Research in organic chemistry at MIT addresses a broad spectrum of important problems of current interest and includes investigations at the frontier of bioorganic chemistry, organic synthesis, and materials science. Specific areas of research include protein glycosylation and protein design, chemosensors, continuous flow synthesis, liquid crystals, supramolecular catalysis, the design of new organometallic reagents and catalysts, the invention of new methods for asymmetric catalysis, engineering and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the development of new strategies for the total synthesis of a wide array of biologically important natural products. A central theme in many projects is the study of structure-reactivity relationships of biological, organic, and organometallic molecules. Much of the current research in the department takes place at the interface of organic chemistry with other areas such as biology, medicine, materials science, and nanotechnology.

Research in organic chemistry at MIT takes place in new, state-of-the-art laboratories in the recently reconstructed Dreyfus Chemistry Building.