The McDonald research laboratory explores new and improved methods for preparing organic (carbon-containing) compounds, particularly bioactive compounds that may become new pharmaceutical agents or other biologically important materials.

Our research plans begin by identifying a molecular structure or family of related structures, in some cases with a potential application to medicine based on known biological activity.  However, our goals are not just limited to making the target compound.  As a matter of fundamental research, we are always interested in discovering a new chemical transformation, uncovering new modes of chemical reactivity, or developing a new synthetic strategy.

Our research activities also provide excellent training for graduate and undergraduate chemistry students.  Alumni of the McDonald laboratory hold positions in a variety of roles in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, in colleges and universities, and law firms.

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