Dr Arthur Crossman


DArcy Thompson Unit, School of Life Sciences

Portrait photo of Art Crossman
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+44 (0)1382 384529


Arthur grew up in Plymouth, Vermont, the birthplace of the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge.  Tourists can visit the Coolidge Homestead and then stimulate their palates with the outstanding cheese from the Plymouth Cheese Factory!  As much as he likes cheese, he obviously didn’t stay in Plymouth but rather pursued a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (1987) at Rhode Island College followed by a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (1989) at The American University in Washington, DC.  The synthesis of various vitamin C analogues for studying the transport mechanism of ascorbate in human cells plus the synthesis of MPTP (Google MPTP for the structure!) a dopaminergic neurotoxin in humans and mice causing neurodegeneration that is very similar to Parkinson’s disease were a couple of post-doctoral projects I worked on at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  Afterwards, in 1994, Arthur emigrated to Scotland and embarked on the most exciting research of his career here at the University of Dundee synthesising substrate analogues for probing the biosynthetic pathway of the African protozoan parasite Tyrpanosoma brucei, the causative agent of human African sleeping sickness and Nagana in cattle.  While his primary role for many years was research in synthetic organic chemistry, chemical biology and associated analytical chemistry (for which he published over 30 papers), he now has another exciting adventure, i.e. to share his research experiences with students, within the outstanding School of Life Sciences curricula.  This beautiful country, Scotland, is now what he calls home but he does miss the Plymouth Cheese!


His main contribution to the School of Life Sciences Learning and Teaching curricula is delivering organic synthesis lectures to 3rd year students.  The running theme throughout the module is predominantly ‘Organic Chemistry with Biological Applications’ whereby students are introduced to the fundamentals of organic chemistry with elements of biochemistry and biology woven into the topics. He is also involved in lending support to the exciting 2nd year ‘Forensic Chemistry Investigation’ project, as well as, assisting with field trips, practicals and workshops on spectroscopy techniques, which are just a couple more examples of his teaching responsibilities.

Module Manager:

  • BS11003 Laboratory and Research Skills 1a
  • BS21004 Laboratory and Research Skills 2b
  • BS32007 Organic Synthesis

Modules I teach on:

  • BS11003 Laboratory and Research Skills 1a
  • BS11005 Introduction to Maths Chemistry and Physics
  • BS11006 The Poison Pen
  • BS12001 Life Building the Organism
  • BS12003 Laboratory and Research Skills 1c
  • BS21004 Laboratory and Research Skills 2b
  • BS21008 Bioinorganic and Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • BS22002 Biological Sciences
  • BS31003 Molecular Structure and Interactions
  • BS32007 Organic Synthesis
  • BS32012 Practical Project B

Hosted 6 Level 4 Honours Lab based chemistry projects in 2014 and 4 Honours Lab based chemistry projects this past year (2015).

D'Arcy Thompson Unit Divisional Representative for the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery/Drug Discovery Unit.