Amy Dounay ’96 returns to the college after working as a senior principal scientist in the neuroscience medicinal chemistry department at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development in Groton, Conn.
At Pfizer, she led chemistry teams in the design and synthesis of new molecules in an effort to discover new treatments for diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Her work in the field of medicinal chemistry has been reported in numerous journal articles and patents. Prior to joining Pfizer in 2004, Dounay was a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Irvine, funded by a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship. She received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2001 from University of Minnesota, where she wrote a dissertation on the synthesis of spiroketal domains of marine natural products.
Dounay will continue her research in medicinal chemistry at Colorado College, with a focus on discovery of new medicines to treat neglected tropical diseases. She is especially interested identifying safer and more effective treatments for Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as African sleeping sickness.
Student researchers in the lab with Dounay will synthesis new drug-like compounds, which will be tested for biological activity by collaborators. The concepts and challenges of discovering new medicines will be integrated throughout Dounay’s teaching, from introductory organic chemistry courses through upper level courses.
Dounay also is an accomplished pianist. While a student, she was a member of Colorado College's Bowed Piano Ensemble from 1993-96. She studied solo and duo piano performance with Susan Grace, and performed in many Colorado College recitals.