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Robert Aslanian

Robert Aslanian

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Department: Chemistry
Office Location: S-423
Phone: 201-200-3069
Area of Interest/Research:

Dr. Aslanian’s research is focused on organic chemistry with an emphasis in three specific areas: medicinal chemistry, the development of improved synthetic methods for organic synthesis, and enhanced laboratory experiments for the undergraduate organic lab.

In medicinal chemistry, Dr. Aslanian’s research is concentrated on neglected tropical diseases, in particular Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), which is also known as African sleeping sickness. HAT is a parasitic disease that is endemic in 36 sub-Saharan African countries and infects over 60 million people. It is invariably fatal if not treated and there are currently few good treatment options. In his lab, Dr. Aslanian is preparing analogs of several known anti-parasitic compounds with the goal of optimizing activity against the parasite and improving oral bioavailability.

In the area of synthetic methodology, Dr. Aslanian is working on developing an improved and convenient one-pot synthesis of ketones from carboxylic acids using phosphorous-based chemistry in combination with organometallic coupling chemistry like the Stille Reaction, and on developing a green dehydration protocol applicable to primary, secondary, and tertiary alcohols.

Last, Dr. Aslanian is developing new experiments for the organic laboratory curriculum that reflect real-world laboratory research experiences to better prepare students for their future careers.


  • Organic Synthesis
  • Synthetic Methodology
  • Medicinal Chemistry