University Profiles

John Sowa

John R. Sowa Jr., Ph.D.


Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Dr. Sowa studies transition metal catalysis in organic synthesis, such as mechanism, stereochemistry and spectroscopy.

Professor Sowa joined the faculty at Seton Hall University in 1994 and he enjoys teaching organic chemistry and spectroscopy courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.He has a vigorous research program that investigates new ways to synthesize organic molecules via transition metal catalysts.Current projects include a) mechanistic and synthetic studies of the Pd/C catalyzed Suzuki-Miyaura coupling reaction and b) novel applications of transfer hydrogenation reactions including asymmetric transfer hydrogenation. Always creative and eager to take on new challenges, Professor Sowa has expanded his research program, to include monitoring chemical reactions and dissolution of drugs by in-situ IR spectroscopy and preparation of organometallic reagents for signal enhancement in LC-MS. For more details, please visit

Professor Sowa is an active mentor in the ACS Project SEED program which provides research experiences for economically disadvantaged high school students.In 2004 he was chair and proceedings editor of the 20thConference of the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society and in 2008 he was the technical program co-chair of the 40thMiddle Atlantic Region Conference held at Queensborough Community College.Professor Sowa is a member of the American Chemical Society and Sigma Xi Research Honor Society.Recently, he served as academic liaison for the construction of Seton Hall's new Science and Technology Center; completed in September 2007.


  • Postdoctoral Associate, University of Minnesota
  • Ph.D., Iowa State University
  • B.S., Manhattan College

Academic Distinctions

  • 2008, PI for "State-of-the-Art Instrumentation for Teaching and Research in Seton Hall University's New Science and Technology Center", Department of Education, $502,000.

  • 2009 Presidential Award for Service to Students, Seton Hall University
  • 2009 College of Arts and Sciences Wuhan Scholar
  • 2004 Outstanding Teaching Recognition, College of Arts and Sciences, Seton Hall University
  • 2001 Honor Scroll Award, New Jersey Institute of Chemists
  • 1999,Seton Hall AED Premedical Honor Society, Professor of the Year Award



Office Phone
(973) 761-9034


Office Location
Room 314
The Science and Technology Center


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