alec greer

Greer, Alec

Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brooklyn College (CUNY)

Academic Appointments:

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, Brooklyn College of CUNY
Professor of Chemistry, The Graduate Center of CUNY


BS California State University, Chico; Ph.D. Chemistry, U. Wyoming

Research Focus:

Our group utilizes both experimental and theoretical methods to research fundamental aspects of organic chemistry and photochemistry. We are eager to accept researchers from various backgrounds, including nanotechnology, biochemistry, and even engineering. Our main focus is controlling and amplifying the production of reactive oxygen species. Our current projects involve organic oxidation mechanisms, visible-light photosensitization, secondary photosensitization, latent reactions following photooxidation, and photochemical-device development. One research area involves the use of fiber optics combined with sensitizer drugs for the production and precise delivery of singlet oxygen to eradicate cancer cells. This technique is 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 radicals at nanoparticle interfaces, and also the delivery of alkoxy radicals and singlet oxygen both as individual or tandem disinfectants. As mentioned above, secondary reactions are of interest to us. For example, the deconvolution of competitive light and dark processes is us offering insight into a priming mechanisms, including singlet oxygen priming as distinct from photodynamic priming. We are also using density functional theory and ab initio calculations which guide and deepen our understanding of experiments. Our work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.

Selected Publications

  1. Lapoot(a); C. Wang; S. Matikonda; M. J. Schnermann; A. Greer “Bluer Phototruncation: Retro-Diels-Alder of Heptamethine Cyanine to Trimethine Cyanine through an Allene Hydroperoxide Intermediate” J. Org. Chem. 2023, 88, 17430-17437. 
  2.  C. C. Tonon; A. Nara de Sousa Rastelli; C. Bodahandi; G. Ghosh; T. Hasan; Q. Xu; A. Greer; A. M. Lyons “Superhydrophobic Tipped Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy Device for the in-vivo Treatment of Periodontitis using a Wistar Rat Model” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2023, 15, 50083-50094.
  3. M. S. Oliveira; K. F. D. N. Santos; R. M. de Paula; L. C. Vitorino; L. A. Bessa; A. Greer; P. Di Mascio; J. C. P. De Souza; C. C. G. Martin-Didonet “Nitric Oxide Detection by a Chemical Trap Method for Applications in Bacterial Systems” Microorganisms 2023, 11, 2210.
  4.  A. M. Durantini; L. Lapoot(a); S. Jabeen(a); G. Ghosh; J. Bipu(c); S. Essang(a); B. C. Singh(a); A. Greer “Tuning the 1O2 Oxidation of a Phenol at the Air/Solid Interface of a Nanoparticle: Hydrophobic Surface Increases Oxophilicity” Langmuir 2023, 39, 11134-11144.
  5.  M. S. Baptista; J. Cadet; A. Greer; A. H. Thomas “Practical Aspects in the Study of Biological Photosensitization Including Reaction Mechanisms and Product Analyses: A Do’s and Don’ts Guide” Photochem. Photobiol. 2023, 99, 313-334.


Lyons, A.M.; Greer, A.; Xu, Q.F., Singlet Oxygen Generating Device for Selective Destruction of Pathogens, US application #17/099,273 (20210138258), allowed 10/05/2023. This is an allowed CIP of our superhydrophobic photodynamic bandage.

Lyons, A.M.; Greer, A.; Xu, Q.F., Singlet Oxygen Generating Device for Selective Destruction of Pathogens, US patent application No. 15/729005 Publication No. 20180099063, published 4/12/2018.

Grants over the last 5 years

External Federal Funding

NSF Single Investigator Award, 2022-2025

Mechanistic Organic Photochemistry: Dark Processes and Toxicity Priming

NSF STTR Phase I Award, 2021-2022, (for our company SingletO2 Therapeutics LLC with co-PI Marc Hodes, Tufts University)

Safe Disinfection and Oxygen-Level Enrichment in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) Using Singlet Oxygen

NSF Single Investigator Award, 2019-2022,

Multiphase-Separation and Control of Serially Produced Reactive Oxygen

NIH SBIR Phase II Award, 2019-2022, (for our company SingletO2 Therapeutics LLC)

3D-Printed Superhydrophobic-Tipped Optical Fiber for Targeted Periodontal Photodynamic Therapy