes, and to formulate the tasks of photochemical research in the design of iontronic devices.
- Scientific Seminar
- English for Specific Purposes
Depending on their chosen research project, second-year students build an individual learning path along one of the following specialization tracks:
Basics of Molecular Organized Systems and Infochemistry
The specialization is based on modern approaches to system chemistry and covers issues of storage and transfer at the molecular level. Within the framework of this specialization, the patterns of behavior of open physico-chemical systems with significant deviations from equilibrium are considered. Much attention is paid to the issues of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, the formation of dissipative structures. This specialization is focused on the following professions: research engineers, analysts in large research centers and innovative startups, researchers in the academic environment in leading world and Russian universities.
Sonochemical and Photochemical Methods in Chemistry The course offers a full overview of ultrasound-initiated reactions and the associated technologies that can be used in organic synthesis, destruction of polymers and nanomaterials, as well as waste water treatment, purification of food ingredients, and various pharmaceutical and bioenergy applications.
Mathematical Description of Nonlinear Chemical Systems The course focuses on the correlations in the behavior of open physicochemical systems with significant deviations from the equilibrium. A major focus is placed on the questions of nonequilibrium thermodynamics and the formation of dissipative structures.
Percolation Theory Суть курса состоит в том, чтобы затронуть ряд различных тем в теории перколяции, в том числе распространение эпидемий, дать студентам построения феноменологических перколяционных и фрактальных зависимостей по экспериментальным данным. Мы обсудим такие вопросы как "Существуют ли бесконечные компоненты? Существует ли критическое значение, при котором появляются бесконечные компоненты?"
Nonlinear Chemical Systems and Chemical Computers We’ll discuss a wide range of phenomena: from chemical oscillations to chaos, from waves to the formation of patterns; we’ll also discuss experimental and theoretical methods of analysing systems’ stability and instability.
Digitalization of Chemical Technology
This specialization focuses on the development of sensor-based monitoring systems with applications in various fields of science and technology, including medicine. Students will learn new methods for the processing of data from chemical experiments, including those involving deep learning and neural networks. The specialization is aimed towards students who plan a career in R&D at industrial chemical and biotechnological companies, as well as future researchers in the field of application and adjustment of robotic systems in chemistry and biology. The specialization’s graduates are involved in the development and introduction of innovative technologies and products at enterprises, as well as R&D work.
Synchronization of Electrochemical and Biological Oscillators Students will familiarize themselves with the principles behind the emergence of periodic systems in physics, chemistry and biology; the peculiarities of feedback systems; and the specifics of describing nonlinear systems. They will also study the modelling of oscillatory systems and learn to produce their mathematical description and forecast their behavior.
Multimodal Sensor Systems The course covers interdisciplinary scientific and engineering approaches to the understanding of fundamental physical differences in nanosensors as well as data miniaturization and processing. By the end of the course, the students will come to understand how nanomaterials are manufactured and characterized, the specifics of modifying nanomaterial-based sensors, and study their current applications.
DNA Nanomachines for Biomedical Applications You will learn about the structure and functions of natural protein machines on the example of myosin, kinesin and dynein, as well as about the modern achievements in the field of the development of artificial molecular machines for biomedical applications.
Autocatalysis and Oscillating Reactions This course aims to touch upon several research areas in the field of autocatalysis and oscillatory reactions and identify the role of autocatalysis in the chemical evolution.
Examples of thesis topics
- Self-assembling biocompatible electronics devices
- Multisensor electrochemical platforms in biotechnology
- Synchronization of three photochemical oscillators
- A study of the fundamentals of enzyme-controlled subsidence of hydroxyapatite
- Formation of organic and supramolecular Liesegang rings in a microfluidic system