University of California, Riverside

Department of Chemistry




Jack Eichler
Associate Professor of Teaching in Chemistry (LSOE)


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - B.A.
Georgia Institute of Technology - Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry

Office: 220 Chemical Sciences
Phone O/L: (951) 827-3794/3758
Research Area: Inorganic Chemistry

General Areas of Scholarship

As a teaching track faculty member, my primary focus of scholarly activity lies in developing, implementing, and assessing more engaging learning environments for large enrollment general chemistry courses.  I was the principal investigator on a United States Department of Agriculture Higher Education Challenge Grant Program project that helped recruit incoming freshmen to participate in an Environmental-Agricultural Science learning community. In this learning community, our students were engaged in environmental-based case studies in our general chemistry sequence, introduced to environmental/agricultural based research in a freshman seminar course, and then recruited to work on independent research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor. I was also the principal investigator on a National Science Foundation Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (TUES) project that developed, implemented, and disseminated a series of problem-based case studies in our two year general chemistry/organic chemistry sequence.  I am currently the principal investigator on a National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) project in which we are adapting our problem-based studies to be used as in-class activities for flipped classroom modules. Preliminary studies demonstrate that implementing 4-6 flipped classroom modules in one quarter of general chemistry significantly increases the amount of active learning that takes place in lecture, and students participating in the flipped classroom modules perform better in the course than students in traditional lectures. Future work will focus on continuing to develop and implement flipped classroom modules, and work with faculty from other institutions to begin a broader dissemination project to promote the use of these active learning pedagogies in large introductory chemistry courses. 

As a teaching track faculty member, I also have the opportunity to conduct laboratory research with undergraduate students. My students have been working on an ongoing project aimed at synthesizing and characterizing gold(III) coordination complexes, and subsequently evaluating their biological properties and antitumor activity. We have also investigated the antiproliferative effects of one of our alkyl-substituted 1,10-phenantrholine ligands on glioblastoma tumor cells, an extremely aggressive class of brain cancer, and found this class of compounds significantly reduces tumor cell growth in both in vitro and in vivo models. We are currently investigating the potential anticancer activity of other metal-based complexes, and recent results indicate copper(II) complexes possessing alkyl-substituted 1,10-phenanthroline and alkyl-substituted 6,6’-bipyridine ligands have promising activity against human lung cancer cell lines.  

Link to our collection of case studies: (Click Here)


  • 2014-2015 UCR Student Organization Advisor of the Year (UCR Chemistry Club)
  • 2013-2014 UCR University Honors Professor of the Year Award
  • 2014 American Chemical Society Committee on Environmental Improvement (ACS-CEI) Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemistry Education
  • 2013 NSF cCWCS (Chemistry Collaborations, Workshops, & Communities of Scholars) Implementation Grant Award ("Case Studies in Chemistry Workshop")
  • 2013 UCR Innovative Teaching Award

Funded Grants

NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) grant - "A NIMBLe Approved to Active Learning in Large Enrollment Introductory Chemistry Courses (NIMBLe = New Implementations of Massive Blended Learning)" - Link

National Science Foundation (NSF) Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (TUES) grant - Link

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Higher Education Challenge Grant Program - Link

Selected Publications

Chemical Education Publications

  • Jack F. Eichler*and Junelyn Peeples, "Flipped classroom modules for large enrollment general chemistry courses: a low barrier approach to increase active learning and improve student grades," Chemical Education Research and Practice, 2016, 17, pg. 197-208; Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C5RP00159E. (Link)
  • Joshua Hartman and Jack F. Eichler,* "Fuel from Water and the Sun: An Application of Electrochemistry and Thermodynamics" National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, 2015 (Link)
  • Joshua Hartman and Jack F. Eichler,* "Using Oceans to Fight Global Warming?" National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science2014 (Link).
  • Joshua Hartman and Jack F. Eichler,* "Corn Ethanol: Using Corn to Make Fuel?" National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, 2014 (Link).
  • Joshua Hartman and Jack F. Eichler,* "Hydrogen Powered Cars: The Wave of the Future?" National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, 2014 (Link).
  • K.Theel, J.D. Hartman, J.F. Eichler,* "Liquid Coal: Producing Liquid Fuel from Non-Petroleum Sources" National Center for CAse Study Teaching in Science, 2013. (Link)
  • J.F. Eichler* and J. Peeples, "Online Homework Put to the Test: A Report on the Impact of Two Online Learning Systems on Student Performance in General Chemistry." J. Chem. Educ., 2013, 90(9), pp 1137-1143 (Link to article).
  • J.F. Eichler, "History of the Atom:  From Atomism to the Nuclear Model." National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, 2012. (Link to the Case Study)
  • J.F. Eichler,* “Ground level ozone in Newton County, GA: A SENCER model for introductory chemistry.” Chapter in Science Education and Civic Engagement, R.D. Sheardy, editor, 2010, ACS Division of Chemical Education.
  • J.F. Eichler,* “Imploding coke cans: From demonstration to guided inquiry.” Journal of Chemical Education, 2009, 86(4), 472-474 (Feature Cover Article - April 2009 issue).
  • J.F. Eichler,* “An air quality TPSL project for introductory chemistry.” Academic Exchange Quarterly, 2008, 12(3) 11-15 (Editor’s Choice Article).
  • J.F. Eichler,* H. Patrick, B. Harmon, and J. Coonce, “Mentos and the scientific method: A sweet combination.” Journal of Chemical Education, 2007, 84, 1120-1123.
  • J.F.Eichler,* “Using a precipitation reaction in a guided inquiry stoichiometry laboratory.” The Chemical Educator, 2007, 12, 347-348.

Research Publications with Undergraduate Co-authors
  • Noah R. Angel, Raneen M. Khatib, Julia Jenkins, Michelle Smith, Justin M. Rubalcava, Brian Khoa Le, Daniel Lussier, Zhuo (Georgia) Chen, Fook S. Tham, Emma H. Wilson, Jack F. Eichler,* “Copper (II) complexes possessing alkyl-substituted polypyridyl ligands: Structural characterization and in vitro antitumor activity,”  2017, 166, pg. 12-25 (Link to Article).
  • Clément N. David, Elma S. Frias, Catherine C. Elix, Kathryn E. McGovern, Ameae M. Walker, Jack F. Eichler, and Emma H. Wilson, "Antitumor Activity of a Polypyridyl Chelating Ligand: In-Vitro and In-Vivo Inhibition of Glioma," ASN Neuro, January-February 2015; vol. 7, 1:1759091415572365. (Link)
  • Pauline M. Olsen, Charles Ruiz, Daniel Lussier, Brian Khoa Le, Noah Angel, Michelle Smith, Chihyun (Brian) Hwang, Raneen Khatib, Julia Jenkins, Kaitlyn Adam, Jonathan Getcher, Fook Tham, Zhou (Georgia) Chen, Emma H. Wilson, Jack F. Eichler*, "Synthesis, characterization, and anti tumor activity of unusual pseudo five coordinate gold(III) complexes: Distinct cytotoxic mechanism or expensive ligand delivery systems?" Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2014, 141, 121-131. (Link to Article)
  • Edward M. Laguna, Pauline M. Olsen, Michael D. Sterling, Jack F. Eichler, Arnold L. Rheingold, and Catharine H. Larsen *, "Structure and Properties of Neutral and Cationic Gold(III) Complexes from Substituted 2-(2'-Pyridyl)quinoline Ligands", Inorganic Chemistry, 2014, 53(23), 12231-12233. (Link to Article)
  • Chinar D. Sanghvi, Pauline M. Olsen, Catherine Elix, Shifang (Bruce) Peng, Dongsheng Wang, Zhuo (Georgia) Chen, Dong M. Shin, Kenneth I. Hardcastle, Cora E. MacBetha, Jack F. Eichler, "Antitumor Properties of Five-Coordinate Gold (III) Complexes Bearing Substituted Polypyridyl Ligands" Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2013, 128, 68-76. (Link)
  • S. Tosonian, C. Ruiz, A. Rios, E. Frias, and J.F. Eichler. "Synthesis, characterization, and stability of iron (III) complex ions possessing phenanthroline-based ligands." Open Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2013, 3, 7-13. (open access journal; link to journal).
  • A. Wein, A. Stockhausen, K.I. Hardcastle, S. Peng, G. Chen, R. Saadein, and J.F. Eichler.* “Tumor cytotoxicity of 5,6-dimethylphenanthroline and its corresponding gold(III) complex.” Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2011, 105(5), 663-668.
  • S.Y. Lee, A. Hodges, K.I. Hardcastle, R. Saadein, and J.F. Eichler.* “A report describing the effect of di-2- pyridyl ligand architecture on the coordination properties with gold(III).” Inorganica Chimica Acta, 2011, 368(1), 252-256.
  • Z. Hudson, C. Sanghvi, M. Rhine, J.J. Ng, S.D. Bunge, K.I. Hardcastle, R. Saadein, C.E. MacBeth, and J.F. Eichler.*“Gold(III) coordination compounds possessing substituted phenanthroline ligands: To bind or not to bind?” Dalton Transactions, 2009, 7473-7480.
  • A. Wein, R. Cordeiro, N. Owens, H. Olivier, K.I. Hardcastle, and J.F. Eichler*, “Synthesis and characterization of copper(II) paddlewheel complexes possessing fluorinated carboxylate ligands.” Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, 2009, 130, 197-203.

Other Research Publications

  • D. Wang, S. Peng, A.R.M.R. Amin, M.A. Rahman, S. Nannapaneni, Y. Liu, D. Shin, N.F. Saba, J.F. Eichler, Z.G. Chen*, 2016, "Antitumor Activity of 2,9-Di-Sec-Butyl-1,10-Phenanthroline," PLoS ONE 11(12):e0168450.doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0168450 (Link to Article).
  • M. Rajapaksha, J.F. Eichler, J. Hajduch, D.E. Anderson, K.L. Kirk, and J.G. Bann* “Monitoring anthrax toxin receptor dissociation from the protective antigen by NMR,” Protein Science, 2009, 18, 17-23.
  • J.F. Eichler,* O. Just, and W.S. Rees, Jr. “Synthesis and characterization of imido cubanes with exo-cube Ge(IV) and Sn(IV) substituents: [M(µ3-NGeMe3)]4 (M = Sn, Ge, Pb); [Sn(µ3-NSnMe3)]4”, Inorganic Chemistry, 2006, 17, 6706-6712.
  • J.F. Eichler, J.C. Cramer, K.L. Kirk, J.G. Bann* “Biosynthetic incorporation of fluorohistidine into proteins in E. coli: a new probe of macromolecular structure,” ChemBioChem, 2005, 6, 2170-73.
  • J.F. Eichler,* O. Just, and W.S. Rees, Jr. “The structural characterization of the first beryllium amide possessing nitrogen-bridged Sn(IV) and Be(II) metal centers: synthesis and X-ray study of [(Me3Sn)2NBe(Cl)•(THF)]2,” Inorganic Chemistry Communications, 2005, 8, 936-938
  • J.F. Eichler, O. Just, and W.S. Rees, Jr.,* “The design and synthesis of heterometallic alkoxide-amides and their application in the MOCVD of zirconium-tin-titanate (ZTT),” Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2004, 14, 3139-3143.

Current Undergraduate Researchers

Synthesis and Characterization of Gold(III) Anticancer Compounds

Noah Angel (MARCU STAR Scholar), Raneen Khatib, and Justin Rubalcava

Antitumor Testing and Mechanistic Studies

Julia Jenkins and Michelle Smith

Recent Graduates

  • Pauline Olsen (Graduate studies at UC-San Diego Department of Chemistry)
  • Charles Ruiz (Graduate studies at UC-Riverside Department of Chemistry)
  • Brian Khoa Le (applying to medical school)
  • Daniel Lussier (graduate studies at UC-Berkeley department of chemistry)
  • Catherine Elix (graduate studies in biomedical science at City of Hope Cancer Research Center)
  • Brian (Chihyun) Hwang (applying to graduate school in chemistry)


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Chemistry
Chemical Sciences
501 Big Springs Road

Tel: (951) 827-3789 (Chair's Assistant)
Fax: (951) 827-2435 (confidential)