Assistant Professor of Chemistry
- 2009–2012 NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Samuel J. Danishefsky, MSKCC
- 2003–2009 PhD Chemistry, Brian M. Stoltz, California Institute of Technology
- 1999–2003 BS Chemistry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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Jenn grew up in Fredericksburg, VA and completed her undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, where she graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Chemistry in 2003. From there, she moved to Pasadena, CA, where she completed a PhD in Chemistry in 2009 under the guidance of Prof. Brian M. Stoltz at Caltech. Her thesis work focused on the synthesis of the bioactive marine alkaloid zoanthenol. Through this synthetic effort, she completed the cyclization of aromatic systems by both acid-mediated and radical-mediated methods to form the densely functionalized carbocyclic core of zoanthenol. She then joined the group of Prof. Samuel J. Danishefsky at the Sloan-Kettering Institute at MSKCC. Her research efforts during this time spanned several areas including the study of isonitrile-based methods for amide bond formation, the application of these reactions to the synthesis of cyclosporine, the conversion of N-formyl amides to optically active hydantoins, and the total chemical synthesis of the pituitary glycoprotein human thyroid-stimulating hormone (hTSH). She joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Wayne State University as an Assistant Professor in July 2012. Jenn’s research program focuses on novel strategies for the synthesis of neuroactive and potentially neuroactive molecules.
Honors and Awards
- 2017 SSTEPS Fellow (Grant for Faculty-Driven Course Reform)
- 2016 NSF CAREER Award
- 2014 Top 10 Reviewer for Elsevier Journals
- 2014 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award
- 2013 Top 10 Reviewer for Tetrahedron
- 2012 Top 10 Reviewer for Tetrahedron
- 2011 NIH Pathway to Independence
- 2011 NPA Research Integrity Ambassador Award
- 2011 Top 10 Reviewer for Tetrahedron
- 2010 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
- 2010 NYAS Education Fellow
- 2008 Philanthropic Education Organization Scholar Award
- 2007 ACS WCC/Eli Lilly Travel Award, ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA
- 2005 Novartis Graduate Fellowship in Organic Chemistry for Minorities and Women
- 2004 Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Fellowship Program
- 2003 Hypercube Scholar Award
- 2003 Academic Excellence Award in Chemistry (also awarded in 2002)
- 2002 Merck Index Chemistry Award
- 2002 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Nominee
- 2002 Charles B. Walker Scholarship (also awarded in 2000, 2001)
- 2001 Scientific Scholar of the Year Award, 3rd Place, ACD Labs
- 1999 Ruth Louise Terrett Earle Scholarship
- 1999 Commonwealth Girl Scout Council Scholarship
Office: 277 Chemistry
Phone: (313) 577-2605
Fax: (313) 577-2099
Department of Chemistry
Wayne State University
5101 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48202
Favorite Animals: (L) Molly begs for a sardine, (R) Quincy studies Phys Org, (Bottom) Cody takes over Molly’s crate)
Favorite Street Artist from NYC:
There are the rushing waves…
mountains of molecules,
each stupidly minding its own business…
…yet forming white surf in unison.
Ages on ages…
before any eyes could see…
year after year…
thunderously pounding the shore as now.
For whom, for what?
…on a dead planet
with no life to entertain.
Never at rest…
tortured by energy…
wasted prodigiously by the sun…
poured into space.
A mite makes the sea roar.
Deep in the sea,
all molecules repeat
the patterns of another
till complex new ones are formed.
They make others like themselves…
and a new dance starts.
Growing in size and complexity…
masses of atoms,
dancing a pattern ever more intricate.
Out of the cradle
onto dry land…
here it is standing…
atoms with consciousness
…matter with curiosity.
Stands at the sea…
wonders at wondering… I…
a universe of atoms…
an atom in the universe.
– Richard P. Feynman