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

Councilor: American Society for Photobiology, 2012-16

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.

Niluksha Walalawela (Ph.D. students); Noof Alduaig, Callistus Chiemezie (Master's students); Inna Abramova (Research assistant); Morhlon Harris, Ezra Isaacs, Radhika Viswanathan, Dana Yabroudi, and Sayuj Zachariah (undergraduate students); Katarzyna Piwowar (affiliate).

PUBLICATIONS 2011 - present

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

  1. 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 (in press).
  2. S. Protti; A. Albini; R. Viswanathan(c); A. Greer “Targeting Photochemical Scalpels or Lancets in the PDT Field: The Photochemist’s Role” Photochem. Photobiol. 2017 (in press).
  3. 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.
  4. 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 (in press). DOI: 10.1111/php.12716
  5. 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.
  6. A. A. Ghogare(a); A. Greer Using Singlet Oxygen to Synthesize Natural Products and Drugs Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 9994-10034.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. E. M. Greer; K. Kwon; A. Greer; C. Doubleday "Thermally Activated Tunneling in Organic ReactionsTetrahedron 2016, 72, 7357-7373.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. R. Choudhury; A. Greer “Synergism Between Airborne Singlet Oxygen and a Trisubstituted Olefin Sulfonate for the Inactivation of BacteriaLangmuir 2014, 30, 3599-3605.
  19. N. Walalawela(a); A. Greer “Photoactive Chitosan: A Step Towards a Green Strategy for Pollutant DegradationPhotochem. Photobiol. 2014, 90, 1216-1218.
  20. 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.  
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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


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