Cynthia McGowan

Academic Title

  • Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

The main research focus of my laboratory is the application of microwave heating to preparative organic chemistry. I have a number of undergraduate research students working under my supervision each semester and over summer breaks. In addition to exploring new synthetic methods for organic transformations, I am actively developing chemical-education materials. I have transformed the organic chemistry curriculum at Merrimack College by introduction of microwave heating as a tool. By converting a number of reactions from conventional to microwave conditions, it has been possible to expand the scope of experiments undergraduates can participate in during laboratory periods. I have collaborated extensively with Associate Professor of Chemistry Nicholas Leadbeater at the University of Connecticut in developing a range of new experiments for the undergraduate teaching laboratory.

  • Ph.D. Organic Chemistry Brandeis University
  • B.S. Chemistry Russell Sage College

“Microscale Organic Laboratory: with Multistep and Multiscale Syntheses,” 5th Edition, D. W. Mayo, R. M. Pike and D. C. Forbes with microwave chemistry contributions from N. E. Leadbeater and C. B. McGowan, Wiley, 2010, ISBN-13: 978-0-471-21502-8.

Bowman, Matthew D.; Schmink, Jason R.; McGowan, Cynthia M.; Kormos, Chad M.; Leadbeater, Nicholas E. “Scale-Up of Microwave-Promoted Reactions to the Multigram Level Using a Sealed-Vessel Microwave Apparatus.” Organic Process Research & Development (2008), 12(6),  1078-1088. 

“Clean, Fast Organic Chemistry: Microwave-Assisted Laboratory Experiments,” Nicholas Leadbeater, PhD and Cynthia McGowan, PhD CEM Press, 2006, ISBN#13:978-0-972222229.

M. M. Singh, C. B. McGowan, Z. Szafran and R. M. Pike, “A Comparative Study of Microscale and Standard Burets,” J. Chem.Educ. 2000, 77, 625.