Professor & Chair
University of Florida, Chemistry, B. S., 1989
Office Location: CHEM 223
Phone: (251) 460-6181
CH 201 Organic Chemistry I, CH 201L Organic Chemistry Lab, CH 202 Organic Chemistry II,
CH 202L Organic Chemistry II Lab, CH 394/494 Directed Studies, CH 499 Senior Honors
As faculty in academic institutions, our primary instructional responsibilities are to equip and empower our students. By making effective
teaching and learning a priority, a faculty member ensures that
students will obtain the skills necessary to succeed upon graduation.
Concurrent with one’s instructional responsibilities is the pursuit of one’s scholarly
activities. As a synthetic organic chemist, my scholarly activity is
research. I believe that excellence can only be achieved when effectively
coupling the two. Accordingly, the introduction of research to students -
their direct interaction with the unknown and unexplored - provides a
unique and valuable experience rarely available outside the walls of an institution of higher education. Research offers the student an
individualized hands-on experience that, when paired with an effective
classroom experience, offers a truly enriched educational environment.
All of my synergistic activities as a professor in the chemical sciences have served to build an ideal platform for my professional development.
My research program lies primarily in the area of synthetic organic chemistry. A large component is dedicated toward the development of new
methods involving the stereoselective construction of medicinally important compounds. The success of the program is heavily dependent upon the involvement of motivated and talented undergraduate students. Our research activities are in the area of asymmetric catalysis and synthetic methodology. There is a heavy emphasis toward the development of new methods in the stereoselective synthesis of organic compounds. In terms of the significance and importance of our research efforts, each project's long-term goal is toward the production of chiral molecules of high biological and medicinal importance. Our research program is a blend of both applied and basic research. The capstone experience is focused on chirality.
Ionic liquid (IL) technology when used in place of classical organic solvents offers a new and environmentally benign approach toward modern
synthetic chemistry. We have been successful in the application toward the use and reuse of IL technology. Noteworthy with this approach
toward solvation is the implementation of task specific ionic liquids (TSILs). This unique division within the realm of IL technology further
enhances the versatility of classical ionic liquids where both reagent and medium are coupled. The union of reagent with medium has been
found to be a viable alternative approach toward modern synthetic chemistry especially when considering the growing environmental demands
being placed on chemical processes.
Efforts, which focus on the elucidation of activity as a function of chirality, have always been of paramount importance in all divisions associated
with medicinal research. Accordingly, studies involving the use of non-human based analytes in living organisms should follow similar paths of activity. Because the herbicidal racemates may prove to be functionally independent, there is great interest in defining these parameters. Our
goal in this study is to target several herbicides containing one or more stereocenters, and either prepare chiral separations or purchase the
compounds directly in order to test the bioactivity of the herbicide as a function of chirality. The first family of herbicides to be targeted is the aryl-
propanoic acid family, the “props” and “fops”. By assaying the activity of this enzyme in varying concentrations of herbicide, and by measuring the degree of growth inhibition on a plant system, an adequate understanding of the bioactivity of the enantiomers can be attained. We have
succeeded in both areas and are now surveying a number of commercial herbicides having separated the epimers.
Recent Publications & Collaborations:
Salter, E. A.; Forbes, D. C.; Wierzbicki, A. (2012). “Relative Stabilities of Transition States Determine Diastereocontrol in Sulfur Ylide Additions onto Chiral N-Sulfinyl Imines”. International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, 112, 509-518.
Obiako, A. J., Clements, J. W., South, M. S., Hoffman, N. W., Robbins, J. S., & Forbes, D. C. (2012) Preparation and Use of Zwitterionic Micelles.
[Abstract]. Abstracts of Papers, 243rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, United States, March 25-29, CHED-954.
Weaver, C. C., Glenn, C. M., Robbins, J. S., Battiste, D. R. & Forbes, D. C. (2012) Chemoselective Methylene Transfers. [Abstract]. Abstracts of
Papers, 243rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, United States, March 25-29, CHED-1031.
Weaver, C. C., Davis, C. L., Glenn, C. M., Robbins, J. S., Battiste, D. R., & Forbes, D. C. (2012) Cyclopropanation Versus Epoxidation – That is the Question. [Abstract]. 19th Annual University of South Alabama Research Forum, Mobile, AL, United States, March 27-30, 2012.
Knight, C. C., Mockel, W. D., Coym, J. W., Battiste, D. R., & Forbes, D. C. (2012) Chalcographus Beetle Lure: Extraction and Quantitative Analysis. [Abstract]. 19th Annual University of South Alabama Research Forum, Mobile, AL, United States, March 27-30, 2012.
Weaver, C. C., Glenn, C. M., Robbins, J. S., Battiste, D. R., & Forbes, D. C. (2011) Chemoselective Methylene Transfers. [Abstract]. 13th Annual
Undergraduate Symposium, October, 20, 2011, Mobile, AL, United States.
Obiako, A. J., Hoffman, N. W., Clements, J. W., South, M. S., Robbins, J. S., Forbes, D. C. (2011) Preparation and Use of Zwitterionic Micelles.
[Abstract]. 13th Annual Undergraduate Symposium, October, 20, 2011, Mobile, AL, United States.
Mayo, D. W.; Pike, R. M.; Forbes, D. C. Microscale Organic Laboratory with Multistep and Multiscale Syntheses, 5th ed., Wiley: New York, 2011.
Mayo, D. W.; Pike, R. M.; Forbes, D. C.; Finnigan, B. P.; Messier, P. M.; Leadbeater, N. E.; McGowan, C. B. Microscale Organic Laboratory:
Instructor’s Manual, 5th ed., Wiley: New York, 2011.
Mayo, D. W.; Pike, R. M.; Forbes, D. C.; Finnigan, B. P.; Messier, P. M.; Leadbeater, N. E.; McGowan, C. B. Microscale Organic Laboratory with
Multistep and Multiscale Syntheses: Website Reference Discussions, 5th ed., Wiley: New York, 2011.
South, M. S., Obiako, A. J., Sykora, R. E., Forbes, D. C. (2011). 2,6-Dichloro-1-[(1E)-2 (phenylsulfonyl)ethenyl]benzene. Acta Crystallographica
Section E: Structure Reports, E67, o1055.
© 2012 University of South Alabama Mobile, AL 36688-0002
Phone: (251) 460-6181
Fax: (251) 460-7359