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Loyd Bastin Named Sarnoski Science Faculty Fellow at Widener University

Loyd Bastin and Cynthia Sarnoski

Dr. Loyd Bastin is awarded the fellowship by Widener Trustee Dr. Cynthia Sarnoski.

Dr. Loyd Bastin, associate professor and chair of chemistry and coordinator of undergraduate research at Widener University, has been named the university’s second Cynthia H. Sarnoski Science Faculty Fellow. Bastin has received the two-year fellowship to support his research with undergraduate students on the greener synthesis of pharmaceuticals.

Since Spring 2013, Bastin has worked with Widener students to develop a green synthesis of isoxazole derivatives, which serve as building blocks for pharmaceuticals used as anticonvulsants, antiepileptics and antimicrobials. To “green” the synthetic process, Bastin and his students aim to reduce waste and to find alternative chemicals to use as reagents to replace those that are corrosive, toxic, volatile and sometimes carcinogenic.

While Bastin is confident that he and his students have developed a new process to synthesize diarylisoxazole derivatives that uses green reagents for each step of the synthesis, he wants to continue looking at alternative reagents and purification techniques that generate less waste. In addition, the next phase of his research will involve changing the starting material in the synthesis to produce additional derivatives that potentially have medicinal properties.

“The plan is to find a green synthesis that works robustly to make any derivative we want,” said Bastin. “The funding from the Sarnoski Fellowship will enable me to focus over the summer on these next steps for my research and recruit students to work alongside me as research assistants. So far, our students have taken a real interest in green chemistry whether it’s because they are interested in environmental preservation or they see it as the future of science. As the Sarnoski Fellow, I can continue to provide them with opportunities to explore this important topic.”

Bastin will begin receiving support from the Sarnoski Fellowship July 1, 2015. The fellowship is funded by a gift to Taking the Lead—The Campaign for Widener made by Cynthia H. Sarnoski. It rotates to lend support to science faculty members in their scholarship and research endeavors.

“Dr Bastin's research not only provides a wonderful experience for students to practice and enhance a range of skills that will be invaluable to their future careers, it does so with a clear commitment for preservation of the environment,” said Sarnoski. 

Sarnoski graduated from Widener in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. She is a retired senior vice president for Global Compliance and Quality Systems for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and a member of the Widener Board of Trustees.

Bastin has taught at Widener since 2004. During his time at the university, he has involved 27 biochemistry, biology and chemistry students in a variety of research projects. His research focus has shifted from bioorganic chemistry to merge with his pedagogical interest in green chemistry. He has helped redesign the organic chemistry curriculum to incorporate green chemistry into the lecture and laboratory courses, and he led efforts to have Widener become the first Pennsylvania institution to sign the Green Chemistry Commitment.

Bastin earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Kentucky and his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Washington. He currently resides in Philadelphia.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university’s website, www.widener.edu.