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Friday afternoon at the lab.....


Research Interests

Our laboratory has particular interest in the syntheses of a wide range of organic salts for applications to physical and biological systems. These applications include:


          the development of ionic liquids as media for the dispersal of radioactive waste

          the construction of specific ion channel regulators

          the design and synthesis of Ru and Pt centered complexes as potential chemotherapeutic agents

          the design and synthesis of polycationic “strings” as regulators of cell replication

          the design and synthesis of antimicrobial agents acting on surfaces

          the synthesis of quaternary ammonium salts with particular optical characteristics


In these efforts our laboratory has collaborated with numerous others, including: Prof. Thomas Strekas (Queens College); Dr. James Wishart (Brookhaven National Laboratory); Prof. Geoffrey Abbott (University of California, Irvine); Prof. Karin Melkonian (C.W. Post College, LIU); Prof. JaimeLee Rizzo (Pace University); Prof. Sharon Lall-Ramnarine (Queensborough Community College).


Provided below are links to particular publications/patents of our laboratory that indicate the range of our interests:


1)   R. Engel, J.I. Cohen, and K.M. Fincher, “Antimicrobial Surfaces,” US 7,241,453, 10 July 2007.

2)   S.I. Lall-Ramnarine, J.A. Mukhlall, J.F.Wishart, R.Engel, A.R. Romeo, M. Godho, S. Ramati, M. Berman, and S.N. Suarez, “Cyclic Phosphonium Ionic Liquids,” Beilstein Journal of organic Chemistry, 10,271-275 (2014).

3)   R. Engel, J.I. Rizzo, and K. Melkonian-Fincher,“Antimicrobial Surfaces,” CN 2,481,199, 2 May 2013.

4)   T.C. Strekas, R. Engel, K. Locknauth, J. Cohen,and J. Fabian, “Polycations. 5. Inducement of Y-DNA Circular Dichroism Signals for Duplex Deoxyribonucleotide Homopolymers byPolycationic Strings,” Arch. Biochem.Biophys., 364, 129-131 (1999).

5)   M. Thomas, L. Rothman, J. Hatcher, P. Agarkar,R. Ramkirath, S. Lall-Ramnarine, and R. Engel, “Synthesis and Thermochemical Properties of Stereoisomeric Dihydroxy- and Tetrahydroxyalkylammonium Salts,” Synthesis, 1437-1444 (2009).

6)   Y. He, J. Pohl, R. Engel, L. Rothman, and M.Thomas, “Preparation of Ionic Liquid Based Solid-phase Microextraction Fiber and Its Application to Forensic determination of Methamphetamine and Amphetamine in Human Urine,” Journal of Chromatography A, 1216, 4824-4830 (2009).

7)   R. Engel, J.I. Rizzo, C. Rivera, M. Ramirez, M.L. Huang, D. Montenegro, C. Capodiferro, V. Behaj, M. Thomas, B.Klaritch-vrana, and J.F. Engel, “ Polycations. 18. The Synthesis of Polycationic Lipid Materials Based on the Diamine 1,4-Diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane,”  Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 158, 61-69 (2009).

8)   R. Engel, J.I. Rizzo, D. Montenegro, J. Leb, D. Coleman, C. Hong, H. Jeanty, and M. Thomas, “Polycations. 19. The Synthesis of Symmetrical Dication Lipids with Internal Dimethylazonia Functionalities Separated by a Spacer Unit and Pendant Chains,” Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 160, 105-108 (2009).

9)   M. Thomas, D. Montenegro, A. Castaño, L.Friedman, J. Leb, M.L. Huang, L. Rothman, H. Lee, C. Capodiferro, D. Ambinder,E. Cere, J. Galante, J.I. Rizzo, K. Melkonian, and R. Engel, “Polycations. 17. Synthesis and Properties of Polycationic Derivatives of Carbohydrates,” Carbohydrate Research, 344, 1620-1627 (2009).

10)   T. Abel, J.I. Cohen, R. Engel, M. Filshtinskaya, A. Melkonian, and K. Melkonian,“Preparation and Investigation of Antibacterial Carbohydrate-based Surfaces,” Carbohydrate Research, 337, 2495-2499 (2002).

11)  T. Abel, J.I. Cohen, J. Escalera, R. Engel, M. Filshtinskaya, R. Fincher, A. Melkonian,and K. Melkonian, “Preparation and Investigation of Antibacterial Protein-basedSurfaces,” Journal of Textile andApparel, Technology and Management, 3,1-8 (2003).

12)   J.I. Cohen, T. Abel, D. Burkett, R. Engel, J. Escalera, M. Filshtinskaya, T.Hatchett, M. Leto, Y. Melgar, and K. Melkonian, “Polycations. 15. Polyammonium Surfaces – A New Approach to Antifungal Activity,” Letters in Drug Design & Discovery, 1, 88-90 (2004).

13)   J.Fabian, T. October, A. Cherestes, and R. Engel, “Polycations: Syntheses of Polyammonium Strings as Antibacterial Agents,” Synlett, 1007-1009 (1997).

14)  R. Engel, J.I. Cohen, and K. Melkonian-Fincher, “Antimicrobial Surfaces,” US 7,285,286,23 October 2007.

15)  J.I.Cohen, S. Castro, J.-a. Han, V. Behaj, and R. Engel, “Polycations. IX. Polyammonium Derivatives of Cyclodextrins: Syntheses and Binding to Organic Oxyanions,” Heteroatom Chemistry, 11, 546-555 (2000).

16)  J.F. Wishart, S.I. Lall-Ramnarine, R. Raju, A. Scumpia, S. Bellevue, R. Ragbir, and R. Engel, “effects of Functional Group Substitution on Electron Spectra and Solvation Dynamics in a Family of Ionic Liquids,” Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 72, 99-104 (2005).

17)  E. Gordon, J.L Cohen, R. Engel, and G. Abbott, “1,4-Diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octanederivatives: A Novel Class of Voltage-gated Potassium Channel Blockers,” Molecular Pharmacology, 69, 718-726 (2006).

18)  A. Cherestes, T. October, and R. Engel, “Polycations. II. Chiral AmmoniumDendrimer Synthesis,” HeteroatomChemistry, 9, 485-494 (1998).

19)  R. Engel, I. Ghani, D. Montenegro, M. Thomas, B. Klaritch-vrana, A. Castaño, L. Friedman, J. Leb, L. Rothman, H. Lee, C. Capodiferro, D. Ambinder, E. Cere, C. Awad, F.Aheikh, J. Rizzo, L.-M. Nesbitt, E. Testani, and K. Melkonian, PolycationicGlycosides,” Molecules, 16, 1508-1518 (2011).

20)  L. Babukutty, E. Moskovic, D. Wadler, T. Strekas, and R. Engel, “Polycations. XX.New Monodentate Cationic Ligands and Their Coordination with Ruthenium for theConstruction of Complexes Expressing enhanced Interaction with DNA,” Organic Chemistry International, ID282137 (2012).

Friday afternoon at the lab.....



 Robert R. Engel


Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Interim Dean, Division of Mathematics & Natural Sciences

B.S. Carnegie Institute of Technology (Chemistry), 1963

Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University (Chemistry), 1966

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