The School of Arts & Sciences

Department of Natural Sciences

Rony S. Khnayzer

Dr. Rony S. Khnayzer joined the Department of Natural Sciences in October 2013 as an assistant professor of chemistry. He received his Bachelor of Science in 2008 with the highest distinction from the American University of Beirut (AUB). During his undergraduate studies Dr. Khnayzer obtained numerous academic awards, including the Dean’s Honor List at AUB. He received his PhD diploma in 2013 from the Department of Chemistry and Center for Photochemical Sciences at Bowling Green State University.

In 2011, Dr. Khnayzer received a prestigious travel award from the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry for his work on photocatalytic hydrogen production. In 2012, he was awarded the Shanklin Award for Research Excellence for the sciences and mathematics division at Bowling Green State University for his manuscript entitled “Increasing the Efficiency of Solar Cells using Non-Coherent Pumped Upconversion Photochemistry”. He was also selected as the recipient of the McMaster Fellowship for the 2012-2013 academic year by the Center of Photochemical Sciences. In 2016, his research profile and paper on photocatalysis were highlighted on the cover of ChemPlusChem (a Q1 Wiley journal), and in 2017 his work on photochemotherapy was displayed on the front cover of Dalton Transactions (a Q1 Royal Society of Chemistry journal).

Dr. Khnayzer is an active member of the American Chemical Society and was recently admitted as a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC), which is a formal recognition of professionalism and experience in chemical sciences.

Selected Publications

  1. Khalil, C.; Al Hageh, C.; Korfali, S.; Khnayzer, R. S. Municipal leachates health risks: chemical and cytotoxicity assessment from regulated and unregulated municipal dumpsites in Lebanon. Chemosphere2018, 208, 1-18. 
  2. Mansour, N.; Mehanna, S.; Taleb, R. I.; Mroueh, M.; Bodman‐Smith, K.; El-Sibai, M.; Daher, C. F.; Khnayzer, R. S.* Photoactivatable Ru(II) complex bearing 2,9-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline: unusual photochemistry and significant potency on cisplatin-resistant cell lines. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 201822, 2524-2532. 
  3. Al Hageh, C.; Al Assaad, M.; El Masri, Z.; Samaan, N.; El-Sibai, M.; Khalil, C.; and Khnayzer, R. S.;* Long-lived cuprous bis-phenanthroline complex for the photodynamic therapy of cancer. Dalton Trans201847, 4959-4967.
  4. Audi, H.; Azar, A.; Mahjoub, H. Farhat, S.; El-Masri, Z.; El-Sibai, M.; Abi-Habib, R.; and Khnayzer, R. S.* Cytotoxicity Modulation of Ruthenium (II) tris-bathophenanthroline Complexes With Systematically Varied Charge. J. Photochem. Photobiol. A2018351, 59–68.
  5. Azar, A.; Audi, H.; Farhat, S.; El-Sibai, M.; Abi-Habib, R. J.; and Khnayzer, R. S.* “Phototoxicity of Strained Ru(II) Complexes: Is it the Metal or the Dissociating Ligand?” Dalton Trans., 201746, 11529–11532. This paper was highlighted on the cover of Dalton Trans. Volume 46 number 35.
  6. Khnayzer, R. S.*; Olaiya, B. S.; El Roz, K. A.; Castellano, F. N. Homogeneous Photocatalytic H2 Production using a Ru(II) Bathophenanthroline MLCT Photosensitizer. ChemPlusChem 201681, 1090-1097. This paper was highlighted on the cover of Chempluschem volume 81, special issue: Catalytic systems for water splitting. Cover Profile. ChemPlusChem 2016, 81, 1016.
  7. McGoorty, M. M.; Khnayzer, R. S.; Castellano, F. N., Enhanced Photophysics from Self-Assembled Cyclometalated Ir(III) Complexes in Water.Chem. Commun. 201652, 7846-7849.
  8. El-Assaad, T.H.; Auer, M.; Castañeda, R.; Hallal, K. H.; Jradi, F. M.; Mosca, L.; Khnayzer, R. S.; Patra, D.; Timofeeva, T. V.; Brédas, J-L.; List-Kratochvil, E. J. W.; Wex, B.; Kaafarani, B. R. “Tetraaryl Pyrenes: Photophysical Properties, Computational Studies, Crystal Structures, and Application in OLEDs”, J. Mater. Chem. C. 20164, 3041-3058.
  9. Jurss, J. W.; Khnayzer, R. S.; Panetier, J. A.; El Roz, K. A.; Nichols, E. M.; Head-Gordon, M.; Long, J. L.; Castellano, F. N.; Chang, C. J. “Bioinspired design of redox-active ligands for multielectron catalysis: effects of positioning pyrazine reservoirs on cobalt for electro- and photocatalytic generation of hydrogen from water” Chem. Sci.20156, 4954.
  10. Khnayzer, R. S.*; Martin, D. R.; Codding, C. L.; Castellano, F. N. “Parallelization of Photocatalytic Gas-Producing Reactions”, Rev. Sci. Instrum.201586, 034101.
  11. Mosca, L.; Khnayzer, R. S.; Lazorski, M. S.; Danilov, E. O.; Castellano, F. N.; Anzenbacher, P. “Sensing of 2, 4, 6‐Trinitrotoluene (TNT) and 2, 4‐Dinitrotoluene (2, 4‐DNT) in the Solid State with Photoluminescent RuII and IrIII Complexes” Chem. Eur. J.201521, 4056-4064.
  12. Khnayzer, R. S.; Thoi, V. S.; Nippe, M.; King, A. E.; Jurss, J. W.; El Roz, K. A.; Long, J. R.; Chang, C. J.; and Castellano, F. N. “Towards a Comprehensive Understanding of Visible-Light Photogeneration of Hydrogen from Water Using Cobalt(II) Polypyridyl Catalysts” Energy Environ. Sci.20147, 1477-1488.

Academic degrees


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