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Chemistry

Research

FUNdamental FUNctional Group Chemistry The ability to develop new chemical transformations is a key element of organic chemistry. To this end our group has been pursuing both new reactions and the chemistry of newly discovered functional groups. This approach allows us to study cycloaddition chemistry, strained heterocycles, reactive intermediates and asymmetric synthesis. Our focus of study has been organosulfur chemistry for a number of years, but current investigations have spread to aromatic metallations, nitrogen heterocycles and organophosphorus chemistry pertaining to lipid synthesis. Funding comes or has come from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and from the Petroleum Research Fund, administered by the American Chemical Society.
FUNctional Chemistry The Schwan group provides synthetic expertise (and pure compounds!!) to a number of colleagues through collaborative interactions. These compounds serve a function for further study in a number of areas. For instance, we contribute to the research program of Prof. Robert Notter of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester by preparing new phopholipids for lung surfactant replacement therapy. Funding for lipid chemistry comes from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). We also collaborate with Prof. A. Rod Merrill of the Dept. of Molecular and Cellular Biology at U of G., contributing expertise and compounds to further the study of a key enzymic reaction pertaining to cystic fibrosis. We are also developing expertise in the synthesis of surface active compounds for monolayer nanoscience.
General Coworkers in the Schwan group are part of a team in which each member contributes to the goals of the research program. The workplace is a comfortable atmosphere with a relaxed air and plenty of humour. Group meetings and conference presentations supplement the overall experience. Former coworkers are employed in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, fine chemicals, publishing, rubber, biomass, drug research and cosmetics industries and in chemical education.
Lab Equipment: GC; GC/MS; React IR in situ reaction monitoring spectrometer; benchtop IR; HPLC with chiral columns; in addition to 300 MHz, 400 MHz and two 600 MHz NMR spectrometers available in the Department/College.