Lydia T. Pazienza

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Bonney Science Center, Room 211


Chemistry and Chemical Biology PhD, Harvard University 2022 ; Chemistry and Biochemistry BS University of Chicago 2016.

Research/Teaching Interests: Lydia’s research has focused on metal catalysis in the RNA world as it applies to the origin of life, and before that, protein folding and RNA structural dynamics. She remains broadly interested in origin of life research/prebiotic chemistry, and mechanistic studies of chemical reactions/catalysis. Nothing is more exciting than trying to experimentally determined how electrons are moving to form new bonds! Lydia primarily has taught organic chemistry, but she also has taught courses on prebiotic chemistry at the Harvard Summer School, both as a 2-week course for high schoolers and as a 7 week for-credit course. She is also interested in pedagogical research and alternate grading methods, with particular interest in improving accessibility and equity of organic chemistry to students of all backgrounds. Lydia additionally intends to develop a laboratory component to her origins of life course, to supplement the theoretical and often undetermined nature of the field of origins of life with lab-based inquiry.