Our rigorous, lab-intensive chemistry curriculum will sharpen your powers of observation, foster collaboration and exploration, and cultivate the curiosity that leads to discovery.

Jon Russel Research Interests

Mother Nature is an excellent chemist, and she’s devised a number of clever strategies for synthesizing a diverse array of complex molecules from a collection of relatively simple chemical building blocks. One of the goals of Synthetic Organic Chemistry is to mimic nature’s chemical ingenuity by developing novel methods for directing specific bond forming processes, and to apply those methods to the synthesis of natural products.  Efforts in my research program at SNC have been directed toward the development of methods for the selective functionalization of indole alkaloids. 

In addition to the development of chemical methodology, I am interested in the use of organic synthesis as a tool to help understand and regulate biochemical systems.  In conjunction with the efforts of my colleague Dr. Cyndi Ochsner to probe the mechanism of dopamine transport inhibition, we have begun an investigation of the synthesis of the modafinil, a pharmaceutical used to treat the sleep disorder narcolepsy.  On route to modafinil, analog forms of the drug have been synthesized, purified, and tested for inhibitory activity.

Recent Presentations with St. Norbert College Students
“Modafinil is a competitive inhibitor of the human dopamine transporter expressed in human embryonic kidney cells” Oshsner, C. E.; Schuh, A. L; Kalscheuer, M. L; Wieting, J. C.; Russel, J. S., 39th National Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, October, 2009.

"Investigation of the Mechanism of Inhibition of the Dopamine Transporter by Modafinil"  Schuh, A. L.; Wieting, J. C.; Ochsher C. E.; Russel, J. S.  Paper presentation at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Chicago, IL, March 26, 2007.

“Chemistry of N-Sulfinylindoles”  Russel, J. S.; Scholl, N. T.;  Miller, A. L. Paper presentation at the 231st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Atlanta, GA, March 28, 2006.

“Cerium Halide-Mediated Sulfenylation of Indole”  Russel, J. S., Vincent, R. R. Paper presentation at the 36th Great Lakes Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Peoria, IL, October, 2004

“Regiocontrolled Sulfenylation of Metallated Indoles With Methyl Methanethiolsulfonate” Russel, J. S.; Gapinski, J. M.; Swanson, J. O.; Soyk, M. W.  Paper presentation at the 38th National Organic Symposium, Bloomington, IN, June 8-11, 2003.

Book Chapters
Heterocyclic Scaffolds II: Reactions and applications of indoles. Gribble, G. W. Ed.; Springer.  Oxindoles and Spirocyclic Variations:  Methodology for C3 Functionalization, Russel J. S. 2010.

Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, 23; Gribble, G. W. and Joule, J. Ed.; Elsevier.  Chapter 5.2. Pyrroles and Benzo Derivatives, Russel, J. S. and Pelkey, E. T., Greger, J. co-authors 2011.

Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, 22; Gribble, G. W. and Joule, J. Ed.; Elsevier.  Chapter 5.2. Pyrroles and Benzo Derivatives, Russel, J. S. and Pelkey, E. T., Yoon-Miller, S.J.P co-authors 2010.

Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, 21; Gribble, G. W. and Joule, J. Ed.; Elsevier.  Chapter 5.2. Pyrroles and Benzo Derivatives, Russel, J. S. and Pelkey, E. T., Yoon-Miller, S.J.P, co-authors, 2009.

Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, 20; Gribble, G. W. and Joule, J. Ed.; Elsevier.  Chapter 5.2. Pyrroles and Benzo Derivatives, Russel, J. S. and Pelkey, E. T. co-authors, 2008.

Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, 19; Gribble, G. W. and Joule, J. Ed.; Elsevier.  Chapter 5.2. Pyrroles and Benzo Derivatives, Pelkey, E. T. and Russel, J. S. co-authors, 2007.

Journal Publications
“Benzophenone-Containing Cholesterol Surrogates:  Synthesis and Biological Evaluation” Spencer, T. A.; Wang, P.; Li, D.; Russel, J. S.; Blank, D. H.; Fielding, P. E.; Fielding, C. J. Journal of Lipid Research, 2004, 45, 1510-1518. 

“The Stereochemistry of Aziridine Borane Lithiation:  Diastereoselectivity and Enantioselectivity” Vedejs, E.; Bhanu Prasad, A. S.;  Kendall, J. T.; Russel, J. S. Tetrahedron, 2003, 59, 9849-9856.

“Sterol Efflux to Apolipoprotein A-I Originates from Caveolin-Rich Microdomains and Potentiates PDGF Dependent Protein Kinase Activity”  Fielding, P. E.; Russel, J. S.; Spencer, T. A.; Hakamuta, H.; Nagao, K.; Fielding, C. J. Biochemistry, 2002, 41, 4929-4937.

“Pharmacophore Analysis of the Nuclear Oxysterol Receptor LXRα” Spencer, T. A.; Li, D.; Russel, J. S.; Collins, J. L.; Bledsoe, R. K.; Consler, T. G.; Moore, L. B.; Galardi, C. M.; Mckee, D. D.; Moore, J. T.; Watson, M. A.; Parks, D. J.; Lambert, M. H.; Willson, T. M.  Journal of  Medicinal Chemistry, 2001, 44, 886-897.