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An Organic Chemistry Summer Bonanza

This current summer season has been particularly productive in terms of successes achieved with students who either enrolled in fast-paced Organic I and II courses or desired a jump-start for Fall Organic I.

A variety of concepts were dealt with, including nomenclature, acidity and basicity rankings, conformational analysis, stereochemistry, resonance stabilization, reaction mechanisms, functional groups, synthetic routes, and spectroscopic analysis (IR, C-13 and proton NMR, mass spectral). The frequent focal point for clarifying discussions was a list of core General Chemistry I and II topics that had immediate bearing on a particular O-Chem. topic. In other instances, molecular models proved to be invaluable in visualizing ideas that were difficult to grasp in two dimensions.

The question arose from several students, particularly those with pre-med orientations, about why organic chemical knowledge would even be necessary for their chosen careers. First, virtually all pharmaceuticals are organic compounds. Second, in this 21st century organic chemicals known as phytonutrients have been taking on increasingly important roles in all aspects of human health and disease prevention.. Medical practitioners have been called upon to familiarize themselves with not only the best food sources of these phytochemicals but also their chemical structures. These contain many common organic functional groups that are responsible for regulating biochemical pathways in significant ways to influence the development of many diseases.

So, why partner with me in Organic Chemistry? If you desire a sound foundation from which to learn (with minimal memorization) organic concepts and good leads (particular if pre-med bound) for 21st century nutrition, I'm eager to work with you. Please contact me.

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