Jason C. Thoen

Jason Thoen
Associate Professor
Undergraduate Health Sciences
Associate Professor
Undergraduate Health Sciences

Personal Information


Currently Teaching (2017-2018)

I started my academic career in rural Minnesota, graduating from high school with a class of only 11 students. I continued on to the University of Minnesota, Morris, earning double majors in chemistry and biology, and was granted the Scholar of the College award for excellence in academics and undergraduate research. I obtained my PhD in organic chemistry from Purdue University in 2001, working in the fields of natural product synthesis and asymmetric catalysis. My postdoctoral research focused on the synthesis and identification of metabolites derived from cancer chemotherapy drugs.

I joined Northwestern to develop and teach in the Undergraduate Health Sciences and Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Programs, which have grown from the first class of 5 organic chemistry students, to a growing list of courses with a total of more than 30 students each trimester. 

I am published in a variety of different areas of chemistry and medicine, ranging from gas phase pyrolysis reactions to natural product synthesis.


  • Doctor of Philosophy - Purdue University, 2001


Thoen JC, Lipton MA. Synthesis of the unnatural amino acid AGDHE, a constituent of the cyclic depsipeptides callipeltins A and D. Organic Letters. 2002;4:4455.

Amegayibor FS, Nash JJ, Lee AS, Thoen JC, Petzold CJ, Kenttamaa, HI. Chemical properties of a para-benzyne. Journal of the Americal Chemical Society. 2002;124:12066.

Uckun FM, Thoen JC, Chen H, Sudbeck E, Chen M, Malaviya R, Liu XP, Chen CL. CYP1A-mediated metabolism of the Janus kinase-3 inhibitor 4-(4¹-hydroxyphenyl)-amino-6, 7-dimethoxyquinazoline: structural basis for inactivation by regioselective o-demethylation. Drug Metabolism and Disposition. 2002;30:74.

Thoen KK, Thoen JC, Uckun FM. Reactivity of 1,4-didehydronaphthalene toward organic hydrogen atom donors. Tetrahedron Letters. 2000;41:4019.

Yong YF, Kowalski JA, Thoen JC, Lipton MA. A new reagent for solid and solution phase synthesis of protected guanidines from amines. Tetrahedron Letters. 1999;40:53.

Kogut EF, Thoen JC, Lipton MA. Examination and enhancement of enantioselective autoinduction in cyanohydrin formation by cyclo[(R)-His(R)-Phe]. Journal of Organic Chemistry. 1998;63:4604.

Thoen JC, Lipton MA. The effects of n-methylation on the enantioselectivity of catalysis by cyclo[(R)-his(R)-phe]. Tetrahedron: Asymmetry. 1997;8:3947.

Trahanovsky WS, Tunkel JL, Thoen JC, Wang, Y. Regiospecific formation of anthracenes in the flash vacuum pyrolysis of dibenzosuberones. Journal of Organic Chemistry. 1995;60:8407.

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