Office Phone: 301-405-1892
 Office Address: 2101



  • B.S. Chemistry with Honors and Special Honors in Chemistry
  • University of Texas at Austin, 1971. Sc. D. in Organic Chemistry (with Professor George H. Büchi)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1976. Postdoctoral: (a) Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich (with Professor Duilio Arigoni), 1976-1979. (b) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (with Professor Christopher Walsh), 1979.

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, 1979-1986
  • Visiting Scientist, University of Würzburg, Federal Republic of Germany, 1986
  • Associate Professor, The University of Maryland, 1986 -1990
  • Professor, The University of Maryland, 1990-present
  • Academic Guest (Adjunct Appointment), Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland, 1990-1994
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Chemistry, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, 1994
  • Adjunct Professor, Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland, 1996. Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, 2000-2003
  • Member, Bioengineering Program, University of Maryland, 2005-present
  • Member, Center for Nanomedicine and Cellular Delivery, University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland, 2005-present
  • Member, Maryland Nanocenter, University of Maryland, 2009-present

Research Interests

Synthesis of nanomaterials with novel optical properties; synthesis and characterizaton of functionalized nanomaterials for applications in drug delivery, diagnostics and vaccine development; total synthesis of heterocyclic natural products, development of methodology for organic synthesis, mechanistic organometallic chemistry, synthesis of complex oligosaccharides and glycoprotein derivatives, chemistry of hypervalent silicon derivatives.

Major Recognitions and Honors

  • NSF Undergraduate Research Fellow, 1969.
  • Robert A. Welch Outstanding Undergraduate, University of Texas at Austin, 1969, 1970, 1971.
  • Goodyear Graduate Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972.
  • Texaco Graduate Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1973.
  • Givaudan Postdoctoral Fellow, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 1976-1978.
  • Phi Lambda Upsilon, Chemistry Honor Society.
  • Alpha Chi Sigma, Science Honor Society.
  • Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society.
  • Sigma Xi, National Science Honor Society.
  • American Cyanamid Science Faculty Award, 1986.
  • Swiss Chemical Society Lectureship, 1989.
  • University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, 1996.
  • Lilly-CTE Teaching Fellow, 1997-1998.
  • DuPont Faculty Award, 1999-2000.
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2001.
  • University of Maryland Regents’ Award for Public Service, 2007.
  • University of Maryland Undergraduate Mentor of the Year, 2008.
  • Outstanding Academic Advisor Award, Maryland Parents Association, 2009.

Significant Professional Service and Activities

In addition to his academic position, Dr. DeShong is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of SD Nanosciences, Inc. of Beltsville, MD. The focus of the company is to develop novel methods for the detection and treatment of pathogenic infections and cancer. Dr. DeShong has consulted for 15 companies on problems related to synthetic and pharmaceutical chemistry.

Students Mentored

Dr. DeShong has supervised the Ph.D. and Masters theses of50 graduate students. In addition, 10 postdoctorals and 50 undergraduates have performed research in his laboratory.



Functionalized Nanomaterials

Applications of the carbohydrate technology to the the preparation of functionalized nanomaterials for vaccine development, diagnostics and drug delivery are underway. This multidisciplinary collaboration with materials engineers and cell biologists (Drs. Stein and Lee in Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics, English at Wichita State, Zachariah in Chemical Engineering, and Vogel at the UM School of Medicine) has demonstrated that nanostructures derived from catanionic surfactant vesicles, gold, and porous silica with interesting morphologies and/or properties can be functionalized with complex oligosaccharide and peptide conjugates that impart a variety of unique characteristics to the functionalized nanomaterial. First, these coatings typically result in the

formation of materials that are stable in biological fluids indefinitely. In addition, the coatings can be tailored to target the nanostructures to specific cell types resulting in systems that are ideal for vaccine production and drug delivery applications. The focus of our studies are to develop a “Molecular Toolbox” of general methodology for the functionalization of a wide variety of materials, to synthesize oligosaccharide conjugates that will “target”specific cell populations (pathogens and tumors), and to measure the release profiles of the functionalized nanomaterials.


A. TEM image of porous silica nanoparticles coated with oligosaccharide cell surface conjugates. B. Hollow silica nanoparticles. C. Confocal microscope image of porous silica nanoparticles filled with antitumor antibiotic doxorubicin.




Siloxane Chemistry

Another area of research in Professor DeShong’s group focuses on development of new strategies for the stereoselective synthesis of heterocyclic systems and the application of these approaches to the preparation of natural products and biologically active substances. The DeShong group has demonstrated that hypervalent silicates can be employed for carbon-carbon bond couplings employing palladium catalysis. This coupling strategy that is similar to Suzuki (boron compounds) and Stille (tin compounds) couplings has been employed f or the synthesis of unsymmetrical biaryls and allylic

couplings. Applications of this strategy to the synthesis of antimitotic agents colchicine and pancratistatin have been recently reported. Utilization of the siloxane coupling methodology to the total synthesis of streptonigrin is underway.


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