Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Chriss McDonald

Chriss McDonald


B.S., Manchester College
Ph.D., Miami University

Contact Information:

(570) 321-4186
Campus Post Office Box 152

Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Department
Areas of Expertise: Synthesis of Organic Molecules

Chriss McDonald joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 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 Jeff Newman, Ph.D., 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. His research has resulted in papers published jointly with students including:

Chriss McDonald has two sons, Matt (a mechanical engineer for Lutron Corporation and a guitarist for a local Philadelphia metal band), and Jim (an electrical engineering graduate student at Case Western with an interest in artificial intelligence and mixed martial arts). In his free time, McDonald enjoys playing basketball, biking and gardening.