Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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  • Edward E. Fenlon

    Associate Professor of Chemistry
    Office: HAC406

    Professional Biography

    Link to Fenlon CV


    B.S. St. Lawrence University, 1990
    Ph.D. University of Illinois, 1995

    Research Interests

    We use organic synthesis to build molecules for practical purposes. Research projects involve: 

    1) The synthesis of nucleotides and proteins with an azide (R-N3) probe to monitor electrostatic environments and solvent dynamics by vibrational (IR) spectroscopy.

    2) The design and synthesis of air-stable, water-soluble organic radicals such as sulfonated BDTPP for dynamic nuclear polarization imaging. 

    3) Molecular knots.  

    4) The design and synthesis of musks as perfumes.

    5) Collaborative work to synthesize ganglioside GM3 to help Amish children.

    6) The history of organic chemistry.


    Research Collaborations:

         Nucleic Acid Probes
    Dr. Scott Brewer
         Dr. Matthew Tucker
         Dr. Christopher Cheatum
         Dr. Steven Corcelli 
         Dr. Alex MacKerell

         History of Organic Chemistry
         Dr. Brian Myers

    Link to more Research Information

    Grants & Awards

    NIH grant - "Development and Application of Multi-Spectroscopic, Site-Specific (MS3) Probes of Nucleic Acid Structure."  June 2010 through May 2013.  $195,895.00


    1999 - Present

    Student coauthor bold.

    Edward E. Fenlon, Brian J. Myers, Profiles in Chemistry: A Historical Perspective on the National Organic Symposium,  Journal of Organic Chemistry 2013, 78, 5817-5831.

    Lipkin, J.S.; Song, R.; Fenlon, E.E.; Brewer, S.H. "Modulating Accidental Fermi Resonance: What a Difference a Neutron Makes." Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 201121672-1676.

    Gai, X.S.; Coutifaris, B.A.; Brewer, S.H.; Fenlon, E.E. “A Direct Comparison of Azide and Nitrile Vibrational Probes.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2011, 13, 5926-5930.

    Tucker, M.J.; Gai, X.S.; Fenlon, E.E.; Brewer, S.H.; Hochstrasser, R.M. 2D IR Photon Echo of Azido-Probes for Biomolecular Dynamics.Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 201113, 2237-2241.
    Gillies, A.T.; Gai, X.S.; Buckwalter, B.L.; Fenlon, E.E.; Brewer, S.H. 15N NMR Studies of a Nitrile-Modified Nucleoside. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2010114, 17136-17141.

    Fenlon, E.E. "Tying Up Some Loose Ends." Nat. Chem. 2010, 2, 156-157.

    Gai, X.S.; Brewer, S.H.; Fenlon, E.E. "A Sensitive Multispectroscopic Probe for Nucleic Acids." J. Phys. Chem. B 2010, 113, 7958-7966.

    Matthew D. Watson, Xin Sonia Gai, Anne T. Gillies, Scott H. Brewer, Edward E. Fenlon, "A Vibrational Probe for Local Nucleic Acid Environments: 5-Cyano-2-deoxyuridine." J. Phys. Chem. B 2008, 112, 13188-13192.

    Edward E. Fenlon, "Open Problems in Chemical Topology." Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2008, 5023-5035.

    Edward E. Fenlon, Brandon R. Ito, "The Thread & Cut Method: Syntheses of Molecular Knot Precursors." Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2008, 3065-3068.

    Lisa N. Silverman, Michael E. Pitzer, Peter O. Ankomah, Steven C. Boxer, and Edward E. Fenlon. "Vibrational Stark Effect Probes for Nucleic Acids." J. Phys. Chem. B 2007 111, 11611-11613.

    Chad M. Rink, Matthew C. Mauck, Irfan Asif, Michael E. Pitzer, and Edward E. Fenlon. "Syntheses of Silatranyl- and Germatranyl-uridines," Org. Lett. 2005, 7, 1165-1168.

    Christine A. Black, Jason W. Ucci, Jeremy S. Vorpagel, Matthew C. Mauck, Edward E. Fenlon. "Stereoselective and improved syntheses and anticancer testing of 3'-O-silatranylthymidines," Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2002, 12, 3521-3523.

    Bianca R. Sculimbrene, Raymond E. Decanio, Brandon W. Peterson, Emily E. Muntel, Edward E. Fenlon. "Silatranyl-nucleosides: transition state analogues for phosphoryl transfer reactions," Tetrahedron Lett. 2001, 42, 4979–4982.

    Sergei V. Kolotuchin, Paul A. Thiessen, Edward E. Fenlon, Scott R. Wilson, Colin J. Loweth, Steven C. Zimmerman. "Self-Assembly of 1,3,5-Benzenetricarboxylic (Trimesic) Acid and Its Analogs," Chemistry–A European Journal 1999, 5, 2537-2547.


    Course Information

    Dr. Edward Fenlon teaches the following courses:

    Chem 112 - General Chemistry II
    Chem 211/212 - Organic Chemistry I and II
    Chem 323 - Medicinal Chemistry

    FND 182 - Pills, Pills, Pills