Colleen A. Evans

Phone: (845) 848-6016
Office: Prusmack Center  308

B.S. – Chemistry/Biology: Ouachita Baptist University
M.S. – Organic Chemistry: University of Missouri
Ph.D. – Higher Education: Seton Hall University

Professor Colleen Evans joined the Science Department as an adjunct professor in 2003, became an instructor in Chemistry in the Science Department in 2007 and was promoted to assistant professor of Chemistry in 2015. Professor Evans has taught General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Analytical Chemistry courses. 

Professor Evans’ research interests are focused on developing new and general synthetic organic methods for use in the design of novel compounds of biological and medicinal interest. The main current emphasis is twofold: 1) the application of selective thionation reactions to compounds of biological interest such as heterocyclic compounds and short peptides and 2) the development of novel thionating agents that are selective and practical for use in a wide variety of synthetic transformations. Professor Evans has also educational research interests which include retention of science students at the undergraduate level, exploration of innovative teaching methods and curriculum design to enhance the learning experience of science students, and increasing the number of science majors who become middle school and high school science teachers

One avenue of thionation reactions has been applied to serotonin receptors HTR1A/2 partial agonist/antagonist small molecules such as the clinical candidate adatanserin which led to the discovery of a novel agent thioadatanserin with EC50 of 6.7 nM against 5-HTR1A and IC50 of 62.3 nM against 5HTR2A as a potential agent for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Thioadatanserin was further modified by a novel tandem dialkylation reaction giving unexpected analogues.  The structure of one analogue was determined using X- ray single structure crystallography.

In another project, research is being carried out with our undergraduate research students to discover covalent peptidomimetic inhibitors of calpain enzymes as potential treatment of diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

Recently, she discovered a novel thionating agent which was termed TMPT whose X-ray crystal structure indicates high degree of symmetry that may be useful in achieving desired selectivity in thionation reaction. The scope of this novel thionating agent is being actively investigated.

Professor Evans spearheaded the curricular design and implementation of the new chemistry minor which was first offered in 2015. She has also served on the curriculum committee, freshman directorate, and adhoc committee charged with developing College-wide Educational Goals and Learning Objectives. As a coordinator of Science Department Seminar Series (2012-2015) she brought scientists from diverse disciplines to campus to speak and meet with Dominican University students.  Currently, she is the Chairperson of the Dominican University Institutional Review Board. 

Prior to joining Dominican University, Professor Evans’ scientific career started in 1984 as a synthetic chemist in the Agricultural Products Department at E. I. Dupont de Nemours (Wilmington, DE) working on the important class of sulfonyl ureas herbicides.  In 1987, she then joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department of BioChem Pharma (Quebec, Canada) as a research scientist and was involved in the discovery of Epivir licensed for the treatment of AIDS and hepatitis B infections.

Professor Evans is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship – Kiel, West Germany (1980-1981) and co-recipient of Prix-Galien Research Award (1996)

See Dr. Colleen Evans’ selected publications and presentations

C. A. Evans, A. Zuluaga, D. Vasquez Matute, S. Baradaran-Noviri, N. Perez-Cervantes, M. A. Siegler, Synthesis and biological evaluation of thioadatanserin and its dialkylated products as partial 5-HTR1A agonists and 5-HTR2A antagonists for potential use in depression and anxiety disorders. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 2020, 30, in press.

C. A. Evans, R. Chen, and R. P. Hudes, Understanding determinants for STEM major choice among students beginning community college. Community College Review, 2020, 48, 227-251.

E. B. Voura,, M. J. Montalvo, K. T. Dela Roca, J. M. Fisher, V. Defamie, S. R. Narala, R. Khokha, M. E. Mulligan, C. A. Evans, Planarians as models of cadmium-induced neoplasia provide measurable benchmarks for mechanistic studies, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 2017, 142, 544-554.

C.A. Evans, L. Bernier, J. Dugas and T.S. Mansour, Efficient resolution of oxidized Cleland’s reagent by C2 symmetric Boc-L-phenylalanyl esters, Tetrahedron Letters, 1997, 38, 7657-7600.

C.A. Evans, R.T. Hewgill and T.S. Mansour, Asymmetric synthesis of 2’-phosphonomethyl(3’,4’-dihydroxybutyl)cytosine and –guanine nucleotides, Tetrahedron: Asymmetry, 1997, 8, 2299-2302.

T.S. Mansour, C.A. Evans, M. Charron and B.E. Korba, Discovery of imidazo[1,2-c]pyrimidin-5(6H)-one heterosubstituted nucleoside analogues with potent activity against human hepatitis B virus in vitro, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 1997, 7, 303-309.

H. Jin, M.A. Siddiqui, C.A. Evans, H.L.A. Tse, T.S. Mansour, M.D. Goodyear, P. Ravenscroft and C.D. Beels, Diastereoselective synthesis of the potent antiviral agent (-)-2′-deoxy-3′-thiacytidine and Its enantiomer, Journal of  Organic Chemistry, 1995, 60, 2621-2623.

K. Bednarski, D.M. Dixit, W. Wang, C.A. Evans, H. Jin, L. Yuen, T.S. Mansour, D.J. Knight, S.M. Walcott and J.A.V. Coates, Inhibitory activities of herpes simplex viruses type 1 and 2 and human cytomegalovirus by stereoisomers of 2′-deoxy-3′-oxa-5(E)-(2-bromovinyl)uridines and their 4′-thio Analogues, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 1994, 4, 2667-2672 

C.A. Evans, D.M. Dixit, M.A. Siddiqui, H. Jin, H.L.A. Tse, A. Cimpoia, K. Bednarski, T. Breining and T.S. Mansour, Divergent asymmetric synthesis of dioxolane nucleoside analogues, Tetrahedron: Asymmetry, 1993, 4, 2319-2322

Stereoselective Synthesis of Nucleoside Analogues using Bicyclic intermediate, PCT: PCT/CA/9400311, published December 22, 1994.

C. A. Evans and R. Chen, Toward the Understanding of Community Colleges in STEM Education Landscape: Development of STEM College Major Choice Model, 38th Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Conference, St. Louis, MO, November 2013.

C. A. Evans and R. Chen, Determinants of STEM Majors Choice:  A Comparison between Community Colleges and Four-Year Institutions, American Education Research Association Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, April 2014.

C. A. Evans, Tools for Building Bridges Across the Science Disciplines: A Guide to Concept and Curriculum Mapping, 2015 General Meeting of American Society for Microbiology, New Orleans, LA, May 30, 2015.

Andrea Zuluaga (C.A. Evans, mentor), Synthesis of thioadatanserin: Illuminating the public on drug discovery in academia, 2017 Northeast Regional Honors Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Natalia Perez-Cervantes (C. A. Evans, mentor), Synthesis of novel alkyl piperazinyl salts as potential anxiolytic and antidepressant agents via chemoselective alkylation of thioadatanserin,  73nd annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference (ECSC) Manhattan College, New York, April 6, 2019.

Graduated research students: 

Sarah Baradarin-Noviri, Shaheim Hill, Jovana Jones, Gene Kerstanski, Tiffany Ortiz, Jennifer Paride, Natalia Perez –Cervantes, Abel Rosario, Diego Vasquez Matute, Andrea Zuluaga