Lawrence Borquaye

Biedenharn Distinguished Visiting Associate Professor of Chemistry


A bioorganist chemist interested in modulating biological systems with chemical entities; Organic and Introductory Chemistry teacher

Research in our group is broad and interdisciplinary in nature, spanning Environmental, Organic, Natural Product, Biophysical, and Computational Chemistry. We aim to explore the interplay between Chemistry and Biology in natural systems, and use this knowledge to manipulate various biological systems. To achieve this, we isolate and analyze small molecules from natural sources (such as natural products, essential oils, and antimicrobial peptides) to understand their impact on microorganisms. Additionally, we employ computational techniques like molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations to unravel the molecular mechanisms behind the actions of these molecules. In particular, we are interested in understanding the role of small molecules in attenuating quorum sensing in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and exploring the unique interactions between pore-boring antimicrobial peptides and eukaryotic and prokaryotic membranes. We also investigate the ecological risks associated with pharmaceutical and personal care products in the environment and develop remediation strategies to minimize their impact.

At Wellesley, I will be involved in teaching various courses in Introductory and Organic Chemistry (both lecture and laboratory modules). I will also lead a Seminar discussion on natural products and their impact in medicine.

I am particularly interested in providing a research experience for students with a Chemistry-phobia, while stimulating and challenging students to explore their potential in a research environment.

I love sports, both as a participant and a spectator. I am an ardent soccer fan. I have 2 little girls (aged 6 and 8) and love spending time with my family.

Visit the Borquaye Research Group ( for more information on our research activities.