The chemistry faculty, along with two of the biology faculty, serve the chemistry and biochemistry programs.

Dr. A. Craig Powell

Professor of Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry
Richardson 309


B. S., Presbyterian College
Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Courses Taught

CHEM 101/101L: General Chemistry I
CHEM 102/102L: General Chemistry II
CHEM 311: Quantitative Analysis
CHEM 312: Instrumental Analysis
CHEM 345: Forensic Science

Research Interests

My current research interests are in developing deep eutectic solvents (ionic liquids) as liquid chromatography mobile phases.

Dr. Latha A. Gearheart

Professor of Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Richardson 305


B. S., University of Mary Washington 1995
Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2001

Courses Taught

CHEM 101/101L: General Chemistry I
CHEM 102/102L: General Chemistry II
CHEM 401/401L: Physical Chemistry I: Thermochemistry
CHEM 402/402L: Physical Chemistry II: Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy
CHEM 458: Chemistry of Art

Research Interests

My research interests combine areas of analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, materials science, and biophysical chemistry.  In general, I am interested in studying the optical properties of semiconductor and metal nanoparticles with emphasis on their applications as luminescent probes (in the case of semiconductor nanoparticles) or surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrates (in the case of metal nanoparticles).  I am also interested in the assembly of nanoparicles through chemical linkage, such as DNA mediated assembly, and through self-assembly.


C. J. Orendorff, L. A. Gearheart, N. R. Jana, C. J. Murphy “Aspect Ratio Dependence on Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering Using Silver and Gold Nanorod Substrates,” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2006, 8, 165-170.

S. Sen, L. A. Gearheart, E. Rivers, H. Liu, R. S. Coleman, C. J.  Murphy, M. A. Berg, “Role of Monovalent Counterions in the Ultrafast Dynamics of DNA” Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 2006; 110(26); 13248-13255.

X. Xu, R. Ray, Y. Gu, H. Ploehn, L. Gearheart, K. Raker, W. A. Scrivens “Electrophoretic Analysis and Purification of Fluorescent Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Fragments,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2004, 126(40), 12736-12737.

L. A. Gearheart, M. M. Somoza, W. E. Rivers, R. S. Coleman, C. J. Murphy, M. A. Berg “Sodium Ion Binding to DNA: Detection by Ultrafast Time-Resolved Stokes Shift Spectroscopy.” Journal of the American Chemical Society2003, 125, 11812-11813.

Dr. Wally R. Ott

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Department Chair
Richardson 325


B. S., University of Central Florida
Ph.D., Emory University

Courses Taught

CHEM 101/101L: General Chemistry I
CHEM 102/102L: General Chemistry II
CHEM 221/221L: Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 222/222L: Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 307/307L: Biochemistry I

Research Interests

Organic Chemistry, Bio-organic Chemistry, Natural Product Synthesis.

Current interest involves using algae for biodiesel production

Dr. Evelyn Swain

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Richardson 306


2002-07 NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
2002 Ph.D. Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
1997 B.S. Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ

Research Interest

Dr. Swain’s research interest is in utilizing the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system to study type 2 diabetes. Specifically, the focus is on how the loss of endocytic function results in aberrant glucose homeostasis through the deregulation of glucose transporter localization/function. Data shows that the BAR domain protein Rvs161 is required for proper transporter localization and function. Recent reviews describe BAR domain containing proteins as curvature inducing/stabilizing proteins essential for affecting a wide variety of membrane remodeling processes, including endocytosis. Endocytosis and degradation of transporters is critically important in maintaining glucose homeostasis in yeast as well as mammals. Yeast also share similar components of glucose signaling and glucose transporter pathways with mammalian counterparts, making yeast a useful model system for studies of glucose transporter biology.  Yeast strains lacking the RVS161 gene fail to grow under conditions of glucose limitation and harbor endocytosis defects. Recent data indicates that overexpression of specific glucose transporters can suppress this defect.  Additionally, data suggests that glucose transporter interactions are required for proper transporter function.


Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC
2013-Present, Assistant Professor of Chemistry-Tenure track
2014-Present, Director Biochemistry Program
2014-Present, Advisor American Chemical Society Student Affiliate

Newberry College, Newberry, SC
2007-2013, Associate Professor of Chemistry-Tenured
2010-2013, Founder/Director SMART, Summer Mentoring And Research Training Program
2009-2013, Co-Founder/Advisor Future Medical Professional Association

Mercer County Community College, Trenton, NJ
2005-2007, Assistant Adjunct Professor of Biology

Current Courses Taught

General Chemistry II, CHEM102, laboratory & lecture
Biochemistry I & II, BCHE 307/308, laboratory & lecture
Introduction to Research, CHEM 380
Honors Research, CHEM 398
Research Experience, CHEM 440
Directed Studies, CHEM 442
Launching Vocation, Leadership & Service, COLS 2000


  • Glucose Transporter Homeostasis in Saccharoymces cerevisiae, Manuscript in Preparation
  • Morgan, J., McCourt P., Rankin L., Swain, E., Rice L., Nickels, J.T. Jr. Altering sphingolipid metabolism in cells lacking the yeast amphiphysin ortholog, Rvs161, reinitiates sugar transporter endocytosis.  Eukaryot Cell.2009 May;8(5):779-89
  • Loll, P.J.  Swain, E. Chen, Y.Turner, B.T., Zhang, J.F., Structure of the SH3 domain of rat endophilin A2. Acta Cryst.(2008) F64, 243-246
  • Germann, M., SwainE., Bergman, L., Nickels, J.T. Jr.  Characterizing the sphingolipid signaling pathway that remediates defects associated with loss of the yeast amphiphysin-like orthologs, Rvs161p and Rvs167p. J. Biol. Chem. (2005); 280: 4270-8.
  • SwainE., Baudry, K., Germann, M., Allegood, J., Merrill, A., Nickels, J.T. Jr.  Yeast cells lacking the ARV1 gene harbor defects in sphingolipid metabolism. Complementation by Human ARV1.  J. Biol. Chem. (2002); 277: 36152-60.
  • SwainE., Baudry, K., Germann, M., Allegood, J., Merrill, A., Nickels, J.T. Jr.  Sterol Dependent Regulation of Sphingolipid Biosynthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  J. Biol. Chem. (2002); 277: 26177-84.
  • Baudry, K., SwainE., Rahier, A., Germann, M., Batta, A., Rondet, S., Mandala, S., Henry, K., Tint, G.S., Edlind, T., Kurtz, M., Nickels, J.T. Jr.  The Effect of the erg26-1 Mutation on the Regulation of Lipid Metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  J. Biol. Chem. (2001); 276: 12702-11.

Dr. Eugene F Douglass

Visiting Associate Professor
Richardson 307


M.S., University of Connecticut
MDiv., Bethel Theological Seminary – San Diego
Ph.D., North Carolina State University

Research Interests

  • Polymer Science
  • Coatings
  • Membranes
  • Adhesives

Teaching Courses In

  • General Chemistry lectures and labs
  • Organic Chemistry lectures and labs
  • Polymer Chemistry lectures and labs

Dr Douglass grew up in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, attending public schools with a college prep curriculum.  He then attended “The King’s College” which was (at the time) in Briarcliff Manor, NY, where he majored in Chemistry and Math, minoring in Physics.  He then graduated and moved on to graduate school in Polymers and Coatings Chemistry at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.  He then transferred (due to adviser leaving for industry) to the University of Connecticut and the Polymer Science program where he got his MS in Polymer Science Chemistry in 1982.  He then worked in industry as a Polymer Applications chemistry developing new materials and processes, one which led to a patent.

Gene then left industry and went back to school for another field to learn to communicate better both verbally and in writing, and then got into College Chemistry teaching in 1991, he taught Chemistry for most his career after that primarily at Community Colleges, branch campuses of state universities and high schools, so unfortunately research was not expected of him.  He then returned to graduate school at the College of Textiles, in North Carolina State University, resulting in a PhD in  Fiber / Polymer Science in 2010.  Then got a job at Nazarbayev University, starting in August of 2011, finishing up in August of 2015.  I then taught Chemistry at the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani for one academic year in 2016-17, and then taught Chemistry at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville, Texas 2018-19.  Arriving at Presbyterian College in August of 2020.

His research interests include:    Polymer Science, Coatings, Membranes and Adhesives

I have two sons, ages 33 (Robert, who is in training to be a commercial airline pilot) and almost 35 (Eugene Jr, who is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Georgia in the College of Pharmacy in Athens, Georgia).  Both of my sons are married, my youngest and his wife have twin daughters age 3 years old.

Dr. Ron J.C. Zimmerman


Professor of Biology
Cell Biology
Lassiter 208


B.A., Goshen College
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Areas of Specialty

Cell Biology

Courses taught

Cell Biology(Fall Semester)
Immunology (Spring Semesters)
DNA Fingerprinting (Freshman Semester, Fall 2005)
The Ecology and Natural History of the Colorado Plateau (Fleximester 2003)
Serengeti Safari (Maymester 2010)

Publications and Articles

Caitlin Rinz, Ron Zimmerman, Tim Wood (2009), Screening for Medium Chain Acyl-Coenzyme A Dehydrogenase Deficiency in Adults in South Carolina. Proceedings of the National Conference of Undergraduate Research.

Matt Madden, Ron Michaelis, Ron Zimmerman (2003), The Involvement of Mutations in G Protein Receptor 50 (GPR50) in X-Linked Mental Retardation (XLMR). Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science.

Jenny Bell, Sarah Plank, Ron Michaelis, Ron Zimmerman (2000), Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 and Its Link to Autism. Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science.

Sarah Plank, Jenny Bell, Ron Michaelis, Ron Zimmerman (2000), Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Gene and Its Link to Autism. Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science.

R.C. Zimmerman and C.E. Carter (1995), In Vitro Culture of Schistosoma japonicum Eggs: Synthesis and Release of a 140 Kilodalton Glycoprotein with Leucine Aminopeptidase Activity. Acta Medica Philippina 31 (3): 87-102.

J.D. Liberatos, R.C. Zimmerman, C.E. Carter (1992), In Vitro Culture of Schistosoma japonicum Eggs: Synthesis of a 70 kilodalton Heat Shock Protein. Proceedings of the Lousiana Academy of Sciences.

J.D.Liberatos, R.C. Zimmerman, C.E. Carter (1989), In Vitro Culture of Schistosoma japonicum Eggs: Synthesis of an Immunogenic 70 Kilodalton Heat Shock Protein (HSP-70). FASEB Journal 3 (4):1340.

Honors Research Projects

Caitlin Rinz (2009-2010) Screening for Medium Chain Acyl-Coenzyme A Dehydrogenase Deficiency in Adults in South Carolina.

Sean Foley (2008), Do Mutations in the MAGT1 Gene Cause Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation?

Vidya Fleetwood (2007), Do Mutations in SLC35A Cause Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation?

Thomas Knackstedt (2007) Genetic Mutations of Cohen’s Syndrome.

Katie Thomas (2006), Genetic Mutations in C.H.A.R.G.E. Syndrome.

Matt Madden (2003), The Involvement of Mutations in G Protein Receptor 50 (GPR50) in X-Linked Mental Retardation (XLMR).

Andrew Evans (2001), Defective Herpes Virus Expressing GAD65 Injected into the Inferior Colliculus.

Jenny Bell (2000), Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 and Its Link to Autism.

Sarah Plank (2000), A Polymorphic Tetranucleotide Repeat Within the NF1 Gene and its Possible Link to Autism.

Julie Adair (1999), Sequencing of the SALL1 Gene for Mutations in Townes-Brocks Syndrome.

Meredith Koegler (1996-97), Determination of the Phylogenetic Relationship between Three Subspecies of Wild Turkey using the Sequence of the 28S Ribosomal RNA Gene D1 Region.

Craig Sanders (1996), Phylogeny of the Family Ictaluridae Based on the Nucleotide Sequence of the 28S Ribosomal RNA Gene.

David Wilkes (1996), DNA Nucleotide Sequence and Restriction Enzyme Map of the 28S Ribosomal RNA Gene of the North American Wild Turkey Meleagris gallapavo.

Hearon McCravy (1994), Determination of the Relative Phylogeny of the Seahorse (Hippocampus sp.) from the Sequence of the 28S Ribosomal RNA Gene.

Andrew Welch II (1994), Phylogeny of the Pipefish (Sygnathus floridae) from the Sequence of the 28S Ribosomal RNA Gene.

Dr. Stuart Gordon

Assistant Professor of Biology
Lassiter 206


College of Wooster (Biology), B.A.
Ohio State University (Crop Breeding and Genetics), Ph.D.
Ohio State University (Plant Pathology), Post Doctoral Education

Areas of Specialty

Microbial genomics
Genetics of host-plant resistance

Courses Taught

Introductory Biology (Bio 101-102)

Selected Publications

R. Pratt, S. Gordon, P. Lipps, G. Asea, G. Bigirwa and K. Pixley. 2003. Use of IPM in the control of multiple diseases in maize: strategies for selection of host resistance. African Crop Sci. J. 11:189-198.

Gordon, S. G., Bartsch M., Matthies, I., Lipps, P.E., Gevers, H.O. and Pratt, R.C. 2004. Linkage of molecular markers to Cercospora zeae-maydis resistance in maize via selective genotyping. Crop Science 44:628-636.

Pratt, R. C. and Gordon, S. G. 2005. Breeding for resistance to maize foliar pathogens. Plant Breeding Rev. 27:119-174.

G. Asea, P.E. Lipps, R.C. Pratt, S.G. Gordon and E. Adipala. 2005. Development of Greenhouse Inoculation Procedures for Evaluation of Partial Resistance to Cercospora zeae-maydis in Maize Inbreds. J. of Phytopathology 153:647-653.

Gordon, S. G., S. K. St. Martin and A. E. Dorrance. 2005. Rps8 maps to a R-gene rich region on soybean linkage group F. Crop Sci. 46:168-173.

Gordon, S. G., Lipps, P. E. and Pratt, R. C. 2006. Components of resistance to Cercospora zeae-maydis inherited from the maize inbred VO613Y. Phytopathology 96:593-598.

Brett M. Tyler, Sucheta Tripathy, Xuemin Zhang, Paramvir Dehal, Rays H.Y. Jiang, Andrea Aerts, Felipe D. Arredondo, Laura Baxter, Douda Bensasson, Jim L. Beynon, Jarrod Chapman, Cynthia M.B. Damasceno, Anne E. Dorrance, Daolong Dou, Allan W. Dickerman, Inna L. Dubchak, Matteo Garbelotto, Mark Gijzen, Stuart G. Gordon, Francine Govers, Niklaus J. Grunwald, et al. 2006. Phytophthora Genome Sequences Uncover Evolutionary Origins and Mechanisms of Pathogenesis. Science 313:1261-1266.

Gordon, S. G., S. A. Berry, S. K. St. Martin and A. E. Dorrance. 2007. Genetic analysis of soybean plant introductions with resistance to Phytophthora sojae. Phytopathology 97:106-112.

Gordon, S. G., K. Kowitwanich, W. Pipatpongpinyo, S. K. St. Martin and A. E. Dorrance. 2007. Molecular marker analysis of soybean plant introductions with resistance to Phytophthora sojae. Phytopathology 97:113-118.