Audra L. Goach
Chair and Professor, Chemistry
I have known that I wanted to be a chemistry professor since my sophomore year in high school, when I began an independent research project with my chemistry teacher. I did a three-year project centered on the investigation of the effectiveness of sunscreens, and I was fortunate to be able to present my results at the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science.
My goal, when I started college at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was to be a chemistry professor at a liberal arts college. Monmouth is central to its liberal arts mission, and the students and faculty are very integrated in the learning process.
I truly enjoy seeing students learn, and this happens most easily through active learning in the classroom, which is possible with the small class sizes we offer.
When I have the chance, it is great to teach classes such as the freshman “Introduction to Liberal Arts,” where I am able to see 18 students grow intellectually in one semester through classroom discussions.
I also enjoy teaching the non-majors courses, such as “Forensic Science,” which I developed, where I have an opportunity to share the use of chemistry in the everyday world. Additionally, as a coordinator of the investigative forensics minor, I have the pleasure to interact with students of many majors.
At Monmouth, I teach not only in the classroom but also in the research lab. It is the best feeling to know that past research students are now in graduate school or working in industry – and that their research experience was an important part of this process.
The scientific research in my lab focuses on understanding biological processes through chemical molecular interactions. We use model cellular membrane systems known as Langmuir monolayers and liposomes to investigate human cellular membranes and bacterial cellular membranes.
The projects that are carried out in my research lab are quite vast and involve or have involved the investigation of the following:
1. The ability to establish a better drug delivery system for the acne drug Accutane to avoid damage of the kidneys in drug delivery.
2. The mechanism behind the use of vanadium complexes as insulin mimics and also the investigation of the effect of cations on insulin conformation.*
3. The proof that cholesterol forms “rafts” in cells that are vehicles of transport for proteins to use to replicate viruses such as those related to Alzheimer’s Disease and HIV.
4. The use of natural products (honey, propolis, essential oils, CBD oil) as antibacterials.
5. The analysis of all our model membrane systems with Brewster Angle Microscopy.
Langmuir monolayers afford us the ability to systematically research the above processes through the investigation of molecular interactions. For example, how do antibacterial molecules interact with the bacterial membrane in order to disturb it and how do insulin mimics interact with the cellular membrane in order to increase glucose uptake in diabetic patients?
(*Some of the projects involve collaborations with faculty and students at Colorado State University.)
Post-Doc – Biophysical Chemistry, Institute for Medicine and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 2004-06
Ph.D. – Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, 2004
Dissertation: “Structure Analysis of Langmuir-Blodgett Films with Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry”
Adviser: Dr. Nicholas Winograd
B.S. – Chemistry (summa cum laude), Phi Beta Kappa, Muhlenberg (Pa.) College, 1998
Quantitative Chemical Analysis with Lab
Forensic Science with Lab
Introduction to Liberal Arts
C. D. Meyers and A. L. Goach. “From Chemistry to History to Psychology: Creating a Multidisciplinary Minor in Investigative Forensics” in The Synergistic Classroom: Interdisciplinary Teaching in the Small College Setting, Corey Campion and Aaron Angello, eds. Rutgers UP, 2020.
B. Peters, C. Van Cleave, A. Haase, J. P. Hough, K. Giffen-Kent, G. Cardiff, A. Sostarecz, D. Crick, D. Crans, “Structure Dependence of Pyridine and Benzene Derivatives on Interactions with Model Membranes”, Langmuir, 34 (30), 8939-8951 (2018).
A. G. Sostarecz, Ernestas Gaidamauskas, Steve Distin*, Sandra J. Bonetti, Nancy E. Levinger and Debbie C. Crans,“Correlation of insulin enhancing properties of vanadium dipicolinate complexes in model membrane systems:
Phospholipid Langmuir Monolayers and AOT reverse micelles”, Chemistry – A European Journal, 20, 5149-5159 (2014).
M. C. Sostarecz and A. G. Sostarecz, “A Conceptual Approach to Limiting Reagents”, J. Chem. Educ., 89 (9), 1148–1151 (2012).
K. A. Woll, E. J. Schuchardt, C. R. Willis, C. D. Ortengren, N. Hendricks*, M. Johnson*, E. Gaidamauskas, B. Baruah, A. G. Sostarecz, D. R. Worley, D. W. Osborne, and D. C. Crans, “Gel Formulation Containing Mixed Surfactant and Lipids Associating with Carboplatin”, Chemistry and Biodiversity, 8(12), 2195-2210 (2011).