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Our Chemistry department offers students the chance to study the world on the most microscopic level so that we might better understand God and His process of creation. We encourage intellectual curiosity about the way the world works, both growing an understand to better ourselves and to use this miracle of science to better aid our neighbors.


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Dr. Timothy Anstine
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At Northwest Nazarene University, Chemistry students choose to focus on general chemistry, biochemical or environmental chemistry. All students are prepared for careers based on chemistry, in industry, research, academics, and forensics. The chemistry degree program at Northwest Nazarene University emphasizes the core disciplines of the field, provides experiences with modern instruments and laboratory techniques, and places students in faculty-mentored research projects. All this allows students to begin to participate in this field throughout their academic careers.
Chemistry is a field full of opportunity for those dedicated to research and discovery. The department provides students hands-on experience to better prepare them for careers in physical and biological science where they must practically apply their knowledge. These future chemists are taught the intricate workings of atoms and molecules so that they might contrast new medicines, energy sources, and safety procedures to adapt to humanity’s ever-evolving needs. The department prepares its students for such a path by instilling chemistry disciplines with biblical principles. Students who graduate from our Chemistry department might use their degree to research natural phenomena as an environmental scientist, piece together crime scenes as forensic chemists or serve in their community as a healthcare professional or science teacher.

Current Research Led by NNU Faculty

Dr. Daniel Nogales
Stereospecific Synthesis of Anthracycline Metabolites Dr. Nogales' research involves the synthesis and spectroscopic study of biologically interesting compounds. One current project involves the synthesis of human metabolites of chemotherapy drugs, such as Adriamycin (Doxorubicin) and Daunorubicin. These human metabolites, doxorubicinol and daunorubicinol, are formed in vivo 4-10 hours after administration of the drug. The metabolites have been linked to chronic cardiotoxicity for patients that have received large dosages. The mechanism of cardiotoxicity is not well understood and is currently being investigated. Because of the rapid metabolism of the parent drug, the bioactivity of the metabolites becomes an important question. How effective are the metabolites in killing cancer cells? What side effects do the metabolites have and are they more dangerous than the drug itself? By synthesizing the metabolite we can begin to address these important questions. The metabolites are formed by a reduction of the C-13 carbonyl to its corresponding alcohol. Only one stereoisomer, the S-isomer, is formed in vivo while reduction with NaBH4 produces a mixture of both stereoisomers. The major goal of this project is to use chiral reducing agents to stereospecifically reduce the C-13 ketone to the S-isomer alcohol without reducing other functionality of the molecule. As a second goal, the stereospecific synthesis of the unnatural R-alcohol could show different chemotherapy and cardiotoxic properties
Dr. Jerry Harris
Carbon Nanotube-Based Solar Cells:  Dr. Harris' research focuses on the growth of carbon nanotubes and on the synthesis and characterization of new inorganic/organometallic compounds. The research is a continuation of work started at NASA Glenn Research Center, where he spent six years conducting research in the area of space power. In collaboration with scientists at NASA GRC, Dr. Harris is exploring the use of carbon nanotubes for use in next generation solar cells. This project involves the growth of carbon nanotubes onto electrically conductive substrates, characterization of the nanotubes, complete solar cell fabrication, and solar cell characterization.
A second area of Dr. Harris' research is the synthesis and characterization of new inorganic/organometallic compounds. Several new compounds have been synthesized with the general composition of M(NCS)x(pic)y, where M is a transition metal and pic is 4-picoline (4-methyl pyridine). The new compounds are being characterized by X-ray crystallography, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and cyclic voltammetry. The use of the compounds as potential precursors for quantum dots and carbon nanotube catalysts is being explored. Below are two examples of new compounds that have been synthesized by NNU students during summer research.
Dr. Timothy Anstine
Photoisomerizable Molecular Switches:  During the past summer, Dr. Timothy Anstine performed research on photoisomerizable molecular switches. The following reactions were completed and the products 1, 2, 3, and 4 were purified by various methods and characterized using 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR (from UNR) and IR. Rotaxane 4 is being crystallized for crystal structure analysis.