I have recently joined the faculty of Westminster College, and I serve as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. I am interested in a broad range of science, but I love Organic Chemistry. Students can find me teaching Organic Chemistry (CHE 261-262), Polymer Chemistry (CHE 360), Advanced Lab (CHE 465), and occasionally Inorganic Chemistry (CHE 180).
I primarily study molecules that perform chemical “work” in response to light. These photo-responsive molecules offer powerful tools to precisely control where and when reactions occur. These molecules can control polymerizations, catalyze click reactions, release chemotherapeutics in a targeted manner, and induce structural changes in macromolecules. In particular, I am interested in organometallic complexes containing cobalt to catalyze reactions useful for complex block co-polymer synthesis and precision tissue scaffold functionalization (e.g., organ printing). These cobalt catalysts respond to visible and near infrared light which greatly improves the biocompatibility and expands the wavelengths accessible by the currently limited photochemical toolbox.
Students performing research in my lab will gain a broad and interdisciplinary skill set across many fields of chemistry, materials science, and biology. Research in my lab will also help prepare students for graduate school or industry by promoting critical thinking and science communication skills. If you are interested in more information about the research I do, my door is always open to talk science.
2016-2017 NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina
2016 Ph.D., University of North Carolina
2011 B.S., Youngstown State University
1. Robert M. Hughes, Christina M. Marvin, Zachary L. Rodgers, Nathan P. Oien, Weston J. Smith, and David S. Lawrence, “Phototriggered Secretion of Membrane Compartmentalized Bioactive Agents” Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2016, 55, 16080-3. Designated Hot Paper by Editor and featured in Chemical & Engineering News.
2. Zachary L. Rodgers, Thomas A. Shell, Alexander M. Brugh, Hannah Nowotarski, Malcolm D.E. Forbes, and David S. Lawrence, “Fluorophore Assisted Photolysis of Thiolato-cobalamins” Inorganic Chemistry, 2016, 55, 1962-9.
3. Zachary L. Rodgers, Robert M. Hughes, Laura M. Doherty, Jennifer R. Shell, Brian P. Moleksy, Alexander M. Brugh, Andrew M. Moran, Malcolm D.E. Forbes, and David S. Lawrence, “B12-Mediated, Long Wavelength Photopolymerization of Hydrogels” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2015, 137, 3372-8.
4. Thomas A. Shell, Jennifer R. Shell, Zachary L. Rodgers, and David S. Lawrence, “Tunable Visible and Near-IR Photoactivation of Light-Responsive Compounds by Using Fluorophores as Light-Capturing Antennas” Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2014, 53, 874-8. Given VIP status.