David C. Lever

Emeritus Associate Professor of Chemistry


  • B.A., Colgate University
  • Ph.D., University of Utah


David Lever taught at Ohio Wesleyan from 1994 to 2021. He received his undergraduate degree from Colgate University and was awarded a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry under Dr. William W. Epstein at the University of Utah. He teaches General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

Lever was a Human Genome Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University in the laboratory of Dr. Michael C. Pirrung, researching methods for phosphotriester synthesis of oligonucleotides using a photolabile phosphate protecting group. He has also worked on the development of an assay method to determine the extent of isoprenylation of proteins. At Ohio Wesleyan University, he has been involved in a multidisciplinary project focusing on the bacterial degradation of bird feathers, probing into the structure of the enzyme responsible. His  research was concerned with stereoselective addition of a sulfur acyl anion equivalent preferentially to one face of an aldehyde, and he was strongly committed to involving students in his research.

Lever is an organic chemist who figures out how to make atoms and molecules form bonds where he wants them to form bonds. He is a past recipient of a Human Genome Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Department of Energy, and he worked on the technique used to prepare DNA chips for clinical diagnostics. His research interests include methodologies to control stereochemistry in organic reactions.

Areas of Interest / Expertise

  • General chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Environmental chemistry

Publications/ Presentations

  • W.W. Epstein, Z. Wang, L.M. Leining, and D.C. Lever: Identification of Prenylcysteines and Prenylated Proteins by Formation of Substituted Naphthopyrans. J. Org. Chem., 61: 4890–93, (1996).
  • M.C. Pirrung, L. Fallon, D.C. Lever, and S.W. Shuey: Inverse Phosphotriester DNA Synthesis Using Photochemically-Removable Dimethoxybenzoin Phosphate Protecting Groups. J. Org. Chem., 61: 2129–36, (1996).
  • M.C. Pirrung, S.W. Shuey, D.C. Lever, and L. Fallon: A convenient procedure for the deprotection of silylated nucleosides and nucleotides using triethylamine trihydrofluoride. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 4 (11): 1345–1346 (1994).

Contact Info


Schimmel/Conrades Science Center
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015