Pre-Medicine: Professor of chemistry
Engineering: Professor of chemistry
Special Interest: Synthesis of Organic Molecules
Dr. Chriss McDonald joined the Department of Chemistry in 1987 after a one-year teaching position at Berea College in Kentucky. He received his doctorate in organic chemistry from Miami University where he focused on the synthesis of highly oxygenated natural products. At Lycoming he teaches General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry I and II, Advanced Organic Chemistry, Spectroscopy and Molecular Structure, Chemistry Research Methods, and team teaches Biochemistry with Dr. Jeff Newman of the Department of Biology. He is particularly interested in the development of new inquiry-based laboratory experiments for his various organic courses.
Like all members of the Department of Chemistry, Dr. McDonald directs undergraduate research. The two main thrusts of his research group at Lycoming have always been the development of new organic synthetic methods and the use of carbohydrates in the synthesis of natural products. Currently students in his research group are working on the development of safer and more efficient activators for samarium diiodide reductions. Over the years his research has been funded by the Petroleum Research Fund, the Merck Foundation, and the Council on Undergraduate Research.
Dr. McDonald has two sons, Matt (a mechanical engineer for Lutron Corporation and a poet), and Jim (an electrical engineering student at Penn State with an interest in artificial intelligence). In his free time, Dr. McDonald enjoys playing basketball, biking, and gardening.