Chris LeClair


Born in 1975, Chris was raised in Concord, New Hampshire. Chris performed his undergraduate studies at the University of New Hampshire. While at UNH, he worked in the lab of Dr. Glen Miller completing a two part senior thesis on Buckminsterfullerenes and superacid chemistry, as well as, working part time at Global Environmental Solutions (GES) in quality control. After graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1997, he became lab manager at GES. Chris came to the University of Virginia Department of Chemistry in the fall of 1998.


Camping, hiking, golf, and softball/baseball, reading

Favorite Links:,, New England Patriots Clubhouse, Boston Red Sox Clubhouse, CNN



Chris looking very excited about his chemistry

Research Project

    Over the past two decades, numerous tumor associated glycolipid and glycosphingolipid antigens have been identified.  The most common are GM2, GM3, GD2, and GD3 which are over expressed on the cell membranes of most melanomas, while Fucosyl GM1 is a highly specific marker for small cell lung cancer cells.  However, "natural" O-linked glycolipids have the inherent problem of hydrolytic cleavage in vivo.  Currently research is directed toward the development of a facile and convergent synthesis of C-linked gangliosides, which are not prone to b-elimination, from inexpensive and readily available starting materials.  This work is a part of the ongoing objective of synthetic cancer vaccine development.