Dr. Mark Werth

Title: 
Professor of Chemistry
Phone: 
(402) 465-2181
Email: 
mtw [at] NebrWesleyan.edu
Office: 
Olin Hall 313
Background: 

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Chemistry Department and Center for Metalloenzyme Studies, University of Georgia, Athens, GA (1988-1991)

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana, (1991-1993)

Education: 

Associate of Science, Alpena Community College, Alpena Michigan
Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry), Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Doctor of Philosophy (Inorganic Chemistry), Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Teaching philosophy: 

For the past several years, I have been incorporating more engaged learning in my classroom both in biochemistry and organic chemistry. In particular, I have worked to adapt the process-oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) techniques for use here at NWU. For the biochemistry classroom, I have used exercises from the "Foundations of Biochemistry" POGIL workbook. I have also authored a few biochemistry exercises and am in the process of having these approved for inclusion in the national biochemistry POGIL materials.

Courses taught: 

Current courses:

Chem 2100 Organic Chemistry I (lecture and lab)
Chem 2110L Organic Chemistry II (lab)
Chem 3410 Biochemistry
Chem 3410L Biochemical Methods
Chem 4420 Advanced Biochemistry

Courses taught in past years:

Chemistry 1020 Chemistry and the Human Environment (lecture and lab)
Chemistry 1110 Chemical Principles (lecture and lab)
Chemistry 1120 General Chemistry (lecture and lab)
Chemistry 2110 Organic Chemistry II (lecture)
Chemistry 3620L Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Chemistry 4900 Selected Topics
Chemistry 4980 Chemistry Seminar
IDS 1011 Archway Seminar
An interdisciplinary environmental science science course

Research and academic interests: 

During the Spring of 2009, I completed a sabbatical semester conducting research in the laboratory of Professor Robert Powers in the Chemistry Department at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. The research focused on the application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods in the newly developing field of metabolomics. Metabolomics is the study of the metabolite profile of an organism under varying physiological, nutritional, toxicological, genetic and other conditions. A new computer program was written for the improved analysis of NMR metabolomic data. This work was peer-reviewed and accepted published in Analytical Biochemistry (see Werth, M. T. et al. Analytical Biochemistry 2010, 399, 58-63). I also contributed to the search for a biomarker compound for the early diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The multiple sclerosis work was peer-reviewed and published as well (see Gebregiworgis, T. et al. in ACS Chemical Biology 2013, 8, 684-690). A third project involved the development of NMR metabolomic methods for the purpose of providing annotations for genes of unknown function.

In addition, I mentor student research projects here at Wesleyan. Several recent projects have studied drug partitioning between "watery" and "fatty" environments. Another project looked at the binding of drugs to serum proteins.

Since the summer of 2013, I have been invited as one of about 25 participants in a NSF-sponsored project at Seattle University for biochemistry education. The first summer (2013) was spent choosing the most important "threshold concepts" for biochemistry students. Since the summer of 2014, the group has been developing classroom activities to assess student knowledge of these concepts and suggesting approaches to presenting the concepts in the classroom.

Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards: 

American Chemical Society
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Nebraska Academy of Science