“If we believe that we were made to the image of God, then there should not be any
excuse to excel in every aspect of our lives, whether it is physically, mentally or
spiritually. Anything is possible. My goal here at Southern is to inspire students
to learn organic chemistry and to put their knowledge into practice.”
Dr. Odens obtained his BS in Chemistry from the University of South Alabama (1992), his MS in Organic Chemistry from West Virginia University (1997) and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Florida (2001) where he specialized in the syntheses of heterocyclic compounds. After finishing graduate school, he worked for eight years in the Northeast (Delaware and New Jersey) in the pharmaceutical industry and returned to academia to work as an Instructor of Medicinal and Organic Chemistry in the Biochemistry Department at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC (2009-2012). At Wake Forest, his promising work in the design and development of a drug to treat breast and prostate cancer by inhibiting thioesterase (one of the seven domains of fatty acid synthase enzyme, FASN) resulted in a patent. His medicinal chemistry interests include target compounds synthesis of drugs in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system diseases, and anti-infective therapeutics. He joined the chemistry faculty at Southern in 2012.
Dr. Odens is married to his wife, Noemi, and they have three sons, Herman Jr., and identical twins Jake and Jeremy. The Odens enjoy spending time with nature and staying away from the couch. Their favorite activities are running, hiking, swimming, traveling, exercising, and most importantly, playing soccer.