Dr. Mark Werth

Professor of Chemistry
(402) 465-2181
mtw [at] NebrWesleyan.edu
Olin Hall 313

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)


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 120 Organic Chemistry I (lecture and lab)
Chem 121L Organic Chemistry II (lab)
Chem 255 Biochemistry
Chem 256 Advanced Biochemistry
Chem 258 Biochemical Methods

Courses taught in past years:

Chemistry 2 General Chemistry (lecture and lab)
Chemistry 10 Chemistry and Society (lecture and lab)
Chemistry 51 Chemical Principles (lecture and lab)
Chemistry 121 Organic Chemistry II (lecture)
Chemistry 290 Selected Topics
Chemistry 293 Chemistry Seminar
IDS 001 Liberals Arts Seminar
IDS 190 Environmental Science

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.

During the summer of 2013, I was invited to participate in workshops for biochemistry education. As part of the "Threshold Concepts" workshop, I was one of two dozen college science faculty tasked with choosing the most important threshold concepts for biochemistry students. Later as part of the "Core Collaborators" workshop, I was part of group tasked with refining the list of threshold concepts, developing preliminary questions 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