John Hofferberth joined Kenyon’s faculty in 2005. His research focuses on the chemical synthesis of naturally occurring organic molecules that are involved in insect communication. The program director of Kenyon’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence Grant, Hofferberth is leading efforts to transform institutional structures and faculty practices to build Kenyon’s capacity for inclusion of all students.

Hofferberth is a winner of Kenyon’s Trustee Teaching Excellence Award.

Areas of Expertise

Organic chemistry, biochemistry and chemical ecology

Education

2002 — Doctor of Philosophy from The Ohio State University

1996 — Bachelor of Science from Miami University Oxford

Courses Recently Taught

This course provides a thorough introduction to the fundamental concepts, theories, and methodologies of chemistry. Topics may include stoichiometry, theories of molecular structure and bonding, the periodic table, quantum theory, acid-base chemistry, chemical equilibria and thermodynamics. This course provides a basis for the further study of chemistry. No prerequisite. Offered every fall semester.

This lecture-discussion course continues the introductory chemistry sequence started in CHEM 121. We will explore the chemical principles of molecular structure, bonding, reactivity, electrochemistry, kinetics and intermolecular forces. Chemical principles are explored in the context of current issues in the study or application of chemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 121 or 122. Offered every spring semester.

This lecture course offers a study of the chemical and physical properties of organic compounds. Theoretical principles are developed with particular emphasis on molecular structure and reaction mechanisms. The descriptive aspects of organic chemistry include strategies for synthesis and the study of compounds of biochemical interest. Prerequisite: grade of C+ or higher in CHEM 122 and completion of CHEM 123 or 126 or permission of department chair. Offered every spring semester.

This course is a continuation of CHEM 231. This lecture course offers a study of the chemical and physical properties of organic compounds. Theoretical principles are developed with particular emphasis on molecular structure and reaction mechanisms. The descriptive aspects of organic chemistry include strategies for synthesis and the study of compounds of biochemical interest. This counts toward advanced course electives for the major. Prerequisite: CHEM 231. Offered every fall semester.

This laboratory course introduces fundamental methods in organic chemistry research and complements the topics covered in the lecture course, CHEM 231. This is achieved by carrying out experiments and research projects involving topics such as isolation of a natural product, oxidation and reduction reactions and reactions of alkenes. The techniques include liquid extraction, distillation, recrystallization and thin layer and gas chromatography. Compounds are identified and assessed for purity by melting point determination, refractometry, gas chromatography and infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Appropriate record keeping on laboratory notebooks and writing laboratory reports is emphasized. Required for the major. Corequisite: CHEM 231. Offered every spring semester.

This laboratory course extends and applies the techniques developed in CHEM 233 to more advanced experiments in organic synthesis including open-ended experiments derived from current research projects. A particular emphasis will be placed on using chemistry databases, experimental design and planning, laboratory notebooks and record keeping, analytical and preparative chromatography, advanced NMR techniques (2-D) and writing research laboratory reports. Upon successful completion of the two-course organic chemistry lab sequence (CHEM 233/234), students will have the skills needed to thrive in a synthetic organic chemistry research laboratory. This counts toward the advanced lab electives for the major. Prerequisite: CHEM 233. Corequisite: CHEM 232. Offered every fall semester.

This course is a study of the structure and function of biologically important compounds. Topics include proteins, enzymes, intermediary metabolism and electron transport with emphasis on thermodynamic and kinetic analysis of biochemical systems. Prerequisite: CHEM 232. Offered every spring semester.

Section 01 (.25 unit): Students engage in independent research under the direction of a faculty mentor. The time requirement is at least three hours in lab per week. Students will learn to search literature and give professional presentations. This course also provides an introduction to scientific writing. More details can be obtained from the department chair. Permission of instructor required. Offered every semester.\n\nSection 02 (.5 unit): This section is a prerequisite to CHEM 497 and 498. The time commitment is six to eight hours per week in lab. Students will learn to search literature and give professional presentations as well as to write scientifically. More details can be obtained from the department chair. This counts toward advanced lab elective for the major. Permission of instructor required. Offered every semester.

Individual study in chemistry is intended to supplement, not take the place of, coursework. For that reason, such study cannot be used to fulfill requirements for the major or minor. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the chemistry department willing to direct the project and obtain the approval of the department chair. At a minimum, the department expects a student to meet regularly with his or her instructor for at least one hour per week. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the established deadline.

The emphasis is on independent research in collaboration with a faculty mentor, culminating with a thesis that is defended orally to an outside examiner. See department chair or website for full description. Permission of instructor and department chair required. Prerequisite: GPA of at least 3.2, enrollment in Section 02 of CHEM 375 or CHEM 376.

The emphasis is on independent research in collaboration with a faculty mentor, culminating with a thesis that is defended orally to an outside examiner. See department chair or website for full description. Permission of instructor and department chair required. Prerequisite: GPA of at least 3.2, enrollment in Section 02 of CHEM 375 or CHEM 376.