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Our Research Faculty are always working to forward the advancement of chemistry. Below, please find a listing of the current research projects, organized by discipline:




  • DNA Cleavage: We are interesting in synthesizing highly reactive artificial nucleases that can rapidly and selectively catalyze the cleavage of the P-O bonds in DNA and phosphodiesters under physiologicl conditions. A large number of mono and dinuclear Co(II) and Cu(II) complexes derived from pyridyl tripod amines and phenolic binucleating ligands were synthesized and characterized, and their catalytic hydrolysis in promoting the DNA cleavage as well as phosphodiester hydrolysis are tested.
  • Anticancer Compounds: The search for an effective therapeutic anti-tumor compounds requires lowering the therapeutical dosage of the drug and also reducing its toxicity. To achieve this target we testing a new series Cu(II) and Co(II) based different tripod amines that derived from heterocyclic bases such as pyrzolyl  and imidazolyl groups.
  • Carbon Dioxide Fixation: Recently, we have been involved in the synthesis of a series of polynuclear metal(II) complexes that efficiently can absorb the atmospheric CO2 from the air and convert it into carbonate that bridges several metal ions that can serve as the green chlorophyll and hence reduce the global warming.
  • Design of inorganic molecules of novel magnetic properties that can utilizes some applications in Material Sciences.
  • Developing catalytic carbon-nitrogen and carbon-carbon bond forming processes in chemo-, stereo-, and enantioselective manner, as well as in-depth understanding of reaction mechanisms to give insight into the origins of selectivity and optimization towards the development of most efficient synthetic protocols in order to shorten the synthesis of a drug molecule or a major class of biologically active compounds. 
  • Organometallic: Transition Metal-catalyzed Nitrogenation of Hydrocarbons. We discovered that Cu-salts and related complexes catalyze olefins with arylhydroxylamine to produce allyl amines. The reactions occur with remarkable regioselectivity with respect to the alkene and the products are valuable as synthetic intermediates and bioactive targets. 
  • Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry: Ruthenium-based Metallopharmaceuticals. Primarily we are tackling problems related to the synthesis of ruthenium complexes with various heterocyclic amines and their assay on various cancer cell-lines. 
  • Renewable Biomass Energy: Metal-catalyzed Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass for fuels and value-added chemicals. We aim to develop new more robust and economically viable catalytic systems for efficient, selective, economical deoxydehydration reactions of cellulosic biomass. 


  • Synthesis and characterization of organic compounds containing heavy chalcogenides (Se, Te). Organic reactions under near-critical and supercritical aqueous conditions. Synthesis and application of stable isotope labeled standards as environmental tracers.
  • Synthesis and reaction mechanisms and the chemistry of S, N heterocycles, including hetero Diels-Alder Reaction for nitroso compounds and the use of such adducts toward the synthesis of novel heterocyclic compounds; such compounds have structural entities that are found in many present day drugs.
  • Natural products chemistry, in particular native Louisiana plants which exhibit pharmacological activity, as well as isolation and characterization of the chemical components (e.g. in Solidago odora and Lamium amplexicaule) and biological testing of the extracts
  • Formation of biodiesel from new feed stocks such as animal waste (alligator fat) and the analysis of carbohydrates in sweet potatoes and rice in conjunction with the Chemical Engineering department.

Physical and Theoretical:

  • Computer modeling related to chemical kinetics, equilibrium and transport properties; recent applications have been in the areas of pitting corrosion in oilfield environments and kinetics of DNA cleavage by metal complexes.
  • Measurements and calculations relating to the oxidant and antioxidant characteristics of medicines and possible medicinal molecules.
  • Photochemistry, Photocatalysis and Photobiology; modeling the mechanisms of organic photocatalysis and the photostability of biological systems (e.g. DNA and Melanins) – i.e. the ways in which such systems cope with electronic excitation and rapidly dissipate the excess energy.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry; modeling the ways in which anthropogenic and naturally occuring reactive volatile hydrocarbons react with tropospherically abundant gas molecules (e.g. O2, O3, NOX, SOX etc.) in the troposphere. Of particularly interested in how the nascent products undergo unimolecular, bimolecular or solar-UV-induced decay.
  • Environmental and Coastal Chemistry; investigating the photochemical and photophysical processes involved in the photoexcitation of dissolved organic matter and/or its various components.
  • Microscale Modeling of Biomaterials; using and developing Plane-Wave Density Functional Theory methods, in order to study the mechanical and optical properties of biomaterials.