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Fraser Fleming, Ph.D.

Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Department of Chemistry

Mellon Hall 319
Phone: 412.396.6031



Ph.D., Chemistry, University of British Columbia, 1990
B.S., Chemistry, Massey University, 1986

Professor of Chemistry, Duquesne University, 2007-present

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Duquesne University, 1999-2007

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Duquesne University, 1992-1999

Visiting Professor, Goteborg University, Summer 2010

Visiting Professor, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Spring 2010

Visiting Professor, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Spring 2006

Visiting Professor, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Spring 2003

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Oregon State University, 1990-1992

Killam Graduate Fellow, University of British Columbia, 1986-1990


I have 17 years of experience developing new nitrile-based synthetic methods of biomedical relevance. I am considered an expert on the chemistry of nitriles and I have written several reviews to convey counter intuitive reactions of metalated nitriles to the community of practicing organic chemists. I have participated in numerous national and international conferences and given presentations throughout Europe, USA, and New Zealand, my country of origin.

During my independent career at Duquesne University I have mentored four post-doctoral associates, graduated five Ph.D. and fifteen M.S. students and supervised 21 undergraduates in research. The majority of these students have subsequently pursued careers in medical or scientific areas and credit their experience at Duquesne as being formative in their career plans. As PI on federal grants I have experience directing research projects, developing the individual talents of diverse students and post-doctoral associates, and I have management expertise in administering this type of project.


1985 Massey Scholar Massey University (New Zealand)

1986-1989 Shirtcliffe Scholarship Massey University (New Zealand)

1986-1990 Killam Graduate Fellow University of British Columbia

1995 Hunkele Creative Teaching Award Duquesne University

1999 Bayer Excellence in Scholarship Award Duquesne University

2010 Spring Center for Advanced Studies Award Ludwig-Maximilians-University

2010 Spring Bayer Excellence in Scholarship Award Duquesne University

2010 Fall Presidential Scholarship Award Duquesne University


Organic Chemistry I and II - Sophomore organic chemistry course taught over two semesters.

Chemistry of Heterocycles - An advanced graduate course covering the synthesis and biosynthesis of naturally occurring alkaloids; stereoelectronic control in heterocycles; and detailed analyses of selected reactions and strategies for heterocyclic synthesis.

Applied Basic NMR Techniques - Introductory mass and infra-red spectroscopy and an intensive analysis of coupling constants for assigning the connectivity and stereochemistry of organic compounds.

Synthetic Methods - An advanced graduate course designed to teach general synthetic methods from a mechanistic perspective. Synthetic methods are surveyed using different natural product syntheses of the same target, allowing comparison of molecular design and synthetic strategies for complex synthesis.

Stereochemistry - A graduate course providing a broad understanding of stereochemistry from molecular conformations, determining absolute and relative configurations, asymmetric induction, and chiral amplification.

The Chemistry of Natural Products - A graduate course describing the major biosynthetic pathways of polyketides, terpenoids, and alkaloids and biomimetic syntheses stemming from this knowledge. The aim of the course is to understand secondary metabolism, the bioactivity of classes of natural products, and instill an ability to design biomimetic syntheses.

The History of Science and the Influence of Religion - A summer study abroad, undergraduate course in science and religion finishing with a capstone visit to European sites, monuments, and museums. How did science emerge as one of the most powerful tools for gaining new knowledge, what were the key discoveries, who made them, and what were the positive and negative influences on and from religion? A roughly chronological development of science and the influence of religion is the covered in a guided reading format augmented with lectures and discussion. In May, a combination of museums and exhibits in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland including the Vatican, the Vatican observatory, and the CERN supercollider, bring to life the way in which scientific discoveries were colored by the culture, religion, and politics of many famous scientists.