Pexel-lab student

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

The goal of our research is to explore the effectiveness of active and blended learning modes in organic chemistry courses; specifically how online learning spaces might be designed in order to facilitate greater student learning.

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.

Kevin Kou

Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Organometallic Chemistry, catalysis and its applications to synthesis, natural product synthesis, and mechanistic investigations.

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.

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.

Michael Pirrung

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

Timothy Su

The Su Lab operates at the interface of organic synthesis, chemical biology, and polymer science to develop new chemical tools for imaging biomolecules with spatial resolutions exceeding the diffraction limit of conventional fluorescence microscopes. In particular, the Su lab is synthesizing small molecule optical sensors and polymers for visualizing the activity of endogenous biomolecules in fundamental processes and aberrant disease states. Given the interdisciplinary nature of our work, researchers in the Su Lab receive broad-based training that starts from molecular synthesis and extends to chemical biology, biochemistry, or cell & animal work depending on the project.

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


Min Xue

The Xue group exploits the art of organic chemistry to develop protein mimetic multicyclic peptides. These peptides grant access to a true 3D-diversifiable chemical space, which promises novel chemical biology tools and better therapeutics.

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