Kennedy NyongbelaFaculty

Visiting Assistant Professor in Chemistry

I am currently Assistant Professor of Chemistry with organic chemistry as my specialization. Prior to 2019, the year I and my family moved to the US to teach organic chemistry courses at the University of Minnesota, Crookston campus, I had taught courses in general, organic, and pharmaceutical chemistry at the university of Buea, Cameroon for over a decade. During that period, I held an administrative position as head of service (HOS) for equipment, materials, and maintenance at the college of sciences (Faculty of Science). I was Faculty representative at the University of Buea senate (6 years). I also served as member of Cameroon’s inter-university consultative and promotion board (3 year). I served as consultant for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) notably the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), in the ministry of Environment and Nature development and assisted in the development of the national guidelines for the sound management of PCBs in Cameroon.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, I taught organic chemistry courses at University of Minnesota, Crookston campus as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (SIR). I later moved to South Dakota State University, where I taught general and organic chemistry courses and carried out natural products research for two years as temporary instructor prior to my recruitment at Gustavus Adolphus College as Visiting assistant Professor.

My research interests span the area of drug discovery and development, with focus on natural products from medicinal herbs and spices against parasitic diseases notably malaria, and antiproliferative diseases such as cancer and antifungal. Plant natural products have been a bedrock of drug discovery for many decades and have provided more than half of all anticancer medications and anti-infective agents. I have isolated and determined the structure of several natural products and tested them against malaria parasites and other pathogens of tropical diseases. Notable amongst them is okundoperoxide, an endoperoxide sesquiterpenoid and its isomeric derivatives that I isolated and reported for the first in literature.

My ongoing research projects with student researchers at Gustavus consist of teaching them how to extract essential oils from Native American spices, herbs, and fruits, analyzing the oils using various chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques (GC-MS, LC-MS, IR, NMR) and testing them for anticancer, antibacterial, and antifungal activities. We are also investigating some Minnesota invasive species such as the buckthorns and nightshades.

Education

PhD in chemistry with organic chemistry option from the university of Buea, Cameroon; MSc in chemistry from the university of Yaounde I, Cameroun; BSc in chemistry (major) and chemical process technology (minor) from the university of Buea, Cameroon


Courses Taught

CHE-241 (Organic Chemistry II) and CHE-242 (Organic Chem II Lab)

Past
Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
CHE-242 Organic Chem II Lab 3 2022/FA
CHE-141 Organic Chemistry I Lab 2 2023/SP
CHE-141 Organic Chemistry I 1 2023/SP
CHE-215 Che Rsrch Mthd: Ntrl Prd Iso 1 2023/JN