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Meet Patrick Willoughby

  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • B.S., University of Northern Iowa

Molecules determine how we interact with the universe, and I have spent my career devoted to the study of their preparation and properties. In the classroom, I teach Organic Chemistry where my students and I begin by exploring things as fundamental as protons, neutrons, and electrons, laying the foundation for advanced studies into transition metal-catalyzed transformations, polymeric materials science, and the cellular production of biomolecules. Outside of the classroom, I mentor students in research projects where we develop new approaches for the synthesis of molecular building blocks useful in the preparation of new medicines. These are highly rewarding pursuits, requiring that my students and I apply our mastery of fundamental organic chemistry to enhance processes for making modern pharmaceutical therapeutics.


Icon for: What’s the best advice about teaching you’ve ever received? Try to see your teaching from their eyes.

What’s the best advice about teaching you’ve ever received? Try to see your teaching from their eyes.

Icon for: Briefly describe a favorite assignment or in-class activity. The Grignard Reaction lab because it is a synthesis lab and we make a carbon-carbon bond.

Briefly describe a favorite assignment or in-class activity. The Grignard Reaction lab because it is a synthesis lab and we make a carbon-carbon bond.

Icon for: What is something your students would be surprised to learn about you? I changed my major 7 times during my first year of college.

What is something your students would be surprised to learn about you? I changed my major 7 times during my first year of college.



Recent News Updates

Kirsten Funk '21

Summer research allows Kirsten Funk ’21 to work collaboratively with professors

Despite restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kirsten Funk ’21 of Menasha, Wisconsin, was able to participate in two summer research opportunities. Through the Keck […]

photo of Prof. Scanlon and Todd Petersen

Computational chemistry research connects students with real-world application

Todd Petersen ’19 of Emerald, Wisconsin, presented research at the Midwest Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Consortium (MU3C) conference, hosted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. […]

Willough Morris

Student-faculty collaboration reveals new compositions in molecule studies

“These have never been seen before by nature — they’re brand-new compositions,” says Assistant Professor of Chemistry Patrick Willoughby of recent molecule work at Ripon […]