Chair of Kalamazoo ACS Local Section (KACS)

Department of Chemistry
3148 Wood Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5413

Download CV here

Phone: (269) 387-2265 
FAX: (269) 387-2909
Lab Phone: (269) 387-2246
Email Dr. Schoffers here
Academic Background here
Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications here
Research Interests here
Selected Presentations here
Education / Experience here
Courses Taught here
Recent Awards / Honors here
Hobbies here
Additional Links here
Dr. Elke Schoffers started her academic career at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and continued graduate studies in the United States under the supervision of Professors I. Ojima (SUNY Stony Brook, M.S., 1991), C.R. Johnson (WSU, Ph.D., 1996), and A.J. Pearson (CWRU, postdoc, 1996-98). In 1998 she joined the Department of Chemistry at Western Michigan University where Dr. Schoffers is pursuing research opportunities with graduate and undergraduate students.
Keywords: chemical sensor design, environmental pollutants, chemical warfare agents, biotransformations, bioactive molecules, nitrogen fixation, rhizopine synthesis, ligand design, heterocyclic and organometallic chemistry, stereoselective catalysis
Current projects: address the functionalization of 1,10-phenanthroline for the development of catalysts and chemosensors.  Another area focuses on the synthesis of metabolites that influence biological signals. This includes the preparation of specific inosamines (rhizopines) and related molecules that have been proposed as potential nutritional mediators for nitrogen fixation.

Research Expertise: Expertise in synthetic organic chemistry with significant experience in asymmetric catalysis, enantioselective synthesis of β-lactams, carbohydrates, nojirimycins, related alkaloids, as well as the preparation of stoichiometric organomolybdenum complexes.  Experience in heterocyclic chemistry, such as the preparation of phenanthroline derivatives and arylamine-nucleoside analogs; sensor design; preparation of inosamines and related bioactive compounds. Dr. Schoffers research has been externally funded, published in the peer-reviewed literature, and cited over 380 times.

Since 2011
Professor, Department of Chemistry, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. 
2005-2012 Undergraduate Advisor, Department of Chemistry, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. 
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. 

Postdoctoral Work, Case Western Reserve University, Advisor: Professor Anthony J. Pearson.  Organomolybdenum Complexes

Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Wayne State University, Advisor: Professor Carl R. Johnson. Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of Sugars and Related Compound (Major: Organic Chemistry; Minor: Biochemistry)


M.S., Organic Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Advisor: Professor Iwao Ojima. Asymmetric Reactions of Chiral b-Lactam Ester Enolates
Diplom-Vorprüfung in Chemie, Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz, Germany. 
2012 COACh Travel Award
2012 Full Scholarship by the ACS Leadership Development System

“Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award” recognized by the Department of Chemistry, Western Michigan University

“Outstanding Faculty of the Center for Academic Support Programs”  recognized by the Academic Skills Center, Western Michigan University

“Seek Truth with Conscience” Award, ten-years service medal for being a "Full Member of the WMU Graduate Faculty", by the Graduate College, Western Michigan University

“Dean’s Staff and Faculty Appreciation Award”, awarded by the College of Arts & Sciences, Western Michigan University
Lars Kohler, Elke Schoffers, Erin Driscoll, Matthias Zeller and Carla Schmiesing “First isolation of disubstituted cis-5,6-dihydro-1,10-phenanthrolines. Lipase-mediated resolution of cis and trans phenoxy alcohol isomers and assignment of absolute stereochemistry via CD and NMR” Chirality , 2012, 24 (3), 245-251.
Kohler, Petra; Zheng, Jasmine; Schoffers, Elke; Rossbach, Silvia “Inositol Catabolism in Sinorhizobium meliloti, a Key Pathway for Competitive Host Nodulation” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2010, 76(24), 7972-7980.
Schoffers, Elke;* Kohler, Lars. “Efficient alcoholysis of 5,6-dihydro-1,10-phenanthroline-5,6- epoxide with ytterbium(III) triflate and subsequent enantioselective transesterification with lipases” Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 2009, 20, 1897-1902.
Elke Schoffers,* Sing R. Gurung, Petra R.A. Kohler, Silvia Rossbach “Chemical synthesis of scyllo-inosamine and catabolism studies in Sinorhizobium meliloti.” Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 2008, 16, 7838-7842
  Schoffers, Elke;* Kohler, Lars; Son Duc Tran, Pradko, Ryan; Zeller, Matthias; Marc Perkovic “Separation of diastereomeric 5-6-dihydro-1’10-phenanthrolines derived from (R)-α-methylbenzylamine and L-menthol”; 244th ACS National Meeting, Oral Presentation ORGN-Heterocycles and Aromatics, Philadelphia,PA, August 19-23, 2012.
  Schoffers, E.;* Kohler, L. ; Driscoll, E.; Zeller, M.; Schmiesing, C. “First Resolution of Disubstituted cis-5,6-Dihydro-1,10-phenanthroline Derivatives and their Stereochemical Characterization.” 13th Tetrahedron Symposium – Challenges in Bioorganic & Organic Medicinal Chemistry, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 26-29, 2012.
Kohler, L.; Driscoll, E.; Zeller, M.; Schmiesing, C.; Sinn, E.; Schoffers, E. “Enzymatic resolution of cis- and trans-5,6-dihydro-6-phenoxy-1,10-phenanthroline-5-ol with Amano lipase PSCI. First Isolation of enantiopure cis-5,6-dihydro-1,10-phenanthroline derivatives and assignment of absolut stereochemistry” Third Annual Chicago Organic Symposium, University of Illinois, Chicago, February 11, 2011.
Schoffers, E.; Kohler, L.; Harrington, M. “Preparation and Antimicrobial Activity of 1,10-Phenanthroline Derivatives” 3rd EuCheMS Chemistry Congress, Nuremberg, Germany, August 29-September 2, 2010.
Schoffers, E.; Kohler, L.; Tran, S. D.; Pradko, R. J. J.; Driscoll, E.; Zeller, M.; Perkovic, M. W.; Schmiesing, C.; Sinn, E. “Preparation of Enantiopure 5,6-Dihydro-1,10-phenanthroline Derivatives With B-Ring Functionalization”  240th ACS National Meeting, Oral Presentation ORGN-Heterocycles and Aromatics, Boston, MA, August 22-26, 2010.
Kohler, P. R.; Schoffers, E.; Rossbach, S. “Inositol Compounds in the Sinorhizobium meliloti – Alfalfa Nitrogen Fixing Symbiosis”, 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, San Diego, May 23-27, 2010.
Pratt, T.; Schoffers, E. “Assessment Of B-Ring Reactivity In 1,10-Phenanthroline”, First Annual Chemistry Research Symposium, WMU, Kalamazoo, April 23, 2010.
Whaley, T.; Schoffers, E. “Acid Dissociation Constants Of 1,10-Phenanthroline Derivatives”, First Annual Chemistry Research Symposium, WMU, Kalamazoo, April 23, 2010.
Driscoll, E.; Kohler, L.; Schoffers, E. “Enzymatic Resolution of 1,10-Phenanthroline-5,6-phen- oxy Alcohol“ Northwest Regional Undergraduate Affiliate Network Meeting, North Dakota, October 30-31, 2009.
Kohler, P.; Schoffers, E.; Rossbach, S. “Inositol Compounds as Nutritional Mediators in the Sinorhizobium meliloti – AlfalfaNitrogen Fixing Symbiosis” American Society for Microbiology – Michigan Section, “Microbiology of the Great Lakes” Michigan State University, MI, October 2-3, 2009.
Schoffers, E.; Kohler, L.; Schmiesing, C.; Sinn, E.; Zeller, M. “Preparation of Chiral 1,10-Phenanthrolin Derivatives and Selected Metal Complexes“, 10th Tetrahedron Symposium, Paris, France, June 23-26, 2009.
Schoffers, E.; Kohler, L.; Zeller, M.; Schmiesing, C.; Sinn, E. “Lipase-Catalyzed Rsolution of 5,6-Dihydro-1,10-Phenanthroline Derivatives and their Stereochemical Assignment via X-Ray Analysis” 38th Great Lakes Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Chicago, IL, May 13-16, 2009.
Kohler, P.; Rossbach, S.; Gurung, S. R.; Schoffers, E. “Chemical Synthesis of scyllo-Inosamine and the Sinorhizobium Meliloti Genes Essential for its Catabolism” Michigan Academy of Sciences – Arts & Letters Annual Meeting, Western Michigan University, March 7, 2008.

BIOS 4990    Independent Study
CHEM 3700 Introduction to Organic Chemistry, 3 hrs
CHEM 3710 Introduction to Organic Chemistry Lab, 1hr
CHEM 3750 Organic Chemistry I, 3 hrs
CHEM 3760 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I, 1 hrs
CHEM 3770 Organic Chemistry II, 3 hrs
CHEM 3780 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II, 1 hrs
CHEM 5700 Advanced Organic Chemistry and Spectroscopy, 3 hrs
CHEM 5990 Independent Study in Chemistry, 1-3 hrs
CHEM 5090 / 6090 Special Topics in Chemistry: Heterocyclic Compounds, 3 hrs
CHEM 5090 / 6090 Special Topics in Chemistry: Green Chemistry, 3 hrs
CHEM 6010 Graduate Seminar, 1 hr
CHEM 6090 Special Topics in Chemistry: Heterocyclic Compounds, 3 hrs
CHEM 6610 Organic Reactions, 3 hrs
CHEM 6630 Mechanisms in Organic Chemistry, 3 hrs
CHEM 6650 Organic Synthesis, 3 hrs
CHEM 6900 Special Investigations in Chemistry, 1-6 hrs
HNRS 4950  Honors College Thesis, 3 hrs

  Gardening, ballroom and Latin dancing, step aerobics, kickboxing, hiking, skiing and wildlife rehabilitation. If you find a wild animal in distress, see here for DNR-licensed help in your county.

Dr. Schoffers is a member of Wild Ones (Native Plants, Natural Landscapes) and of the Wildflower Association of Michigan (WAM). Her city garden, Hortulus Carsoniensis, has been certified as a Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch, and as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (NFW).

2010-2011 Board of Directors of Southwest Michigan Ballroom Dance: (left to right) Tom Kruze, Karen Kruze, Karen Rix, Fran Eckenrode, Nancy Jackson, Elke Schoffers, Marie Lynn and Hugh Welsh.
  Additional Links:
Meet the Research Group here
Group News here
Ongoing Research Projects here
Research Openings here
  Detailed List of Publications and Presentations here
  Critical Comment: New Details on Legume-Rhizobial Symbioses