Christian S. Hamann, Ph.D. – Albright College

Christian S. Hamann, Ph.D.

Christian S. Hamann, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Science Building 331

A.A.: Ocean County College

B.S. in Chemistry: Lebanon Valley College

Ph.D.: University of Pennsylvania


Christian Hamann earned his B.S. in Chemistry at Lebanon Valley College after completing an A.A. at Ocean County College that included a semester at the Collegium Palatinum in Heidelberg, Germany. He followed his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania with a postdoctoral fellowship at the Thomas Jefferson University and then a stint in the Cancer Research Department at the Merck Research Laboratories. After a visiting assistant professorship at Franklin & Marshall College, Dr. Hamann joined the faculty at Albright College in 2001.

Areas of Expertise

  • Computational and theoretical chemistry
  • Physical organic chemistry
  • Accessibility for blind and visually impaired students

Areas of Research

Modeling the Biosynthesis of Terpenes and Their Atropisomers

The Hamann lab applies a variety of techniques to propose and investigate models for the biosynthesis of terpenes, a class of secondary metabolites that are found in all known organisms. Current molecules of interest include humulene (one of the flavoring agents in Humulus lupulus, beer hops) and seychellene (a fragrant oil from Pogostemon cablin, patchouli). Work in this area has led to computational studies on atropisomeric systems, chiral molecules with no chiral centers that interconvert via a series of conformational changes. Further, his laboratory has developed a successful approach to organizing computational data from terpene conformation experiments that supports research productivity with a searchable database.


Pedagogy, Undergraduate Research, and Outreach

Prof. Hamann also develops classroom teaching methods and laboratory experiments that provide students with meaningful learning experiences that support both in-course success and long-term, positive educational outcomes. Other areas of interest include supporting undergraduate research (he is an elected member of the Council on Undergraduate Research) and promoting opportunities for chemists with disabilities (he is a member of the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities of the American Chemical Society). He regularly publishes with his students and fosters opportunities for his students to present their work at local, regional, and national conferences. Students who present their work meet both fellow undergraduate research students and notable scientists. In addition to increasing the enjoyment of the conference, these connections often lead to graduate and professional placements.

Courses Taught

  • CHE 101: Wine & Cheese – The Natural Science of Daily Life
  • CHE 200: Health, Safety and Asset Protection
  • CHE 207: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHE 208: Organic Chemistry II
  • CHE 322: Thermodynamics and Kinetics (biophysical chemistry laboratory)
  • CHE 325: Biochemistry I (laboratory)
  • CHE 326: Biochemistry II (laboratory)
  • CHE 411: Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHE 412: Advanced Topics in Chemistry
  • FYS 100: Liberal Sciences – Natural Sciences and the Liberal Arts
  • IDS 100: Uncertainty and the Creation of of Knowledge


Selected Publications (current or former undergraduate students underlined)

  • “Expanding the Scope of an Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution Discovery Experiment Including Hydride and Methyl Shifts.” Savakinas, M. V.; Frey, O. M.; Piro, N. A.; Rhile, I. J.; Hamann, C. S. Journal of Chemical Education (2021) 98, 2323-2332.
  • “Connecting Organic and Physical Chemistry Students with Raman Spectroscopy.” Hantz, ER; Sonntag, MD; Hamann, CS. In Raman Spectroscopy in the Undergraduate Curriculum; Sonntag, M. D., Ed.; ACS Symposium Series 1305; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2018; pp 35-51. (invited)
  • “Utilizing NMR to Study Structure and Equilibrium in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory.” Smith, KT; Young, SC; DeBlasio, JW; Hamann, CS. In NMR Spectroscopy in the Undergraduate Curriculum: First Year and Organic Chemistry Courses Volume 2; Soulsby, D., Anna, L. J., Wallner, A. S., Eds.; ACS Symposium Series 1221; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2016; pp 119-136. (invited)
  • “Predicting Hydration Propensities of Biologically Relevant α-Ketoamides.” Wedler, HB; Palazzo, TA; Pemberton, RP; Hamann, CS; Kurth, MJ; Tantillo, DJ. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters (2015) 25, 4153-4157.
  • ““Delocalization of Charge and Electron Density in the Humulyl Cation – Implications for Terpene Biosynthesis.” Hamlin, TA; Hamann, CS; Tantillo, DJ. Journal of Organic Chemistry (2015) 80, 4046-4053.

Selected Presentations (current or former undergraduate students underlined)

  • “Popping the Lid off: Rare Bicyclic Sesquiterpene May Emerge from a Tricyclic Intermediate.” Hamann, C. S.; Tantillo, D. J. 264th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Chicago, IL (2022).
  • “Expanding the Library of Redox Shuttles for Overcharge Protection of Lithium Ion Batteries.” Walker, S. D.; Piro, N. A.; Hamann, C. S. 263rd American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, CA (2022).
  • “Bringing Order from Chaos: A FAIR Database of Sesquiterpenes Organized by Dihedral Angles.” Schrey, J. M; Hamann, C. S. 261st American Chemical Society National Meeting, Virtual (2021); also presented at Sci-Mix.
  • Ab Initio Analysis of Doping Effects on the Structure and Electronics of Graphene. Smith, K. P.; Hamann, C. S. 261st American Chemical Society National Meeting, Virtual (2021).
  • “Predicting the Solution-Phase and Enzyme-Bound Behavior of Sesquiterpenes Using Computational Methods: Lessons Learned and Applications Developed.” Hamann, C. S. (invited) Telluride Science Research Center: Accelerating Reaction Discovery, Telluride, CO (2019).
  • “NanoConnections: Leveraging the Power of Networking to Cultivate Access for Chemists with Disabilities.” Hamann, CS. (invited) 256th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Boston, MA (2018); also presented at Sci-Mix.
  • “Backbone-Breaking Alkyl Shifts: Anomaly, Coincidence, or Pattern in Sesquiterpene Biosynthesis?” Guan, N. (presenter); Tantillo, DJ; Hamann, CS. 256th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Boston, MA (2018); also presented at Sci-Mix.
  • “Tailoring a Chalcone Synthesis for Use with Deuterated Starting Materials.” Gehman, CA (presenter); Hamann, CS. 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2017).
  • “Investigating Sterically Congested Dimethoxybenzenes Using Computational Methods.” Zehr, JD (presenter); Hamann, CS. 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, CA (2016).
  • “The Price of Admission: Exploring the Transition from Straight Chain to First Cycle in Sesquiterpene Biosynthesis Using Quantum Chemical Calculations.” Hamann, CS; Lodewyk, MW; Tantillo, DJ. 249th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Denver, CO (2015); also presented at Sci-Mix.
  • “Using Borane, Ammonium and Methylene Substitution to Characterize Stabilizing Features of a Macrocyclic Sesquiterpene Cation.” Hamlin, TA; Tantillo, DJ; Hamann, CS. 249th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Denver, CO (2015); also presented at Sci-Mix.

Professional Activities

  • Division Chair, Chemical Education (50th Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society National Meeting, Ewing, NJ, 2022)
  • Councilor, The Council on Undergraduate Research – Chemistry Division (2017-2023; division vice-chair 2020-2023)
  • Member, Committee on Chemists with Disabilities of the American Chemical Society (2016-present)
  • Chair of the Faculty of Albright College (2008-2011)
  • Reviewer for the Journal of Chemical Education, Journal of Organic Chemistry, Tetrahedron, ACS Symposium Series, and several current Organic Chemistry college-level texts

Awards and Grants

  • The Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award (2020)
  • The Class of ’49 Annadora Vesper Shirk Award for Faculty Scholarship (2016)
  • Lehigh Valley Section of the American Chemical Society Volunteer of the Month (June, 2014)
  • The Dr. Henry P. and M. Paige Laughlin Annual Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching (2007)
  • “Generating Physically Sound, Interpretable Models That Replace Phenomenological Explanations in Organic Chemistry Using Quantum Chemical Techniques.” Holland Research School of Molecular Chemistry Fellowship (2024)
  • “Investigating the Structural Relationship between Intermediates in the Biosynthesis of Patchouli Alcohol” and related projects. NSF XSEDE: Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (2014-present)
  • “Albright College Environmentally-oriented Sciences (ACES) Scholarship Program: Supporting the Study of the Environment through STEM Disciplines.” NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (2014-2019) Mech, SG (PI); Brylawski, BJ; Graves, CR; Hamann, CS; Sonntag, MD.