Voicethread:  These are short presentations for the general public, as part of a collaborative class exercise developing scientific communication skills.  The students in my graduate-level courses prepare Voicethreads on one of their research projects, and I’ve prepared a few models for them to view, directed to audiences ranging from educated adult non-scientists to children.  You’re encouraged to post comments directly within the Voicethreads.  I’ve left recent comments from students as examples.

1) This Voicethread introduces my Ph.D. advisor’s recent extension of my old thesis work from the 1980’s.

Phorbol esters and prostratin

2) This Voicethread presents the research on phorbol esters in a format that is directed to an audience of children.

New Chemistry and New Medication: A Cure for AIDS?

3) This Voicethread introduces a completed project from the McDonald laboratory.  In the collaborative nature of preparing Voicethreads, students commented on an earlier version (now deleted) which I recently re-recorded with revisions based on their suggestions.

Fumonisin, a template for discovery and invention

4) This Voicethread describes a research project featuring a molecular model of enigmol, a lead compound with anticancer activity that is inspired by the structure of fumonisin.  The intended audience is for children.

Medicines from atoms and molecules


1) Marine natural products featuring our biomimetic synthesis of abudinol B:

marine natural products video


1) The preparation of biodiesel from canola oil:

biodiesel mechanism (link to Dropbox)

2) Demonstrating the preparation of biodiesel from canola oil:

biodiesel demonstration (link to Dropbox)

3) Introduction to selective organic transformations

selectivity video

4) The mechanism for nucleophilic acyl substitution:

nucleophilic acyl substitution

5) The mechanism for dynamic kinetic resolution:

dynamic kinetic resolution

6) The mechanism for metal-catalyzed substitution at an sp2-carbon: