University of California, Riverside

Department of Chemistry

Organic Chemistry


Research in Organic Chemistry at UC Riverside spans the whole range of topics in modern organic chemistry, from biological and medicinal chemistry to natural product synthesis, the discovery of new reactions and materials to the physical organic chemistry of reaction mechanisms. In addition, our faculty have interests in supramolecular self-assembly, the creation of functional materials and study of reactivity at the solid interface. We have active collaborations with other disciplines in chemistry (such as Analytical, Biological, Inorganic and Physical) as well as other departments at UC Riverside such as Chemical Genomics, Materials Science and Engineering, Biochemistry, Plant Biology and Entomology. Please follow the links below to learn more about the individual research groups in the organic chemistry program at UC Riverside.

Subjects of first-year organic graduate courses include modern organic reactions and reagents and their mechanistic pathways, structure and bonding in organic compounds, kinetics and mechanism of organic reactions, synthetic organic chemistry and spectroscopic identification of organic compounds. Weekly seminars in both the department and the research group familiarize students with current research topics.

Faculty Research Descriptions:

Matthew Casselman

Hill Harman
Synthetic Inorganic, Organometallic and Organic chemistry: ligand and catalyst design; organocatalysis; electrocatalysis; structure, bonding, and reactivity of the transition and main group metals; energy and green chemistry.

Richard Hooley
Synthetic Organic, Inorganic and Supramolecular chemistry. Our projects include: the synthesis of biomimetic supramolecular constructs capable of selective molecular recognition; synthesis of new water-soluble catalysts and host molecules; dynamic NMR studies of host:guest interactions; biosensors based on synthetic receptor molecules.

Catharine Larsen
Organic and Organometallic chemistry; discovery of new multicomponent metal-mediated reactions and their applications to the synthesis of complex molecules.

Vince Lavallo
Synthetic Organometallic, Inorganic and Organic chemistry. The preparation of novel transition metal and non-metallic catalysts for a variety of industrially important chemical transformations. Ligand design, asymmetric catalysis, new reaction methodology and carborane chemistry.

Michael Marsella
Synthesis of drug targets; computational predictions of enzyme:drug interactions.

David Martin
Organic and organometallic chemistry, natural product synthesis, development of new bond activation strategies, photochemistry and photocatalysis.

Jocelyn Millar
Identification and synthesis of insect pheromones and related behavior modifying chemicals; identification of Kairomones; development of applications of pheromones and related compounds for agricultural crop protection.

Thomas Morton
Gas phase organic chemistry, ion-molecule reactions, molecular mechanisms in the sense of smell, enzyme and receptor binding.

Michael Pirrung
Chemical biology, synthetic organic chemistry, nucleic acids, combinatorial chemistry; photochemistry.

Christopher Switzer
Design, synthesis and characterization of nucleic acid variants with new properties for molecular recognition, catalysis and replication.

Ming Lee Tang
Our research utilizes supramolecular and colloidal chemistry, as well as single particle spectroscopy, to investigate the surfaces and self-assembly of nanocrystals. We seek to further the understanding of the organic-inorganic interface that defines the properties of nanocrystals, and to address the challenges in 3D nanoparticle self-assembly, to make, for example, metamaterials active at visible wavelengths. Operating at the interface of chemistry, applied physics and materials science, we will design, synthesize and characterize hybrid materials with novel optoelectronic, photonic and catalytic applications.

Kathryn Uhrich

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)