University of Dundee

Dr Arthur Crossman

Lecturer (Teaching and Scholarship)
D'Arcy Thompson Unit, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee
Full Telephone: 
+44 (0) 1382 384529, int ext 84529

Why I Teach

During my extensive post-doctoral research career, teaching has always played a predominant role on a daily basis.  Over time teaching has become a huge passion of mine and I have a great desire to share my research experiences with the students.  There is, of course, room for continual improvement in the content and delivery of this teaching.  Consequently, I continue to improve and modernise my current 3rd year ‘Organic Synthesis’ lectures to emphasise the biological significance of the topics discussed using examples, problems and class participation to encourage, I believe, a rewarding and stimulating learning environment for the students.

What I Teach

My main contribution to the School of Life Sciences Learning and Teaching curricula is delivering organic synthesis lectures to 3rd year students.  The running theme throughout the module is predominantly ‘Organic Chemistry with Biological Applications’ whereby students are introduced to the fundamentals of organic chemistry with elements of biochemistry and biology woven into the topics.  I am also involved in lending support to the exciting 2nd year ‘Forensic Chemistry Investigation’ project, as well as, assisting with field trips, practicals and workshops on spectroscopy techniques, which are just a couple more examples of my teaching responsibilities.

Module Manager:
BS11003 Laboratory and Research Skills 1a
BS21004 Laboratory and Research Skills 2b
BS32007 Organic Synthesis

Modules I teach on:
BS11003 Laboratory and Research Skills 1a
BS11005 Introduction to Maths Chemistry and Physics
BS11006 The Poison Pen
BS12001 Life Building the Organism
BS12003 Laboratory and Research Skills 1c
BS21004 Laboratory and Research Skills 2b
BS21008 Bioinorganic and Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences
BS22002 Biological Sciences
BS31003 Molecular Structure and Interactions
BS32007 Organic Synthesis
BS32012 Practical Project B

I also hosted 6 Level 4 Honours Lab based chemistry projects in 2014 and 4 Honours Lab based chemistry projects this past year (2015).

Where I Come From

I grew up in Plymouth, Vermont, the birthplace of the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge.  Tourists can visit the Coolidge Homestead and then stimulate their palates with the outstanding cheese from the Plymouth Cheese Factory!  As much as I like cheese, I obviously didn’t stay in Plymouth but rather pursued a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (1987) at Rhode Island College followed by a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (1989) at The American University in Washington, DC.  The synthesis of various vitamin C analogues for studying the transport mechanism of ascorbate in human cells plus the synthesis of MPTP (Google MPTP for the structure!) a dopaminergic neurotoxin in humans and mice causing neurodegeneration that is very similar to Parkinson’s disease were a couple of post-doctoral projects I worked on at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  Afterwards, in 1994, I emigrated to Scotland and embarked on the most exciting research of my career here at the University of Dundee synthesising substrate analogues for probing the biosynthetic pathway of the African protozoan parasite Tyrpanosoma brucei, the causative agent of human African sleeping sickness and Nagana in cattle.  While my primary role for many years was research in synthetic organic chemistry, chemical biology and associated analytical chemistry (for which I have published over 30 papers), I now have another exciting adventure, i.e. to share my research experiences with students, within the outstanding School of Life Sciences curricula.  This beautiful country, Scotland, is now what I call home but I do miss the Plymouth Cheese!