Prof. Dorian A. Canelas

Associate Professor of the Practice


Prof. Dorian Canelas has been teaching introductory and organic chemistry classes for more than a decade, using online platforms for course management, homework, and testing. She is the author of more than 15 peer reviewed research publications and has won national research awards such as the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (1997). She has been active in implementation of student-centered pedagogies and increasing undergraduate retention in science tracks. Research interests include chemical education research and the scholarship of teaching and learning as well as macromolecules for industrial and biological applications, such as microelectronics, drug delivery, imaging, blood compatibility, and the inhibition of biofilms.

She received a B.S. degree in chemistry in 1993 from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an undergraduate she worked under the direction of Dr. Larry F. Hancock in industry on the development of step growth polymerizations to create materials for membrane modifications to improve blood compatibility for dialysis and artificial organs. Her graduate and postdoctoral work at UNC was under the direction of Prof. Joseph M. DeSimone in the areas of environmentally friendly solvent alternatives, development of new surfactants and dispersion polymerization methods for supercritical carbon dioxide, and investigations of polymer particles for siRNA delivery to cells. After receiving her doctorate, she worked for five years in industry at Lord Corporation in Cary, NC on thermosets for coatings and microelectronics before returning to academia at North Carolina State University in 2003. Since 2009 she has held an appointment at Duke University focusing on advances in undergraduate science education pedagogies.