Anna J. Smith


    Anna J. Smith

    Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry

    B.S., Chemistry, summa cum laude, West Virginia State University, 2003

    Ph.D., Chemistry, The University of Texas at Austin, 2009

    J.D., The George Washington University Law School, 2013

    Research Spotlight

    My chemistry research interests are in the area of synthetic organic chemistry.  In particular, I am interested in making novel compounds of biological significance.  I am currently working  on synthesizing a variety of novel, flavonoid derivatives that are potential anti-aging compounds.  In collaboration with the Washington College biology department, these compounds are being tested in yeast to determine if they delay cellular senescence.  Senescence is a hallmark of aging characterized by a cell’s inability to continue dividing.  My goal is to discover compounds that will delay or stop the aging process.

    In addition to chemical research, I am interested in the intersection of chemistry and the law.  I have a background in patent law and am fascinated by exploring the complex and controversial relationship between drug commercialization and patenting.  In particular, I am interested in looking at patent evergreening within the pharmaceutical industry and its impact on drug prices. 


    Representative Publications:

    • Doctoral Dissertation: Development of Methodologies Employing Rhodium Catalysis and Studies Toward the Total Synthesis of Cortistatin A, 2009.
    • “Enantioselective Conjugate Addition Employing 2-Heteroaryl Titanates and Zinc Reagents,” Organic Letters, 2009, pp. 4200-4203.
    • “Features and Applications of [Rh(CO)2Cl]2-Catalyzed Alkylations of Unsymmetrical Allylic Substrates,” Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2007, pp. 9018-9031.
    • “[Rh(CO)2Cl]2-Catalyzed Domino Reactions Involving Allylic Substitution and Subsequent Carbocyclization Reactions,” Organic Letters, 2005, pp. 1661-1663.

    I teach Chemical Principles of Organic Molecules (CHE 120); Reactions of Organic Molecules (CHE 140); and a Special Topics course on Patenting Chemical Innovations (CHE 394).

    Professional Experience

    Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Washington College, 2017-present.

    Adjunct Chemistry Professor, Washington College, 2016-2017.

    Scientific Advisor &  Attorney in the private sector, 2012-2015.

    Judicial Intern for Chief Judge Randall Rader, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2012.

    Teaching Specialist, The University of Texas at Austin, 2010.

    Editorial Assistant for Tetrahedron–an Elsevier organic chemistry journal, 2005-2007.

    Awards and Honors:

    • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship  A three-year pre-doctoral fellowship totalling $121,500 awarded via a nationally competitive process
    • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Graduate Fellowship in Organic Chemistry            
    • The University of Texas at Austin Faraday Fellowship Award In recognition of exemplary teaching assistantship