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Jeffrey A. Turk. Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

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Andy Rajewski, '18

Major: Chemistry

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017.

Project Description:  Method development for applying Buchwald-Hartwig amination reactions to resin-bound amines.

“Solid-Phase Buchwald-Hartwig Reactions”, Rajewski, A.; Embury, M.; Turk, J. A.  Honor’s Day, Alma College, April 2017. (oral)

Matt Embury, '18

Major: Biochemistry

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017.

Project Description:  Method development for applying Buchwald-Hartwig amination reactions to resin-bound amines.

“Solid-Phase Buchwald-Hartwig Reactions”, Rajewski, A.; Embury, M.; Turk, J. A.  Honor’s Day, Alma College, April 2017. (oral)

Anthony Porath, '18

Major: Chemistry

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Winter 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017.

Project Description:  Synthesis of BANA analogues toward optimizing binding interactions within neuraminidase subsite-A.

Summer Internship 2017: Michigan State Bioeconomy Institute, Organic Energy Storage Lab.  Development of organic reflux flow batteries.

Dustin George, '19

Major: Undecided

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Winter 2017.

Project Description:  Synthesis of amino acid-functionalized aromatic inhibitors of neuraminidase.

Graduated Research Students:

Alex Kravat, BSN, RN

Graduated Alma College in 2014; BS in Integrated Physiology and Health Sciences

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Winter 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014.

Project Description:  Synthesis of aromatic analogues of oseltamivir aromatic; toward Group-1 specific neuraminidase inhibitors.  Synthesis of amino acid-functionalized aromatic inhibitors of neuraminidase.

Presented Research at National American Chemical Society Meeting, Fall 2012 (Philadelphia), poster presentation titled, Group-1-Specific Neuraminidase Inhibitors Containing an Aromatic Scaffold.

Senior Thesis 2014: Design and Synthesis of Group-1 Specific Neuraminidase Inhibitors

Post-Alma: BSN from Alma College (2016), Currently works as an RN at Mercy Health St. Mary's in Grand Rapids.

Andy Monroe

Graduated Alma College in 2012; BS in Biochemistry

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Summer 2009, Fall 2009, Winter 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011.

Project Description:  Synthesis of piperazine-based inhibitors of neuraminidase containing a nicotinic/isonicotinic acid core

Post-Alma: Pursuing MD at Wake Forest School of Medicine (class of 2018) while working as medical officer in the US Navy. Previously worked at Dow Chemical MI Ops in the polymer chemistry research and development division.

Current interests include pain mechanisms after surgery and evaluation of efficacy and potency of different anesthetic solutions i.e. liposomal suspensions and alkaline/acidic aqueous solutions at Wake Forest School of Medicine


Joe Hanisko

Graduated Alma College in 2014; BS in Integrated Physiology and Health Sciences

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Winter 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013.

Project Description:  Synthesis of aromatic analogues of oseltamivir; toward Group-1 specific neuraminidase inhibitors.

Presented Research at National American Chemical Society Meeting, Fall 2012 (Philadelphia), poster presentation titled, Group-1-Specific Neuraminidase Inhibitors Containing an Aromatic Scaffold.

Post-Alma: Pursuing doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) from GVSU

Current Project:  Physical Therapist Knowledge of Return to School in the Youth: Post-Concussion


"Most interesting thing I've done lately is go to Guatemala of a physical therapy service trip to provide pro bono physical therapy services to the underserved populations."

Christine Cuthbertson, M. Sc.

Graduated Alma College in 2014; BS in Biochemistry

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Winter 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013.

Project Description:  Synthesis of aromatic analogues of oseltamivir; toward Group-1 specific neuraminidase inhibitors.

Presented Research at National American Chemical Society Meeting, Fall 2012 (Philadelphia), poster presentation titled, Group-1-Specific Neuraminidase Inhibitors Containing an Aromatic Scaffold.

Participated in an IREU (Interdisciplinary Research Experience for Undergraduates) at the University of Michigan, Summer 2013. Mentor: Bruce Palfey, Ph.D.


Post-Alma: M.Sc., Medicinal Chemistry, 2016; Pursuing doctorate from University of Michigan

Current Project:  Discovery of First-in-Class SHMT2 and MTHFD2 Inhibitors for Lung Cancer; advisor, Nouri Neamati, Ph.D.

Current and Past Research Students

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Scott Kitzmiller

Transferred from Alma College in 2015 to Michigan Tech

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Summer 2014, Fall 2014.

Project Description:  Synthesis of amino acid-functionalized aromatic inhibitors of neuraminidase.

“Mapping the 150 Cavity: Group-1 Neuraminidase”, Kitzmiller, S.; Turk, J. A. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI. November 2014.


Pursuing BS in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech



Sean Sullivan

Graduated Alma College in 2015; BS in CHM

Undergraduate Research Activity: Winter 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015

Project Description:  Synthesis of BANA analogues toward optimizing binding interactions within neuraminidase subsite-A.

“Neuraminidase Inhibitors: Optimizing The Amide Binding Domain”, Sullivan, S.; Pieprzyk, S.; Turk, J. A. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI. November 2014.

Samantha Kellogg, M.S.

Graduated Alma College in 2012; BS in Chemistry

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Winter 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 12.

Project Description:  Synthesis of sandalwood-like fragrange ingredients

Summer Internship: Michigan State Police Forensic Laboratory, Lansing, MI.


Post-Alma: Obtained M.S. in forensic science from the University of Illinois and Chicago.  

Research Advisor/project: Dr. Karl Larsen, comparing sythetic cathinone isomers by FTIR, NMR and GCMS

Currently: Working for the Michigan State Police Forensic Lab in Lansing in the toxicology unit, analyzing blood for alcohol and drugs.

Ryan Spitler

Graduated Alma College in 2011

Presearch Description: Microwave-assisted organic synthesis

Chris Duymich, Ph.D.

Graduated Alma College in 2010; BS in Biochemistry

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Fall 2007, Winter 2008, Summer 2008, Fall 2008, Winter 2009, Fall 2009, Winter 2010.

Project Description:  Synthesis of piperazine-based inhibitors of neuraminidase containing a nicotinic/isonicotinic acid core

Post-Alma: Ph.D. in Genetic, Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Southern California.

Ph.D. Research Adviser: Peter A. Jones

Thesis Title: Effects of Chromatin Regulators During Carcinogenesis


Publications: DNMT3B isoforms without catalytic activity stimulate gene body methylation as accessory proteins in somatic cells.


Bivalent Regions of Cytosine Methylation and H3K27 Acetylation Suggest an Active Role for DNA Methylation at Enhancers.


Currently:  Senior Scientist at DxTerity Diagnostics.

Abby Grieve, M.S., MPA

Graduated Alma College in 2009; BS in CHM

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Winter 2007, Fall 2007, Winter 2008.

Project Description:  Microwave-assisted organic synthesis

Post-Alma: M.S.in Environmental Science (MSES) and a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) with a concentration in water resources, 2012, Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Currently: Working for the government of Alberta as a surface water quality technician.  Previously, hydrologic technician with the US Forest Service in Ironwood, Michigan and as a Project Scientist with Kieser & Associates Environmental Science and Engineering in Kalamazoo, Michigan where I worked on a comprehensive study of urban stormwater best management practices.  Also, I spent a year between graduating Alma and attending graduate school improving my French by living in Montbéliard, France teaching English. 

Allison Fields

Graduated Alma College in 2015; BS in CHM

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Summer 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015.

Project Description:  Method development for applying Buchwald-Hartwig and Ullman coupling reactions to resin-bound amines

Senior Thesis: Solid Supported Buchwald-Hartwig Couplings: A Method Development Project to Produce Anilines

Participated in an IREU (Interdisciplinary Research Experience for Undergraduates) at the University of Michigan, Summer 2013. Mentor: Bruce Palfey, Ph.D.


Post-Alma: Pursuing M.S. from University of North Carolina

Current Project: Department of Chemistry, Jeff Aubé's lab:  Oxaziridine Synthesis and Applications in Stereochemistry.

Leah Blystone

Graduated Alma College in 2010; BS in CHM

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Winter 2007, Fall 2007, Winter 2008.

Project Description:  Synthesis of aroma chemicals/fragrance ingredients

Currently working in quality control at Amcor Rigid Plastics

Cat Snypnewski

Graduated Alma College in 2012

Undergraduate Research Activity: Winter 2011, Summer 2011, Fall 2011.

Presearch Description: Synthesis of piperazine-based inhibitors of neuraminidase containing a nicotinic/isonicotinic  acid core

Currently teaching science to a homeschool co-op, focusing on hands-on lab experiences for 5th and 6th grade.

Jordan Bosco, MPA

Graduated Alma College in 2012; BS in Biology

Undergraduate Research Activity: Fall 2011

Project Description:  Synthesis of aroma chemicals/fragrance ingredients

Post-Alma: Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health

Worked as a clinical information analyst at U of M Health System, currently an Infection Control Specialist at Beaumont Health-Taylor

Joye Allen, PharmD, MPH

Graduated Alma College in 2009; BS in Chemistry and French

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  Fall 2005, Winter 2006, Summer 2006, Fall 2006, Winter 2007, Fall 2007, Winter 2008, Fall 2008, Winter 2009.

Project Description:  Synthesis of piperazine-based inhibitors of neuraminidase containing a benzoic acid core

Senior Thesis: Design and Synthesis of Group-1 Specific neruaminidase Inhibitors

Post-Alma: Received PharmD and MPH from University of Kentucky in 2016

Currently a pharmacy resident at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System

Sienna Pieprzyk

Will Graduate from Alma College in 2017; BS in CHM

Undergraduate Research Activity: Winter 2014, Summer 2014, Fall 2014

Project Description:  Synthesis of BANA analogues toward optimizing binding interactions within neuraminidase subsite-A.\

“Neuraminidase Inhibitors: Optimizing The Amide Binding Domain”, Sullivan, S.; Pieprzyk, S.; Turk, J. A. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI. November 2014.

Brad Somers

Graduated Alma College in 2012, B.A. in Sociology

Undergraduate Research Activity:

Project Description:  Synthesis of piperazine-based inhibitors of neuraminidase containing a benzoic acid core

Telecommunications professional, working at Sears in Lansing

Blake Reed, Ph.D.

Graduated Alma College in 2010; BS in Chemistry

Undergraduate Reseach Activity:  

Project Description:  Synthesis of sandalwood-like fragrange ingredients

Post-Alma: Obtained Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Wayne State University in 2016

Graduate Research: Designing reduced bis(imino)pyridine nickel complexes for reactivity with heteroallenes, specifically carbon dioxide under the direction of Dr. Stanislav Groysman.

Currently:  Assistant Professsor of Chemistry at Olivet College

Carrie Gaudard

Graduated Alma College in 2012

Presearch Description: Synthesis of piperazine-based inhibitors of neuraminidase containing a benzoic acid core