Associate Professor of Chemistry
In the last year of his undergraduate studies, Dr. Suyama became a Christian while trying to disprove Christianity to his friends. At the same time as finding his love for Jesus, he discovered his passion for organic chemistry, which he pursued further in graduate school and postdoctoral work.
Dr. Suyama’s research interest centers on medicinally useful natural products, which are chemicals that organisms produce for survival advantages. His research is interdisciplinary in nature and incorporates elements of synthetic organic chemistry, natural products chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, ecology, and pharmacology.
One major focus of our undergraduate research program involves a synthetic investigation of highly brominated alkaloids with anti-MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) activities from a marine bacteria living in association with nudibranchs (sea hares). We hope to contribute to development of a novel antibiotic treatment and to gain insights into how these natural products and their environmentally significant analogs may be biosynthesized in nature.
Another focus of Dr. Suyama’s research program aims at discovering new natural products with useful bioactivities from local algae in collaboration with the biology department.
To nurture the scientist in every student, Dr. Suyama is passionate about providing an independent research project-like experience in his organic chemistry courses. Each student synthesizes an organic molecule of his/her choice, and the students get to present their achievements in a manner similar to that at a professional science conference. Below are courses that Dr. Suyama normally teaches.
- Organic Chemistry I & II
- Advanced Spectroscopy Lab
- Organic and Biochemical Concepts
- Advanced Organic Chemistry
- Undergraduate Research
- Postdoctoral Scholar at College of Pharmacy, Oregon State University.
- PhD in Oceanography (Organic Chemistry) from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego.
- BS in Chemistry (Biochemistry option) from Oregon State University.