Wade Johnson, Ph.D.

Department: Chemistry

Professor of Chemistry

  • Education
  • PHD, Iowa State University of Science & Technology
  • MS, Iowa State University of Science & Technology
  • BS, Hampden-Sydney College

I've always been interested in the structure function aspects of proteins and small molecules and in spectroscopy. That is how light interacts with molecules. Studying Photosystem I as a model system combines those two passions, as there are hundreds of light-absorbing molecules in the protein complex that allow for a variety of types of interactions. My current research utilizes samples grown and purified in my lab and characterized by a novel, home-built pump-probe laser system. Additionally, through access with collaborators, we collect transient EPR signals for analysis.

As a professor, I like to see the student's "aha" moment when they finally understand. My own liberal arts background has been invaluable at times in being able to approach a new topic or problem from several angles. When in graduate school, I realized how much my state school friends missed out on the breadth of study I was afforded. This is particularly useful for those people who don't necessarily know what kinds of topics there are to study outside the major. The liberal arts experience exposes students to topics they never knew they might have liked. It a great survey of education and provides students with jumping-off points that allow them to pursue their interests.

In Susquehanna, students find a small liberal arts school that has a strong science program, which is somewhat unusual. The friendly people here remind me of the schools nearby where I grew up.

My main hobby outside of the classroom is photography; landscape, macro, and scientific.

Courses taught:

  • CHEM-103 General Chemistry I Teams
  • CHEM-104 General Chemistry II: Teams
  • CHEM-105 General Chemistry I Lab
  • CHEM-106 General Chemistry II Lab
  • CHEM-221L Organic Chemistry I Lab
  • CHEM-222L Organic Chemistry II Lab
  • CHEM-231 Quantitative Analysis
  • CHEM-242 Methods of Chemical Analysis
  • CHEM-300 Glassware Manipulation
  • CHEM-300 Scient. Glassware Manipulation
  • CHEM-303 Science Ethics, Blunders, and Fraud
  • CHEM-314 Survey of Biochemistry
  • CHEM-342 Physical Chemistry II
  • CHEM-400 Research Experience
  • CHEM-424 The Biochemistry of Metabolism
  • CHEM-426 Biochemistry of Proteins & Enzymes
  • CHEM-429 Biochemistry of Metabolism Lab
  • CHEM-505 Seminar