Oakwood Chemistry Team

Oakwood Chemistry Team

Led by our President Greg Butler and Vice President Dr. Eldon Baird, the team of scientists at Oakwood has over 50 years total experience in the chemical industry. We have synthetic chemists with backgrounds in catalyst development, fluorine chemistry, pharmaceutical research, and novel small molecule library synthesis. In our Quality Department, Oakwood has maintained the same analytical chemists for over twenty years, along with the recent introduction of an analytical biochemist with 20 years of work in biochemical assay development, trace metals testing, polymer research, and HPLC/MS analysis. Oakwood Chemical is uniquely positioned to offer both in stock chemicals of high quality and custom synthesis expertise to your projects with our amazing team.

Dr. Eldon Baird

Dr. Eldon Baird is in his twentieth year at Oakwood Chemical, serving as Vice President and Lab Director. Dr. Baird received two degrees from the University of California at Santa Cruz – a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in biology - studying with Prof. Harry F. Noller and the late Prof. Claude F. Bernasconi. Dr. Baird published numerous articles as an undergraduate, receiving multiple honors, including Phi Beta Kappa membership. Dr. Baird received both a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship. He attended the California Institute of Technology where he studied under Prof. Peter B. Dervan. At Caltech, Dr. Baird developed a breakthrough solid phase synthesis of pyrrole- and imidazole-containing polyamides. Dr. Baird was a research leader in Prof. Dervan’s lab, being first author or co-author on over 50 publications and patents covering the synthesis and study of the DNA-binding polyamides and their applications in transcription inhibition. Dr. Baird’s graduate work led to the founding of GeneSoft, Inc. in 1998 with Professor Dervan, David B. Singer (CEO), and Dr. Ken Drazen. Upon the sale of GeneSoft, Dr. Baird joined Oakwood Chemical as Director of Chemistry in 2003. He continues to have an impact on the academic world as a reviewer of articles for scientific journals and as a technical advisor to colleagues. Dr. Baird completed an MBA degree with honors in 2023 from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Sarah White, Ph.D.

Dr. Sarah White. QA Manager, has over thirty years’ experience in the chemistry and biochemistry fields. Starting at Oakwood Chemical in 2017, she has introduced new analytical capabilities to develop new product lines in biochemicals and trace metal salts, along with new grades of solvents (ACS, HPLC, and biochemistry). Over the past few years, Dr. White has taken over the senior QC scientist position, ensuring all products meet Oakwood’s high quality standards. In addition, Dr. White is the QA Manager, recently rewriting the QMS to ISO9001: 2015 standards and updating Oakwood’s quality protocols to current best practices. Using her experience in the biotechnology and polymer fields, Dr. White has published several review articles on Oakwood Chemical’s fluorinated products and specialty amino acids.

Dr. Sarah White holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, graduating summa cum laude as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, and Orange Jackets honor societies. Dr. White received a Dow Chemical Institute of Science four-year scholarship. She worked in several research labs over her undergraduate career, notably two summers at Dow Chemical in polymer science and analytical services, and three years in catalytic antibody research with Prof. Brent Iverson at UT Austin. Dr. Sarah White was awarded a National Science Foundation fellowship for graduate school. Dr. White received her doctorate in bio-organic chemistry with Prof. Peter Dervan at the California Institute of Technology, with a key discovery of recognition of all four Watson-Crick base pairs in the minor groove of DNA with publications in Nature and Science. Along with Dr. Eldon Baird, she started GeneSoft, Inc. based on their research with Prof. Dervan. There, she lead in vitro assay development for determination of mechanism of action of key pharmaceuticals in the pipeline. In addition to her chemistry degrees, Dr. White holds Montessori Elementary and Secondary teaching credentials, has won numerous grants for Sea Pines Montessori Academy, and has served on the American Montessori Society’s Research Committee for six years as grant coordinator.