Anton Jensen
Professor
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Enzyme Mechanisms, Vitamin-Derived Cofactors, Addiction Recovery Through MAO Inhibition, Nitric Oxide Production
Dow Science Complex 354
989-774-3125


Dr. Jensen completed his BA in April 1990 at Brigham Young University. As an undergraduate he worked with Professor Delbert J. Eatough on the analysis of secondary metabolites of second-hand tobacco smoke. Immediately after graduation he married his sweetheart Cathy, who was a graduate student in microbiology at BYU (1989-1993). He defended his PhD in December 1994, also at BYU, while working with Professor Steven A. Fleming on the photo-cleavage of benzyl sulfur bonds. He completed postdoctoral research on the chemistry of fullerenes at New York University (July 1996) with Professor David I. Schuster. Since 1996 he has been teaching chemistry and supervising student research at Central Michigan University. In 2005 he was promoted to full professor. In 2008 he received the Faculty Member of the Year Award from the CMU ACSSA. In 2010 he received the award for Outstanding Achievement In College Chemistry Education by the Midland Section of the ACS. Since fall 2010 he has been associate chair of the CMU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. In 2011, after working for many years on photocatalytic production of singlet oxygen, he changed his research direction to study mechanisms of organic reactions related to enzymes using cofactors derived from vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin). Over the course of his career he has received funding from the NSF, Army Research Labs, and a few other sources (greater than five hundred thousand dollars total). His interests other than chemistry include family history, hiking and several sports. He and Cathy are the parents of ten children and three grandchildren.

Education

  • Postdoc., Organic Chemistry, New York University, 1996 
  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Brigham Young University, 1995 
  • B.S., Chemistry, Brigham Young University, 1990​

Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society

Professional Interests

  • Organic Reactions
  • Catalysis of Organic Reactions
  • Organic Photochemistry, Fullerenes

Research & Teaching Interests

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) and niacin (vitamin B3) are critical for a variety of biological functions. For example, once in the body riboflavin in phosphorylated into FMN, which can be further transformed into FAD. These two cofactors (FMN and FAD) are key to the functioning of many oxidoreductatse enzymes. To maintain feelings of contentment, amine-containing neurotransmitters must be present at a certain level. These neurotransmitters are biosynthesized and degraded as needed for normal function. Monoamine oxidase (MAO), which relies on FAD to oxidize amine-containing neurotransmitters into aldehydes, marks the beginning of their biochemical decomposition. During certain addictive behaviors, excess neurotransmitters are formed. MAO is responsible for removing this excess. In addicts (and some people with depression), over time, over-reactive MAO can develop, which leads to depressed levels of the neurotransmitters required for feelings of contentment. Thus, MAO inhibitors are potentially useful in the treatment of addiction and depression. Current MAO inhibitors suffer from various side effects. The mechanism of MAO is not known. A better understanding of how MAO works could lead to better MAO inhibitors with fewer side effects.

Publications

  • ​Moore, J. M.; Hall, J. M.; Dilling, W. L.; Jensen, A. W.*; Squattrito, P. J.*; Giolando, P.; Kirschbaum, K.  Acta Cryst. 2017, C73, 531-535.
  • “Heterogeneous Ti(IV) Catalysts for the Preparation of Epoxy Alcohols” Yang, X.; Jensen, A. ACS Polymer Preprints 2008, Philadelphia ACS meeting. 
  • “Singlet Oxygen Catalysts Including Condensed Carbon Molecules” Jensen, A. US Patent 7,341,972 2008. 
  • "Molecular Dynamics Simulation of PAMAM Dendrimer-Fullerene Conjugates: Generation One Through Four" Kujawski, M.; Rakesh, L.*; Gala, K.; Jensen, A.*; Fahlman, B.; Feng, Z. R.; Mohanty, D.* J. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2007, 7, 1670. 
  • "AFM Analysis of C60 and a Poly(amido amine) Dendrimer-C60 Nanoconjugate" Chai, M.*; Jensen, A. W.*; Abdelhady, H. G.; Tomalia, D. A. J. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2007, 7, 1401. 
  • “Preparation of Fullerene-Shelled Dendrimer-Core Conjugates” Jensen, A. W.*; Maru, B. S.; Zhang, X.; Mohanty, D. K.*; Fahlman, B. D.; Swanson, D. R.; Tomalia, D. A.* Nano Letters 2005, 5, 1171. 
  • “Singlet Oxygen Catalysts Including Condensed Carbon Molecules” Jensen, A. US Patent 6,806,223 B2, 2004. 
  • “Photohydrolysis of Substituted Benzyl Esters in Multilayered Polyelectrolyte Films” Jensen, A. W.; Desai, N. K.; Maru, B. S.; Mohanty, D. K.; Macromolecules 2004, 37, 4196. 
  • “Fullerene-Coated Beads as Reusable Catalysts” Jensen, A. W.; Daniels, C. J. Org. Chem. 2003, 68, 207. 
  • “Controlling the Permeability of Mulilayered Polyelectrolyte Films Through Derivatization, Cross-linking, and Hydrolysis” Dai, J.; Jensen, A. W.*; Mohanty, D. K.; Erndt, J.; Bruening, M. L.* Langmuir, 2001, 17, 931.​