Dr. Sponholtz earned a PH.D. in organic synthetic chemistry with an emphasis in Natural Products Chemistry from Dartmouth College, a M.S. in organic synthetic chemistry from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a B.S. degree in chemistry from Pfeiffer College. In addition, Dr. Sponholtz has studied natural products chemistry and has done research at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Sponholtz teaches Advanced Placement, Honors Chemistry, and Chemistry Foundations, while offering several other independent studies courses ranging from screenwriting to multi-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance as well as Organic Chemistry. His research interests include the isolation and structural determination of bioactive secondary metabolites; i.e., medicinal discovery, which earned him the “Massachusetts High School Chemistry Teacher of The Year Award” from the American Institute of Chemists. Dr. Sponholtz and his students have worked with indigenous healers and Shaman located in the Peruvian rain forest to isolate novel natural products that will have potential medicinal value. His research group are exposed to various extraction techniques, chromatographic techniques (including flash, preparative, and thin layer chromatography), and structure determination techniques as they hunt for novel, bioactive compounds. Currently, one anticancer compound is in the process of patent protection and three additional compounds are in development stages. In addition, Dr. Sponholtz has founded his own company with former students, which has developed the premiere chemistry teaching/review tools available on the market today. Several hundred colleges and high schools domestically and internationally are currently employing his teaching tools in over thirty countries. In addition, Dr. Sponholtz has an office space for his company at Winston Starts (Winston-Salem, NC). Dr. Sponholtz has authored various publications in scientific journals reporting novel, facile synthetic routes to previously unreported compounds with potential applications ranging from high-energy high-density explosives to medicinal compounds. In addition to his teaching and research interests, Dr. Sponholtz has coached soccer, skiing, and tennis.
Sponholtz, III, W.R.; Gribble, G.W.; Bianco, M.A. "Isolation and structure determination of the cembranoid eunicin from a new genus of octocoral, Pseudoplexaura." Natural Product Research (Formerly Natural Product Letters), 2008, 22(15), 441.
Gribble, G.W.; Sponholtz, III, W.R.; et al. "Novel Indole Chemistry in the Synthesis of Heterocycles." Current Organic Chemistry, 2005, 9(15), 1493-1520.
Sponholtz, III, W.R.; et al. "Tandem 1,3-Dipolar Cycloadditions of Mesoionic 2,4-diphenyl-1,3-oxathiolium-5-olate with Cycloocta-1,5-diene. A New Synthesis of the Tetracyclo[6.3.0.04,11.05,9]decane Ring System." Tetrahedron Letters, 2000, 1687-1690.
Gribble, G.W.; Sponholtz, III, W.R.; Switzer, F.L.; D'Amato, F.J.; Byrne, M.P. Tandem 1,3-Dipolar Cycloadditions of Munchnones. Syntheses and Molecular Structures of 10-Azatetracyclo[6.3.0.04,11.05,9]undecanes and Azahomopentaprismane. J. Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun., 1997, 993.
Sponholtz, III, W.R.; Pagni, R.M.; Kabalka, G.W.; Green, J.F.; Tan, L.C. Reaction of Vinylboronic Acids with Iodine on ?-Alumina. J. Org. Chem. 1991, 56, 5700.
"Novel Tandem 1,3-Dipolar Cycloaddition Reactions of Munchnones. An Approach to Pentaprismane," Research talk presented at the 5th American Chemical Society International Meeting of North America, Cancun, Mexico, 11/97.
"Progress Towards Diphenylpentaprismane," Research talk presented at the 213th American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 4/97.
Gribble, G.W.; Sponholtz, III, W.R.; Switzer, F.L.; Bushweller, H.C.; Reese, M.R.; Bushweller, J.H.; Buck, J.R.; Cost, G.J.; Fredeldey, Jr., R.P.; Brown, J.H. 1,3-Dipolar Cycloadditions of Munchnones: Syntheses and Conformational Analysis of 10-Azatetracyclo [6.3.0.04,11.05,9]undecanes, 209th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Anaheim, CA, 4/95.
"A Novel Synthetic Approach to Pentaprismane," presented at Humphry's Symposium, Burlington, VT, 10/96.