Michelle Nelson headshot

Michelle Nelson, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer, CLI
+1 507 258 8233
(507) 258-8066


Ph. D., Department of Chemistry, University of California San Diego, 2004
B.S., Colorado State University Pueblo, 1998

The most basic fundamental truth is found in mathematics. Applied math is physics. Applied physics is chemistry. Applied chemistry is biology. Applied biology is life. Therefore, in the center of the search between truth and life, there you will find chemistry.


I earned my Ph. D in Organic Chemistry in 2004. I then worked as a research scientist in the chemical industry for four years. At Itherx, a biotech company, I was part of an interdisciplinary team to synthesize viable drug targets for use in biological applications. My research focused on establishing structure-activity relationships and improving the solubility, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity profiles of lead compounds. I also spent two years at ChemVentures,Inc., a contract research organization, where I prepared large libraries of small organic molecules. In 2009, I moved from sunny San Diego to the winter wonderland in La Crosse, WI. This move gave me the opportunity to pursue one of my many passions: teaching.


My role as an educator is to captivate students’ attention by providing real-life applications and passion for the subject, to enhance comprehension through the use of technology, to encourage and support them in developing rigorous study skills, and to create a class environment of inclusiveness.

My favorite part of teaching has always been the one-on-one interaction with a student. I enjoy the aha moment when a student understands a difficult concept. UMR gives me the opportunity to interact at this level by incorporating many tutoring hours into my course load.

I have taught many chemistry courses including Introduction to the Periodic Table, Introduction to Physical Science, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry Lab. I also led discussion sections for General and Organic Chemistry. I have tutored students throughout my undergraduate and graduate career.

Select Publications and Abstracts

Giorgione, J.; Hysell, M.; Harvey, D.; Newton A. Contribution of the C1A and C1B Domains to the Membrane Interaction of Protein Kinase C. Biochemistry 42(38):11194, 2003.

Hysell, M.; Siegel, J.; Tor, Y. Synthesis and Stability of Exocyclic Triazine Nucleosides. Org. Biomol. Chem. 21(3): 2946, 2005.

Greco, N.; Hysell, M.; Goldenberg, J.; Rheingold, A.; Tor, Y. Alkyne-containing Chelating Ligands: Synthesis, Properties and Metal Coordination of 1,2-Di(quinolin-8-yl)ethyne. Dalton Trans., 18, 2228, 2006.

Macdonald, J.; Hysell, M. Yu, D.; Li, H.; Wang-Stahl, F. Novel Quinolinium Salts and Derivatives, Immusol, US patent 546171, 2008.

Falkenstein, I.; Cheng, L.; Wong-Staal, F.; Tammewar, A.; Barron, E.; Silva, G.; Li, Qi-Xiang, Y.; Dehua, Y.; Hysell, M.; Liu, G.; Ke, N.; Macdonald, J. and Freeman, W. Toxicity and Intraocular Properties of a Novel Long-Acting Anti-Proliferative and Anti-Angiogenic Compound IMS2186. Current Eye Research, 33(7), 599 (2008).

Macdonald, J.; Hysell, M.; (US). Dehua, Y; Ke, N.; Guohong, L.; Li, H. Wong-Staal, F. Novel 3-Benzylidene and 3-Benzyl Substituted Chromanones. World Intellectual Property Organization, 067451, 2008.