Staff Directory


Zahra Afrasiabi, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 949-480-4405

Fax: 949-480-4158


Faculty - Full-Time


  • Ph.D., Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla- MO
  • M.Sc., University of Pune - Pune, India
  • B.Sc., K. N. Toosi University of Science and Technology - Tehran, Iran

Positions Held

  • 2015-Present, Associate Professor of Chemistry-Soka University
  • 2010-2015, Tenured Associate Professor of Chemistry – Lincoln University
  • 2005-2010, Assistant Professor of Chemistry – Lincoln University
  • 2008-Present, Adjunct Research Assistant Professor-University of Missouri-Columbia
  • 2010-2015. Adjunct Research Assistant Professor-University of Missouri-Rolla
  • 2004-2005. Assistant Research Professor of Chemistry – University of Missouri-Rolla
  • 2003-2004. Post Doctoral Fellow – University of Missouri-Rolla

Research Interests

  • Development of nanosensors for detection of biomolecules
  • Application of nanomaterials in Environmental Science, Animal science, Agriculture, and Food Science
  • Synthesis of organic and inorganic chemotherapeutic agents

Selected Papers, Publications, Presentations, & Exhibits

  • Selective X-ray Contrast Enhancement of the Spleen of Living Mice Mediated by Gold Nanorods, Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, 10(3), 2015, 188-193
  • Synthesis and Characterization of Functional Multicomponent Nanosized Gallium Chelated Gold Crystals, Chemical Communications (RSC Publications), 50 (25), 2014, 3281-3284
  • Gold Nanoparticle Based X-ray Contrast Agent for Tumor Imaging in Mice and Dog: A Potential Nano- Platform for CT Theranostics, J. Biomed. Nanotech,10 (3), 2014, 383-392
  • Novel Mn-SOD Mimetics Offer Superior Protection Against Oxidative Damages in Hek293 Kidney Cells, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacology, 1, (2014), 1-8
  • Novel di-tertiary-butyl phenylhydrazones as dual cyclooxygenase-2/5-lipoxygenase inhibitors: Synthesis, COX/LOX inhibition, molecular modeling, and insights into their cytotoxicities, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 24(1), (2014), 317-324
  • Metal-based anticancer agents: targeting androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate and COX-positive pancreatic cancer cells by phenanthrenequinone semicarbazone and its metal complexes, Transition Metal Chemistry 38(6) (2013) 665-673
  • Targeting Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells by N3-Substituted 9,10-Phenanthrenequinone Thiosemicarbazones and Their Metal Complexes, Spectrochimica Acta, Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 114 (2013), 114-119
  • Design and Development of a Field Applicable Gold Nanosensor for the Detection of Luteinizing Hormone, Analytical Chemistry 84 (21) (2012) 9478-9484.
  • Synthesis and characterization of pyruvate-isoniazid analogs and their copper complexes as potential ICL inhibitors, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 22 (9) (2012) 3172-3176
  • Gold Nanoparticle Based Immunostrip Assay Method for Detection of Protein-A, Applied Mechanics and Materials 229-231 (2012) 260-266
  • New nanomedicine approaches using gold-thioguanine nanoconjugates as metallo-ligands, Inorganica Chimica Acta 372 (1) (2011) 333-339
  • Nanoscale Sensor Design via In Situ Labeling of Gold Nanoparticles onto Protein Scaffolds, J. Nanosc. and Nanotech. 10 (2010) 1–7

Courses Taught at SUA

  • Chemistry for Life
  • Foundation of Chemistry 

Selected Honors & Awards

  • USDA Teaching Capacity Building Grant, 2007-2010, Teaching Innovation Using Personal Response System (PI)
  • USDA CSREES, 2007-2010, Gold nanoparticle-based nanosensors for detection of biomolecules (PI)
  • USDA CSREES, 2010-2013, Gold nanoparticle-based nanosensor for accurate detection of luteinizing hormone in small ruminants (PI)
  • NIH Pilot Program, EARDA, 2009-2010, Biological Activity of Quinones (Co-PI)
  • NASA Missouri Space Grant Consortium, 2009-2013, Purification of Waste-water from Research Facilities Using Palladium Nanoparticles (Co-PI)
  • NSF AMASS Instructional Development Grant, 2011-2012, Math Tutorial for Chemistry (Co-PI)
  • USDA-NIFA, 2011-2014, Silver Nanoparticles as Pesticides (PI)
  • USDA-NIFA Teaching Grant, 2012-2015, A Practical Approach To Integrating Nanotechnology Education Into Agriculture And Environmental Science Curriculum (PI)
  • USDA-AFRI, 2014-2017, High Throughput NanoSensor for Accurate and Sensitive Detection of E. Coli O157:H7 (PI)
  • USDA-AFRI, 2016-2017, Innovative Methods To Improve The Sensitivity Of Nanosensors For Detection of Biomolecules In Food Systems (PI)