- About Us
- Departments and Centres
- Department of Biological Sciences
- Department of Chemistry
- Department of Computer Science
- Centre for Biotechnology
- Centre for Neuroscience
- Department of Earth Sciences
- Department of Mathematics
- Department of Physics
- Science Stores
- Academic Programs
- Contact Us
Department of Chemsitry
Finding a Winning Formula by Kevin J. Grout
To describe as efficient the reduction of 10,000 steps in a process to only five would be an understatement.
To call groundbreaking the work of chemistry professor Travis Dudding and his team, is not. Dudding's ability to work in the dual fields of synthetic chemistry and computational chemistry allows him to cross over the disciplines, mapping out reactions using computer models to efficiently determine the correct course of action, and solving complex chemistry problems.
In addition to his time in the lab and classroom, Dudding also travels extensively to consult with pharmaceutical companies and speak at major conferences, and sometimes he stops long enough to solve mysteries that have plagued chemists for more than 30 years. You might call him a problem-solver extraordinaire.
“Modelling allows us to foresee results and shortens the number of steps required to get to a successful completion,” explains Dudding. “We can use computer-generated molecule models to predict how reactions will occur, and how the molecules will interact with one another.”
The end result of this methodology is the synthesis of medicinally useful pharmaceuticals in a much shorter time, while utilizing considerably fewer resources.
Dudding's ability to understand and carry out both sides of the chemistry equation is the scientific equivalent of being an award-winning actor, director and cinematographer. All of the elements work together to provide an end result - but there aren't many people who can fulfil each of the roles at the level at which Dudding operates.
“This type of work is great for my students,” says Dudding. “This method of teaching and lab work gets them solving problems in the labs of synthetic chemists, but also allows them to examine the data, complete analysis, and build models.”
Dudding takes great pride in the role his undergraduate and graduate students play, citing the seven scientific papers the group has published in the past year as one aspect of their accomplishments.
“They've done fantastic work, and I really enjoy seeing what each of them brings to our team.”
His academic journey has taken him a long way from North Carolina, where he initially interned for a major pharmaceutical company - he has since studied at Virginia Tech University, worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., studied at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and finally ended up at UCLA, where he did his postdoctoral fellowship under renowned chemist Kendall Houk, before landing at Brock University.
But don't expect Dudding to be heading back to