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Faculty Profile

Colin Rathbun

(he/him/his)Assistant Professor of Chemistry (2020)

Contact Information

James Hall - Rector Complex Room 2227


Colin received his bachelor’s degree from Hope College in 2012, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine in 2018. Throughout his education he has investigated a range of concepts in organic chemistry and beyond, from the fundamental flow of electrons in chemical reactions, to the illumination of cancer cells with firefly DNA, and the movement of individual RNA molecules in live cells. Along the way he authored numerous journal articles and received multiple nationally-recognized awards for his research. His most recent projects involve the directed evolution of binding interactions between synthetic organic molecules and mutant proteins and enzymes. These studies will inspire new designs for a range of pharmaceutical drugs.

Curriculum Vitae


  • B.S., Hope College, 2012
  • Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2018

2022-2023 Academic Year

Fall 2022

CHEM 241 Organic Chemistry I with Lab
The major focus of this course is on the reactivities of organic and inorganic molecules; this is an extension of the study of the covalent bond that was studied in Chemistry 131/132 or 141. . Topics include reaction types and mechanisms, stereochemistry, nomenclature, and spectroscopic methods. Laboratory work involves the synthesis, analysis and identification of organic and inorganic molecules. Three hours classroom and four hours laboratory per week. Prerequisite: 132 or 141.

BCMB 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch
Student/Faculty Collaborative Research allows a student to conduct original research in close partnership with faculty collaborator(s). The project should be designed as an investigation yielding novel results that contribute to the area of study. With the faculty collaborator(s), students will develop the project and participate in all aspects fo the reasearch. It is expected that the faculty member will work closely with the student for at least half of the time the student is pursuing the research. The final project must be presented to the faculty collaborator(s) no later than one week prior to the end of the evaluation period. The course will typically earn one half or one full course credit per semester.

CHEM 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch