Two Xavier Chemistry Graduates Publish Pivotal Study in International Journal

One Alum the Mentor of Another Alumna | July 16, 2010

Dawn M. Makley, a 2007 magna cum laude graduate of Xavier University, has co-authored an article published in the journal Nature. The research will aid medicinal chemists in making biologically-active compounds that might battle disease. Makley was a double major in chemical science and biology at Xavier and is currently a PhD candidate in chemistry at Vanderbilt University, working under the mentorship of Professor Jeffrey N. Johnston, a 1992 graduate of Xavier’s chemistry department.

The article, “Umpolung Reactivity in Amide and Peptide Synthesis,” is in the June 24th edition of Nature, a premier international journal devoted to issues in the molecular aspects of biology. The findings offer hope to lower the cost and increase the availability of drugs based on natural compounds and will have far–reaching practical aspects in pharmaceutical chemistry. The article’s authors were Johnston, Makley, and Bo Shen. The research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology.

Makley is a native of Tipp City and the daughter of Jeffrey and Elizabeth Makley. After Xavier, Johnston received his PhD from the Ohio State University in 1997, joined the faculty at Indiana University and then moved on to Vanderbilt.

Xavier University ranks near the top of national universities in the number of chemistry graduates accepted to and completing doctoral degrees in chemistry. Xavier’s average acceptance rate to medical schools over the past five years is about 80%, as compared with the national average of approximately 45%.

Chemical training is the basis for a wide range of interesting careers such as: environmental science, forensic science, chemical business, medicine, insurance, chemical sales and service, library science, college teaching, museum work, patent law, government laboratories, research and consulting organizations, industrial chemistry, science writing, industrial hygiene, secondary school teaching, information science and toxicology.

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