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Kraig Wheeler

Professor - Organic Chemistry

Kraig Wheeler came to Eastern Illinois University in August 2005 from Delaware State University where he was a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry for twelve years. His research interests include the study of supramolecular assemblies, molecular recognition processes, predicting the organization of electrostatic contacts in competitive crystal environments, and X-ray crystallography. The majority of his recent work has focused on Asymmetric Reactions in Molecular Crystals and Quasiracemic Materials and their use as synthons for understanding the role of molecular topology in the construction of crystalline materials. He attended the University of Minnesota (1983-1987) as an undergraduate student where he was first encouraged and inspired to conduct research in solid-state organic chemistry by the late Margaret C. Etter. He received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1992 with Bruce M. Foxman investigating solid phase reactivity of metal carboxylates. Prior to joining the DSU faculty, he carried out postdoctoral work with Raymond E. Davis and James K. Whitesell (1992-1993) at the University of Texas Austin.

One of his passions includes helping students experience the joys of organic chemistry – both in teaching and research. Seeing students have “light bulb” experiences and taking part in weighty classroom discussions keeps him motivated to stay a few steps ahead of his students. He teaches a collection of organic chemistry courses at EIU.

Areas of Expertise

  • Nanotechnology


Ph.D., 1992, Brandeis University, Organic Chemistry, Waltham, Massachusetts
B.A., 1987, Chemistry University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Research Interests

Dr. Wheeler's research programs are directed at the study of molecular crystals and engineered functional materials.  Design of novel cocrystalline quasiracemic compounds, noncentrosymmetric molecular assemblages and crystal engineering via molecular topology.  Chemical reactions in molecular crystals.  Construction of predictable molecular frameworks by exploiting strong and weak intermolecular interactions.  Nanoporous materials derived from coordination polymer and robust donor-acceptor molecular architectures.  Single-crystal X-ray crystallography.

Contact Information

Phone: 217-581-3119