Wenzel receives National Science Foundation grant

Thomas J. Wenzel of Auburn, Maine will conduct research aimed at improving the use of NMR spectroscopy in distinguishing pairs of chiral compounds, used to distinguish the left- and right-hand sides of amino acids and other chemical compounds. Each side of an amino acid may have different chemical influences on the human body, and Wenzel’s research may be used to separate amino-acid components, an integral step in finding chemical compounds with undiscovered pharmaceutical value.

Wenzel and May 2000 Bates graduate Jolene Thurston of Post Mills, Vt., have co-authored an article on their chiral resolving agent research that has been published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Organic Chemistry.

With this latest of 12 National Science Foundation awards, Wenzel has received more than $1 million in grant funding since he began teaching at Bates nearly 20 years ago. Wenzel, the past president of the Council on Undergraduate Research, was named the 1997 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Maine Professor of the Year and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Scholar in 1990. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and doctoral degree from the University of Colorado.

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