Alexander Greer

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

Deputy Executive Officer, Department of Chemistry
The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2004-2007

Co-chair: Committee of Concerned Scientists

Council Member: American Society for Photobiology

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 is interested in fundamental aspects of organic chemistry and photochemistry. Factors that control or amplify production of reactive oxygen species are of interest. We embrace multiple technologies, even engineering. We have pioneered a fiber optic method for singlet oxygen and sensitizer delivery for precision eradication of cancer cells in vitro in a process called “pointsource” photodynamic therapy (i.e. a new acronym PSPDT). PSPDT channels oxygen and red diode laser light through a probe tip which can be implanted at the tumor site. The probe tip also discharges sensitizer molecules that serve as precursors to singlet oxygen (a cytotoxic excited state of molecular oxygen), placing all components necessary for PDT at the tumor and nowhere else in the body. Our basic notion is also to integrate technology from organic chemistry to green chemistry and antibacterial action. Some projects are focused on the inactivation of bacteria at air/liquid interfaces including delivery of singlet oxygen to sites and accentuating its toxicity with surfactants. Lastly, theoretical methods are also used to try to deepen our understanding of experiments, reaction mechanisms are probed with density functional theory. 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.

Ashwini Ghogare, Mihaela Minnis, and Niluksha Walalawela (Ph.D. students); Noof Alduaig, William Fang, Belaid Malek, and Ciro Debaz (Master's students); Inna Abramova (Research assistant); Jeff Olson and Radhika Viswanathan (undergraduate students).

PUBLICATIONS 2011 - present

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

  1. A. A. Ghogare(a); A. Greer “Using Singlet Oxygen to Synthesize Natural Products and Drugs” Chem. Rev. 2016 (in press).
  2. A. A. Ghogare(a); A. Greer “Synthesis of a Poly(ethylene glycol) Galloyl Sensitizer Tip for an ‘All-in-One’ Photodynamic Device” J. Biophotonics 2016 (in press).
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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, 2015.
  9. 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.
  10. R. Choudhury; A. Greer “Synergism Between Airborne Singlet Oxygen and a Trisubstituted Olefin Sulfonate for the Inactivation of BacteriaLangmuir 2014, 30, 3599-3605.
  11. N. Walalawela(a); A. Greer “Photoactive Chitosan: A Step Towards a Green Strategy for Pollutant DegradationPhotochem. Photobiol. 2014, 90, 1216-1218.
  12. 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.  
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. D. Aebisher; D. Bartusik; Y. Liu; Y. Zhao; M. Barahman; Q. Xu; A. M. Lyons; A. Greer "Superhydrophobic Photosensitizers. Mechanistic Studies of 1O2 Generation in the Plastron and Solid/Liquid Droplet InterfaceJ. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 18990–18998.
  18. I. Abramova(d); A. Greer "Ethnochemistry and Human Rights" Chem. Biodiversity 2013, 10, 1724-1728.
  19. D. Bartusik; M. Minnis(a); G. Ghosh(a); A. Greer "Autocatalytic-Assisted Photorelease of a Sensitizer Drug Bound to a Silica Support J. Org. Chem. 201378, 8537–8544.
  20. M. S. Miranda; J. C. G. Esteves da Silva; A. Castillo(a); A. T. Frank(c); A. Greer; J. A. Brown; B. C. Davis; J. F. Liebman "Amino, Ammonio and Aminioethenes: A Theoretical Study of Their Structure and Energetics" J. Phys. Org. Chem. 2013, 26, 613–625.
  21. D. Bartusik; D. Aebisher; A. Ghogare(a); G. Ghosh(a); I. Abramova(d); T. Hasan; A. Greer "A Fiberoptic (Photodynamic Therapy Type) Device with a Photosensitizer and Singlet Oxygen Delivery Probe Tip for Ovarian Cancer Cell Killing" Photochem. Photobiol. 2013, 89, 936-941.
  22. B. Rudshteyn(c); A. Castillo(a); A. Greer "Theoretical Study of a Nonpeptidic Polydisulfide Alpha-Helix" J. Sulfur Chem. 2013, 34, 3-6 (Special Issue in Honor of Prof. Eric Block).
  23. S. Kimani; G. Ghosh(a); A. Ghogare(a); B. Rudshteyn(c); D. Bartusik; T. Hasan; A. Greer "Synthesis and Characterization of Mono-, Di-, and Tri-Poly(ethylene glycol) Chlorin e6 Conjugates for the Photokilling of Human Ovarian Cancer Cells" J. Org. Chem. 2012, 77, 10638-10647.
  24. D. Bartusik; D. Aebisher; A. M. Lyons; A. Greer "Bacterial Inactivation by a Singlet Oxygen Bubbler: Identifying Factors Controlling the Toxicity of 1O2 Bubbles" Environ. Sci. Technol. 2012, 46, 12098-12104.
  25. D. Bartusik; D. Aebisher; G. Ghosh(a); M. Minnis(a); A. Greer "Fluorine End-Capped Optical Fibers for Photosensitizer Release and Singlet Oxygen Production" J. Org. Chem. 2012, 77, 4557-4565 (Featured Article).
  26. D. Bartusik; D. Aebisher; B. Ghafari; A. M. Lyons; A. Greer “Generating Singlet Oxygen Bubbles: A New Mechanism for Gas-Liquid Oxidations in WaterLangmuir 2012, 28, 3053-3060.
  27. Á. Castillo(a); L. Lee(b); A. Greer "Encapsulation and Convex-face Thiozonolysis of Triatomic Sulfur (S3) with Carbon Nanotubes" J. Phys. Org. Chem. 2012, 25, 42-49.
  28. A. Greer "Chemistry Students and Human Rights" Chem. Biodiversity 2011, 8, 2158-2161.
  29. B. I. Kruft(a); A. Greer "Photosensitization Reactions In Vitro and In Vivo" Photochem. Photobiol. 2011, 87, 1204-1213.
  30. A. Mahendran(a); Y. Kopkalli; G. Ghosh(a); A. Ghogare(a); M. Minnis(a); B. I. Kruft(a); M. Zamadar(a); D. Aebisher; L. Davenport; A. Greer "A Hand-held Fiber-optic Implement for the Site-specific Delivery of Photosensitizer and Singlet Oxygen" Photochem. Photobiol. 2011, 87, 1330-1337.
  31. M. Zamadar(a); G. Ghosh(a); A. Mahendran(a); M. Minnis(a); B. I. Kruft(a); A. Ghogare(a); D. Aebisher; A. Greer "Photosensitizer Drug Delivery via an Optical Fiber" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 7882-7891.
  32. S. W. Slayden; A. Greer; J. F. Liebman "Peroxynitrogen: A Study of Nitrogen/Oxygen Heterocycles with N-O and O-O or N-O-O Bonding" In: The Chemistry of Functional Groups (Patai series). The Chemistry of Hydroxylamines, Oximes and Hydroxamic Acids; Z. Rappoport; J. F. Liebman; Eds.; Vol 2, Wiley: Chichester (2011), pp 549-576.
  33. J. M. Motto; A. Castillo;(a) A. Greer; L. K. Montemayer; E. E. Sheepwash; A. L. Schwan "Synthetic Scope, Computational Chemistry and Mechanism of the Base Induced 5-Endo Cyclizations of Benzyl Alkynyl Sulfides" Tetrahedron 2011, 67, 1002-1010.


Accompanying website


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