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Dr. Malcolm D'Souza
Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Sponsored Research

Why I Teach:

"[Teaching] keeps me from
losing gray matter (hopefully)."

Contact Information 

Cannon 204
(302) 736-2528


Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Northern Illinois University
M.S., Organic Chemistry, Northern Illinois University
M.S., Inorganic Chemistry, University of Bombay
B.S., Chemistry, University of Bombay

Professional Activities

My major research focus is in the field of solution chemical kinetics. These projects remain of basic importance in organic chemistry because they study the bond-making and bond-breaking processes of a great many reactions that are building blocks in the synthesis of arthritis, cancer, antiviral, and antifungal drugs. A number of these organic chemicals are also used as precursors to a variety of agricultural products. The proposed experiments may lead to better methods for measuring and understanding the effects of the solvent (medium) in which these reactions take place and thereby increase the development of more efficient applications.

Research students in my lab are also involved in an in silico drug evaluation projects that combine web-accessible FDA files along with the KnowItAll® platform (from Bio-Rad Laboratories). Such projects teach Wesley’s STEM majors emerging information technology tools that are typical in the drug discovery process. Additionally, using the same platform we have built a database containing 62 commonly used pesticides in Delaware and have developed a prototype for a useful SmartPhone app for farmers.

Undergraduates involved in this Directed Research Program in chemistry are also afforded an opportunity to publish and present data at scientific conferences. This sponsored Directed Research Program receives financial support from an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH grant no. P20GM103446, Delaware INBRE program, 2014-2019); a National Science Foundation (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research grant EPS-0814251 (Delaware EPSCoR program, 2013-2018); an NSF ARI-R2 grant 0960503 (2010-2012); an NSF S-STEM grant 1355554 (2014-2019); and the State of Delaware. Outcomes from this sponsored undergraduate research program in chemistry have (so far) resulted in 47 peer-reviewed publications with 57 undergraduate co-authors. Furthermore, 67 undergraduate participants have earned national or regional awards and there have been over 250 poster presentations at international, national, and regional scientific conferences.

In 2012, I received the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) E. Emmett Reid Award, which recognizes high-quality teaching in chemistry at small colleges in the ACS Mid-Atlantic region. Currently, I am the Principal Investigator (PI) on the Wesley College DE-EPSCoR, DE-INBRE, and NSF S-STEM (Cannon Scholar) programs.

Our continued success in the mentored undergraduate research program in chemistry has been recognized with articles in the state’s flagship newspapers: the Delaware News Journal and the Delaware State News. Articles have also appeared in the Dover Post, Hockessin Community News, Milford Beacon, and Delaware Today. Articles about this undergraduate research program appeared (in May 2014 and October 2012) in International Innovations - a leading scientific dissemination service: http://www.wesley.edu/fileadmin/editors_images/Academics/Grants/INBRE/Malcolm_D_Souza_Intl_Innovation_135_Research_Media.pdf;



Publications (past five years):


  • Prototype of SmartPhone app. “Evolution of a Structure-Searchable Database into a Prototype for a High-Fidelity SmartPhone App for 62 Common Pesticides Used in Delaware,” D’Souza, M. J.; Barile, B.; Givens, A. F. International Conference on Industrial Instrumentation and Control (2015 ICIC), IEEE XPlore, under review

  • “Statistical Methods for the Investigation of Solvolysis Mechanisms Illustrated by the Chlorides of the Carbomethoxy Protecting Groups NVOC and FMOC,” D’Souza, M. J.; Deol, J. K.; Pavey, M. T.; Kevill, D. N. Journal Analytical Methods Chemistry, 2015, accepted

  • “Effect of Gender and Lifestyle Behaviors on BMI Trends in a Sample of the First State’s Undergraduate Population,” D’Souza, M. J.; Walls, K-J. E.; Rojas, C.; Everett, L. M.; Wentzien, D. E. American Journal of Health Sciences, 2015, to appear in January 2015, NIHMSID # 641466


  • Review Chapter. “Influence of Sulfur for Oxygen Substitution in the Solvolytic Reactions of Chloroformate Esters and Related Compounds,” D’Souza, M. J.; Kevill, D. N. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2014, 15, 18310-18332, PMID: 25310653 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25310653  
  • “LFER Studies Evaluating Solvent Effects on an ?-Chloro- and two 1 ?,?,?-Trichloro- Ethyl Chloroformate Esters,” D’Souza, M. J.; Sandosky, B.; Fernandez-Bueno, G. A., McAneny, M. J. Canadian Chemical Transactions, 2014, 2, 160-174, PMID: 24812595 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24812595 


  • “Manipulating In-House Designed Drug Databases for the Prediction of pH-Dependent Aqueous Drug Solubility,” D’Souza, M. J.; AlAbed, G. J.; Earley, M.; Roberts, N.; Gerges, F. J. American Journal of Health Sciences, 2013, 4, 137-150, PMID: 24478935 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3903345/ 

  • Review Chapter. “Application of the Grunwald-Winstein Equations to Studies of Solvolytic Reactions of Chloroformate and Fluoroformate Esters,” D’Souza, M. J.; Kevill, D.N. Research Recent Developments in Organic Chemistry, 2013, 13, 1-38, Editor, S. G.. Pandalai. Publisher, Transworld Research Network, Trivandrum-695 023 Kerala, India, ISBN: 978-81-7895-600-8, PMC4215406 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215406/ 
  • “Kinetic Studies that Evaluate the Solvolytic Mechanisms of Allyl and Vinyl Chloroformate Esters,” D’Souza, M. J.; Givens, A.F.; Lorchak, P.A.; Greenwood, A.E.; Gottschall, S.M.; Carter, S.E.; Kevill, D. N. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2013, 14, 7286-7301. PMID: 23549265 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3645686/ 


  • “Inter-institutional Partnerships Propel a Successful Collaborative Undergraduate Degree Program in Chemistry,” D’Souza, M. J.; Wang, Q. J. College Teaching and Learning, 2012, 9, 245-252, PMID: 24273464 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24273464 
  • “Correlation of the Rates of Solvolysis of tert-Butyl Chlorothioformate and Observations Concerning the Reaction Mechanism,” Kyong, J.B.; Lee, Y.; D’Souza, M.J.; Mahon, B.P.; Kevill, D.N. European Journal of Chemistry, 2012, 3, 267-272, PMC3607629 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3607629/ 
  • “Evaluation of Electronic Effects in the Solvolyses of p-Methylphenyl and p-Chlorophenyl Chlorothionoformate Esters,” D’Souza, M. J.; Hampton, O. N.; Sansbury, B. M. Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 2013, 2012, Article ID 248534, 9 pages, PMID: 24377055 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3873162/ 
  • “Nucleophilic Participation in the Solvolyses of (Arylthio)methyl Chlorides and Derivatives: Application of Simple and Extended Forms of the Grunwald-Winstein Equations,” Kevill, D. N.; Park, Y. H.; Park, B.-C.; D’Souza, M. J. Current Organic Chemistry, 2012, 16, 2012, 1502-1511, PMID: 22711999  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22711999 
  • “Use of Linear Free Energy Relationships (LFERs) to Elucidate the Mechanisms of Reaction of a ?-Methyl-?-alkynyl and an ortho-Substituted Aryl Chloroformate Ester”, D’Souza, M .J.; Knapp, J. A.; Fernandez-Bueno, G. A.; Kevill, D. N. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2012, 13, 665-682, PMC3269712 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269712/ 


  • “Wesley College Ignites Potential with Undergraduate Student Research Program,” D’Souza, M. J.; Dwyer, P.; Allison, B. E.; Miller, J. M.; Drohan, J. Council of Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 2011, 32, 41-45, PMC3269301 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269301/ 
  • “Understanding Solvent Effects in the Solvolysis of 4-Fluorophenyl Chlorothionoformate,” D’Souza, M. J.; Hailey, S. M.; Mahon, B. P.; Kevill, D. N. Chemical Sciences Journal, 2011, CSJ-35, 1-9, PMC3172719 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3172719/ 
  • “A Database Developed with Information Extracted from Chemotherapy Drug Package Inserts to Enhance Future Prescriptions,” D’Souza, M. J.; Alabed, G. J.; Wheatley, J. M.; Roberts, N.; Veturi, Y.; Bi, X.; Continisio, C. H. Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops (CISE2011), 2011, 219-226, IEEE Conference Record #17768; IEEE Catalog Number: CFP1160F-PRT; ISBN: 978-1-4244-8361-7. PMID: 25302340 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25302340 
  • “Kinetic Evaluation of the Solvolysis of Isobutyl Chloro- and Chlorothioformate Esters,” D’Souza, M. J.; McAneny, M. J.; Kevill, D. N.; Kyong, J. B.; Choi, S. H. Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2011, 7, 543-552, PMC3107482 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21647255 
  • “A Study of Solvent Effects in the Solvolysis of Propargyl Chloroformate,” D’Souza, M. J.; Darrington, A. M.; Kevill, D. N. ISRN Organic Chemistry, 2011, 7671411-7671416, PMC3111911 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21666878 
  • “Correlation of the Rates of Solvolysis of Neopentyl Chloroformate – a Recommended Protecting Agent,” D’Souza, M. J.; Carter, S. E.; Kevill, D. N. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2011, 12, 1161-1174, PMC3083697 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21541050 

Courses Taught

BI406 Research Methods
BI407 Experimental and Project Research
CH130 Chemistry for Allied Health
CH200 Organic Chemistry I
CH210 Organic Chemistry II
CH265/365 Directed Research
CH326 Biochemistry