Preston MacDougall, Ph.D.

Preston MacDougall Dr. Preston J. MacDougall
Professor, Chemistry

Dr. MacDougall has been on the faculty at MTSU since 1994, and began teaching in the Honors program in 1998. He was educated at McMaster University in Canada, receiving a B.Sc. (Hons. Chemistry) in 1983, and Ph.D. (Physical Chemistry) in 1989. He was awarded a prestigious NSERC of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship, which he held at Texas A & M University from 1989 to 1991. Between Aggieland and the 'Boro, he held a lab-sponsored Postdoctoral Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Dr. MacDougall's area of research is theoretical chemistry, with interests in the development of quantum chemistry-based design tools for pharmacology and molecular electronics. He is also engaged in the development of models of molecular geometry and chemical reactivity, and exploring the use of molecular modeling in chemical education. He has been an invited speaker at universities in Italy, Germany, China and Australia, as well as many here in the United States.

The image below is a volume rendering of the Laplacian of the electron density computed for a penamecillin molecule. This research was done with collaborators at the NASA Ames Research Center in the heart of Silicon Valley. See further details here. If you would like to see a computational model of a molecule of vitamin B12 doing a pirouette, click here. Note that this requires a mpeg player, and loads over 6 MBytes of molecular beauty.

Dr. MacDougall teaches and directs the research of both undergraduate and graduate students. Among the courses he teaches are Physical Science for non-science majors, Honors General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and advanced topics courses for graduate students.

A frequent proposal review panelist for the National Science Foundation, in the area of nanotechnology, Dr. MacDougall's public service activities also include regular Chemical Eye commentaries that air on Jazz89 (, and are published in the Exquisite Corpse - a journal of letters and life.

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