Greg O’Neil is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Western Washington University. His research is focused primarily on synthesizing biologically and environmentally compelling natural products. More recently this work has also led him to become involved in certain biofuel-related research. He teaches organic chemistry as well as several advanced electives (Natural Products Chemistry, Organic Reactions, and Biofuels) through the chemistry department and Institute for Energy Studies at WWU.
In 2014-15, O’Neil has been a visiting scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, returning to WHOI after working as a summer research student in 2002 to investigate marine natural products with WHOI geochemist Chris Reddy.
Current ongoing research projects in the O’Neil group include synthetic and biological studies on a family of potent anti-cancer natural products known as the archazolids, the development of new samarium-, silicon-, and sulfone-based methodologies, and investigating haptophyte microalgae biofuels and bioproducts. This work is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award.
He was recently honored with a 2014 Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award. The award is based on accomplishment in scholarly research with undergraduates, as well as a compelling commitment to teaching. During his six years as an independent investigator he has published 14 manuscripts with 25 different undergraduate student co-authors.
O’Neil received his B.S degree in chemistry from Boston College and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He was then an Alexander-von-Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung before joining the faculty at WWU.