Alexander Greer

Professor, Department of Chemistry
The City University of New York, Brooklyn College

President-elect: American Society for Photobiology

Co-chair: Committee of Concerned Scientists

Associate Editor: Photochemistry and Photobiology

Board of Editors: Structural Chemistry

Co-editor: The Chemistry of Peroxides, Volume 3 (John Wiley & Sons), 2014.

Department of Chemistry
Graduate Center and CUNY
Brooklyn College
Brooklyn, New York 11210

Phone: 718-951-5000 ext. 2830
Fax: 718-951-4607


Our group utilizes both experimental and theoretical methods to research fundamental aspects of organic photochemistry. We are eager to accept researchers from diverse knowledge backgrounds, including engineering. Our main focus is controlling and amplifying the production of reactive oxygen species. Our current projects involve organic oxidation mechanisms, visible-light photosensitization, reactive intermediates, and photo-reactor development. One research area deals in the pioneering use of fiber optics combined with sensitizer drugs for the production and precise delivery of singlet oxygen to eradicate cancer cells. This state-of-the-art technique, referred to as “point-source” photodynamic therapy (i.e., PSPDT), delivers oxygen and red diode laser light through a device tip directed at the tumor site. This device helps avoid damage to healthy cells by focusing the sensitizer drugs and laser light within the tumor site. We also study the interfacial behavior of reactive oxygen species, including the localized delivery of singlet oxygen and alkoxy radicals both as individual or tandem disinfectants. We probe our reaction mechanisms using density functional theory calculations which guide and deepen our understanding of experiments. Our work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.


Techniques to be learned upon doing lab rotations may include: Methods in Photochemistry and Photosensitization, Organic Synthesis, and Drug Design; Nanotechnology; NMR and LCMS Techniques, Laser Spectroscopy and Biomedical Engineering, Cell Culturing, Sustainable Engineering and Green Chemistry, and Computational Methods.

Goutam Ghosh (Postdoctoral fellow); Sarah Belh and Callistus Chiemezie (Ph.D. students); Inna Abramova (Research assistant); Stas Lekhtman, Joel Mathew, Derek C. Perry, and Sayuj Zachariah (undergraduate students).

PUBLICATIONS 2011 - present

[(a) Ph.D. student; (b) MS student; (c) Undergraduate student; (d) Research assistant at Brooklyn College]

  1. G. Ghosh; S. J. Belh(a); C. Chiemezie(a); N. Walalawela(a); A. A. Ghogare(a); M. Vignoni; A. H. Thomas; S. A. McFarland; E. M. Greer; A. Greer “S,S-Chiral Linker Induced U-Shape with a Syn-facial Sensitizer and Photocleavable Ethene Group” Photochem. Photobiol. 2018, doi: 10.1111/php.13000.
  2. C. Chiemezie(a); A. Greer “Secondary Dark Reactions Following Photodynamic Treatment are More Damaging Than Previously Thought” Photochem. Photobiol. 2018, doi: 10.1111/php.12984.
  3. S. Pushalkar; G. Ghosh; Q. Xu; Y. Liu; A. A. Ghogare(a); C. Atem; A. Greer; D. Saxena; A. M. Lyons “Superhydrophobic Photosensitizers: Airborne 1O2 Killing of an In-vitro Oral Biofilm at the Plastron InterfaceACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2018, 10, 25819-25829 (dedicated to William W. Greer, D.M.D.).
  4. Walalawela(a); A. Greer “Heterogeneous Photocatayltic Deperoxidation with UV and Visible LightJ. Phys. Org. Chem. 2018, e3807.
  5. N. Walalawela(a); M. Vignoni; M. N. Urrutia; S. J. Belh(a); E. M. Greer; A. H. Thomas; A. Greer “Kinetic Control in the Regioselective Alkylation of Pterin Sensitizers: A Synthetic, Photochemical, and Theoretical StudyPhotochem. Photobiol. 2018, 94, 834-844.
  6. M. Vignoni; N. Walalawela(a); S. M. Bonesi; A. Greer; A. H. Thomas “Lipophilic Decyl Chain-Pterin Conjugates with Sensitizer Properties” Mol. Pharmaceutics 2018, 15, 798-807.
  7. P. P. Mohapatra; C. O. Chiemezie(b); A. Kligman; M. M. Kim; T. M. Busch; T. C. Zhu; A. Greer “31P NMR Evidence for Peroxide Intermediates in Lipid Emulsion Photooxidations: Phosphine Substituent Effects in Trapping” Photochem. Photobiol. 2017, 93, 1430-1438.
  8. S. Groveman; J. Peng; B. Itin; I. Diallo; L. M. Pratt; A. Greer; E. J. Biddinger; S. G. Greenbaum; C. M. Drain; L. Francesconi; M. Vittadello “The Role of Ozone in the Formation and Structural Evolution of Graphene Oxide Obtained from Nanographite” Carbon 2017122, 411-421.
  9. A. A. Ghogare(a), C. J. Debaz(b); M. S. Oliveira; I. Abramova(d); P. P. Mohapatra; K. Kwon; E. M. Greer; F. M. Prado; H. P. Valerio; P. Di Mascio; A. Greer “Experimental and DFT Computational Insight into Nitrosamine Photochemistry—Oxygen Matters” J. Phys. Chem. A2017, 121, 5954-5966.
  10. T. Bornhütter; A. A. Ghogare(a); A Preuß; A. Greer; B. Röder “Synthesis, Photophysics and PDT Evaluation of Mono-, Di-, Tri- and Hexa-PEG Chlorins for Pointsource Photodynamic Therapy Photochem. Photobiol. 2017, 93, 1259-1268.
  11. S. Protti; A. Albini; R. Viswanathan(c); A. Greer “Targeting Photochemical Scalpels or Lancets in the Photodynamic Therapy Field—The Photochemist’s Role Photochem. Photobiol. 2017, 93, 1139-1153.
  12. M. Kim; A. A. Ghogare(a); A. Greer; T. C. Zhu “On the In-vivo Photochemical Rate Parameters for PDT Reactive Oxygen Species Modeling" Physics in Medicine and Biology 201762, R1-R48.
  13. M. S. Baptista; J. Cadet; P. Di Mascio; A. A. Ghogare(a); A. Greer; M. R. Hamblin; C. Lorente; S. C. Nunez; M. S. Ribeiro; A. H. Thomas; M. Vignoni; T. M. Yoshimura “Type I and II Photosensitized Oxidation Reactions: Guidelines and Mechanistic Pathways”  Photochem. Photobiol. 2017, 93, 912-919.
  14. I. Abramova(d); B. Rudshteyn(c); J. F. Liebman; A. Greer “Computed Regioselectivity and Conjectured Biological Activity of Ene Reactions of Singlet Oxygen with the Prenylnatural Product Hyperforin Photochem. Photobiol. 201793, 626-641.
  15. A. A. Ghogare(a); A. Greer Using Singlet Oxygen to Synthesize Natural Products and Drugs Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 9994-10034.
  16. A. A. Ghogare(a); A. Greer “Synthesis of a Poly(ethylene glycol) Galloyl Sensitizer Tip for an 'All-in-One’ Photodynamic DeviceJ. Biophotonics 2016, 9, 1326-1336.
  17. B. Malek(b); W. Fang(b); I. Abramova(d); N. Walalawela(a); A. A. Ghogare(a)A. Greer “Ene Reactions of Singlet Oxygen at the Air-Water Interface” J. Org. Chem. 201681, 6395-6401.
  18. A. A. Ghogare(a); J. M. Miller; B. Mondal; A. M. Lyons; K. A. Cengel; T. M. Busch; A. Greer “Fluorinated Photodynamic Therapy Device Tips and their Resistance to Fouling for In Vivo Sensitizer Release” Photochem. Photobiol. 2016, 92, 166-172.
  19. E. M. Greer; K. Kwon; A. Greer; C. Doubleday "Thermally Activated Tunneling in Organic ReactionsTetrahedron 2016, 72, 7357-7373.
  20. A. Mahendran; A. A. Ghogare(a); R. Bittman; G. Arthur; A. Greer "Synthesis and Antiproliferative Properties of a New Ceramide Analog of VaracinChem. Phys. Lipids 2016, 194, 165-170.
  21. N. Walalawela(a); A. Greer “Remote Singlet Oxygen Delivery Strategies” In: Singlet Oxygen: Applications in Biosciences and Nanosciences. S. Nonell, C. Flors, Eds, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016, pp 335-354.
  22. A. A. Ghogare(a); D. Bartusik; G. Ghosh(a); N. Walalawela(a); I. Abramova(d); K. A. Cengel; J. M. Miller; T. M. Busch; A. Greer “Photodynamic Therapy by a Device Probe Tip” Photonics & Lasers in Medicine 20154, 362-365.
  23. B. Malek(b); A. A. Ghogare(a); R. Choudhury; A. Greer “Air-Water Interface Effects on the Regioselectivity of Singlet Oxygenations of a Trisubstituted Alkene Tetrahedron Lett. 2015, 56, 4505-4508.
  24. M. S. Oliveira; A. A. Ghogare(a); I. Abramova(d); E. M. Greer; F. M. Prado; P. Di Mascio; A. Greer “Mechanism of Photochemical O-Atom Exchange in Nitrosamines with Molecular Oxygen” J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80, 6119-6127.
  25. G. Ghosh(a); M. Minnis(a); A. A. Ghogare(a); I. Abramova(d); K. Cengel; T. M. Busch; A. Greer "Photoactive Fluoropolymer Surfaces that Release Sensitizer Drug MoleculesJ. Phys. Chem. B. 2015119, 4155−4164.
  26. R. Choudhury; A. Greer “Synergism Between Airborne Singlet Oxygen and a Trisubstituted Olefin Sulfonate for the Inactivation of BacteriaLangmuir 2014, 30, 3599-3605.
  27. N. Walalawela(a); A. Greer “Photoactive Chitosan: A Step Towards a Green Strategy for Pollutant DegradationPhotochem. Photobiol. 2014, 90, 1216-1218.
  28. A. Greer; A. T. Balaban; J. F. Liebman “An Introduction to the Consequences of Spin and Bond Strength in the Chemistry of Diatomic Oxygen, Peroxides and Related Species” In: The Chemistry of Peroxides, Volume 3, edited by A. Greer and J. F. Liebman, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2014, pp. 1-20.  
  29. A. T. Balaban; A. Greer; J. F. Liebman “Aromaticity and Conjugation in 1,2-Benzoquinone Valence Isomers and Congeners”  In: Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Volume 113, Elsevier: Amsterdam, Scriven, E., Ed.,  2014, pp. 111-142.
  30. Y. Zhao; Y. Liu; Q. Xu; M. Barahman; D. Bartusik; A. Greer; A. M. Lyons “Singlet Oxygen Generation on Porous Superhydrophobic Surfaces: Effect of Gas Flow and Sensitizer Wetting on Trapping Efficiency” J. Phys. Chem. A 2014118, 10364-10371.
  31. A. Ghogare(a); I. Rizvi; T. Hasan; A. Greer “Pointsource Delivery of a Photosensitizer Drug and Singlet Oxygen: Eradication of Glioma Cells in VitroPhotochem. Photobiol. 2014, 90, 1119-1125.
  32. B. Rudshteyn(c); Á. Castillo(a); A. Ghogare(a); J. F. Liebman; A. Greer “Theoretical Study of the Reaction Formalhydrazone with Singlet Oxygen. Fragmentation of the C=N Bond, Ene Reaction, and Other ProcessesPhotochem. Photobiol. 2014, 90, 431-438 (dedicated to the memory of Prof. Nicholas J. Turro).


Accompanying website


Director, NIGMS-SCORE Research Program at Brooklyn College (2017-present)

Assistant Professor (1999-2003), Associate Professor (2004-2007), Professor (2008-present) at the Graduate Center and CUNY Brooklyn College.

Tow Professorship 2017-2019

George and Beatrice Schwartzman Professorship in Chemistry at Brooklyn College 2014-2015