Computational and theoretical chemistry has been widely recognized as a growing and indispensable branch of science in the past decade. This claim is supported by the awarding of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to quantum chemists Walter Kohn and the late John Pople, the launching of two new journals, the Journal of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (World Scientific) in 2002 and the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation (American Chemical Society) in 2005, and the appointment at many Canadian institutions of Canada Research Chairs and University Research Chairs in computational chemistry and biochemistry. Advances in computer hardware and software are propelling the rise of computational and theoretical chemistry as a dynamical field that makes the cover of international scientific magazines such as Chemical & Engineering News and Physics Today on a regular basis.
Traditionally, computational and theoretical chemistry has been a scientific force in Canada, particularly in the Montreal area. The Faculty of Arts and Science at Concordia University recognized this fact over 5 years ago. Envisioning the growing importance of computational and theoretical chemistry in modern research, the Faculty supported and encouraged the establishment of the Centre for Research in Molecular Modeling (CERMM) in 2000. The mission of CERMM is to promote excellence in research and graduate education in computational chemistry and biochemistry, to foster collaborations between researchers in different institutions, and to provide an interdisciplinary forum for experimentalists, modelers and theoreticians to combine their expertise to reach new frontiers in the molecular sciences.
CERMM has grown into a multi-institutional centre with 24 senior members from 7 institutions with diverse interests. The infrastructure available in CERMM has supported the research of over 15 postdoctoral fellows, 35 graduate students and numerous undergraduate students in atmospheric, biological, inorganic, macromolecular, materials, medicinal, organic, physical, and polymer chemistry. All interested researchers in the molecular sciences are more than welcome to become new members of CERMM.