Dr. Prathibha Desman joined ORU as an Assistant Professor in 2020. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and came to the U.S. to join Kansas State University to pursue her Ph.D. in organic chemistry. As she comes from a culture that widely used herbal remedies for treating many disease conditions, she was interested in chemical compounds isolated from natural sources that had biological activity. Therefore, with her background in chemistry/pharmacy, she chose to pursue her Ph.D. to be trained as a synthetic organic chemist and worked on synthesizing a natural product that has potential biological applications.
Her main area of focus at ORU for teaching is organic chemistry. She teaches lecture and laboratory courses for Organic Chemistry I and II, and Synthesis (organic chemistry) for the upper-division students. She helps her students understand the concepts of organic chemistry and use their knowledge and critical thinking to look at ways to solve real-world problems. She also mentors students in her research laboratory where she trains the students in synthetic organic chemistry. Her research at ORU focuses on synthesizing small molecules that are natural products and their analogs that have interesting biological activities.
Dr. Desman considers it a privilege to be able to work for ORU where she can be open about her faith and help the students experience God’s goodness and wisdom through learning science. She strongly believes that her investment in students’ lives, both by her teaching and example, will be used by the Lord to advance His kingdom through students as they go out to serve God in the world.