Rachid Skouta

Lecturer in Chemistry

Adjunct Assistant Professor in Chemistry
Research Assistant Professor in Biology
Chemistry Office: 428 LGRT
(413) 577-4167
Lab: 501 LGRT

Biological
Organic
M.Sc., Institut de Pharmacologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 2003 Ph.D., McGill University, 2008 Canadian Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University, Chemistry Department, 2008-2010 Research Associate, Columbia University, Biology Department, 2010-2013
Principal Research Interests: 

Principal Research Interests:

  1. Educate the next generation of scientists.
  2. Development of potential drugs based on small molecules using medicinal chemistry tools.

Teaching organic chemistry

One of the beauties of chemistry is its ability to translate across many disciplines and across many areas of life. Although my passion is for chemistry in particular, one of the greatest goals I have is to teach my students to become motivated, insightful, and enthusiastic thinkers. As an educator I make every effort to engage, challenge, and inspire growth in my students. It is my belief that every student is capable of tasting the passion that I feel for science in general and for chemistry specifically by becoming collaborator, communicator, critical thinker and creator in the exploration of the theory and practice of chemistry. My overarching goal is to inspire growth in my students by giving them tools to take into other disciplines and into other domains of their life. Among these tools are a sense of curiosity, open-mindedness, and a thirst for knowledge.

Principal Research Interests: Small molecules and diseases

Designing small molecules with specific predicted properties offers great potential in chemistry biology and medicine. Our research objective is to improve the understanding, at the molecular level, of the function of potential drug targets. To do so, we design, synthesize and investigate compounds with specific predicted properties and better drug-like properties, via structure-activity-relationships (SAR) study, that target receptors transporters and enzymes involved in neurodegenerative, cancer and infection disease models. We are also assessing the antioxidant, anticancer and antimicrobial properties of plant extracts toward the identification of potent natural products with better pharmaceutical properties.

Our research interests and activities span many traditional and emerging disciplines of chemistry and biology with noteworthy focuses on the use of computational chemistry, medicinal chemistry and SAR studies complemented with protein chemistry as well as molecular biology to solve biological problems.