Truc Nguyen, PhD
(515) 643-6777

Office Location
ACE - 231

Mailing Address

Mercy College of Health Sciences
928 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-1239

Year Started at Mercy College: 2008

  • Department: Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)


  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000)
  • AB, Harvard University (1994)

Courses Regularly Taught

  • CHE 095 Introductory
  • CHE 101 General Chemistry I
  • CHE 101 General Chemistry I (web-based)
  • CHE 102 General Chemistry II
  • CHE 320 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHE 321 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHE 420 Biochemistry
  • MAT 095 Pre-Algebra
  • MAT 102 Math for General Studies
  • MAT 102 Math for General Studies (web-based)
  • MAT 120 College Algebra

Research Interests and Professional Projects

I am interested in the natural product total synthesis of guanacastepene A. I initiated and performed significant synthesis of guanacastepene A, a natural product containing a 5-7-6 fused ring system with two ring junction quaternary methyl groups. These efforts led to the publication of 4 manuscripts.

I worked for six years in the pharmaceutical industry prior to teaching in academics. I was responsible for the design and synthesis of partial agonists of the nicotinic Alpha-7 receptor based on SAR obtained from high-throughput screening (HTS) primary functional assay. I also developed an accelerated screening cascade which have led to developmental candidates for cognitive therapeutic indications, including schizophrenia, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease. I prepared and characterized over 250 compounds in two distinct chemical series.

My Ph.D. project involved the fundamental exploratory synthesis of borenium cations, which are ions containing trivalent boron.


  1. Dunn, Robert; Nguyen, Truc Minh; Xie, Wenge; Tehim, Ashok. 6’ Substituted indole and indazole derivatives having 5-HT6 receptor affinity. PCT Int. Appl.  (2008) WO  2008101247.
  2. Schumacher, Richard A.; Ma, Jianguo; Herbert, Brian; Danca, Mihaela Diana; Xie, Wenge; Nguyen, Truc Minh; Tehim, Ashok. 1H-Indazoles, benzothiazoles, 1,2-benzoisoxazoles, 1,2-benzoisothiazoles, and chromones and preparation and uses thereof. PCT Int. Appl.  (2008) EP  1963332.

Personal History

I have always wanted to be a teacher because I wanted to inspire students. The best teacher that I have ever had was my second grade teacher, Ms Duchan. She would motivate me to learn by placing an apple in my desk. She kept up with me throughout the years. She attended my high school graduation. When I received my Ph.D., she sent me a $50 check. I try to aspire to be a great teacher, just like Ms. Duchan.