Faculty & Staff
Lou Ann Tom, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Go Program: Hawaii
Office Location: Natural Sciences Center - Rm 322 B
Office Hours: 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m., MF
PHD, Lehigh University
MS, Bucknell University
BS, Lycoming College
Tom teaches General Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis and Core Perspectives. She instructs students in the fundamental principles of general inorganic chemistry, including qualitative and quantitative laboratory experiments. She also instructs senior chemistry majors in the theory and use of analytical instrumentation. During some semesters, she organizes and assesses seminar presentations required by junior and senior chemistry majors. In fall 2009, she will be offering a new special topics course, Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
Tom conducts research in the area of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). Each polymer is designed to remove and allow detection of low levels of the specific molecule for which it was designed. One current project involves MIPs designed to detect sulfadimethoxine, an antibiotic widely used to treat intestinal parasites in domesticated and farm animals and a concern if detected in environmental waters. MIPs for the separation of the enantiomers of chiral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including Ketoprofen and Ofloxacin, are also being prepared to investigate this technology for the removal of the inactive enantiomers that can possibly exhibit undesirable side-effects. A third project is the investigation of the use of MIPs for the removal of sulfur-containing compounds from diesel fuel for pollution concerns.
The research provides students with experience in chemical and polymer synthesis, as well as significant experience on many laboratory instruments, including the NMR, GC/MS and HPLC. Most students generate enough new information on their projects to present their findings at chemistry conferences.
Tom was a co-author of a journal article, “Case Study I: Application of the Divalent Cation Bridging Theory to Improve Biofloc Properties and Industrial Activated Sludge System Performance— Direct Addition of Divalent Cations,” in the July/August 2004 issue of Water Environment Research. Results were presented at the 72nd Annual Water Environment Federation Conference and Exposition (WEFTEC ’99), in New Orleans. She is currently completing an article for publication titled “Development of a Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP) for the Analysis of Avermectin.”
Tom worked as a chemist/senior scientist at Merck & Co. Inc. for 19 years, holding a variety of positions. Her work there included development and validation of analytical methods, implementation of online instrumentation for improved process control, development of cleaning methods, resolution of batch atypicals and other analytical support as needed for production. She also worked in the wastewater treatment department, developing and completing projects involving improvements in existing processes, improved methods of process control, and resolution of manufacturing and wastewater-treatment problems.
- CHEM-101 General Chemistry I
- CHEM-101L General Chemistry I Lab
- CHEM-102 General Chemistry II
- CHEM-102L General Chemistry II Lab
- CHEM-105 General Chemistry I Lab
- CHEM-111 General Chemistry I Teams WS
- CHEM-300 Topics in Chemistry
- CHEM-430 Instrumental Analysis
- CHEM-500 Problems in Chemistry
- CHEM-505 Seminar
- OFFP-HAWAII GO Hawaii
- OFFR-HAWAII GO Hawaii
- OFFS-HAWAII GO Hawaii
- PRDV-104 Perspectives