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Shawn Swavey


Full-Time Faculty

School of Engineering: Bioengineering Graduate Program; College of Arts and Sciences: Chemistry


Email: Shawn Swavey
Phone: 937-229-3145
SC 383A
Website: Visit Site


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Virginia Tech, 2000-02
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Kent State University, 1998-00
  • Ph.D., Bioinorganic Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University, 1998
  • M.S., Inorganic Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University, 1995
  • B.S., Chemistry, Edinboro University, 1991


Dr. Shawn Swavey joined the Chemistry department in 2002. After receiving his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1998 he spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Kent State University. He then moved to Virginia where he spent two years as a research scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Professional affiliations

  • Editorial Board for the Global Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
  • American Chemical Society
  • Electrochemical Society
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (officer)

Research interests

Bioinorganic: 1) Synthesis and characterization of monomuclear copper complexes as models for copper amine oxidase. 2) Synthesis of Platinum(II) prophyrins as potential DNA binding agents. Electrocatalysis: 1) Synthesis and characterization by spectroscopic and electrochemical techniques of cobalt/ruthenium and cobalt/platinum/ruthenium porphyrins as electrocatalysts for small molecule reactions. Coordination Chemistry: Design and synthesis of supramolecular lanthanide(III) complexes and the study of their spectroscopic behavior.

Selected publications and presentations

Selected Papers

“A porphyrin-ruthenium photosensitizer as a potential photodynamic therapy agent” Kyle Davia, David King, Yiling Hong and Shawn Swavey Inorganic Chemistry Communications 2008, 11, 584-586.

“Monometallic and bimetallic europium(III) and terbium(III) complexes: synthesis and luminescence properties” Gregory Richards, Jennifer Osterwyk, Jon Flikkema, Katherine Cobb, Matthew Sullivan and Shawn Swavey Inorganic Chemistry Communications 2008, 11, 1385-1387.

“A Fluorinated Ruthenium Porphyrin as a Potential Photodynamic Therapy Agent: Synthesis, Characterization, DNA Binding and Melanoma Cell Studies” Sandya Rani-Beeram, Kyle Meyer, Anna McCrate, Yiling Hong, Mark Nielsen and Shawn Swavey Inorganic Chemistry 2008, 47, 11278-11283.

“Electrocatalytic reduction of protons and oxygen at glassy carbon electrodes coated with a cobalt(II)/platinum(II) porphyrin” Jessica Knoll and Shawn Swavey Inorganica Chimica Acta 2009, 362, 2989-2993.

“Highly efficient visible light induced photocleavage of DNA by a ruthenium substituted fluorinated porphyrin” Michelle Cunningham, Anna McCrate, Mark Nielsen and Shawn Swavey European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 2009, 1521-1525.

“Dinuclear and polynuclear lanthanide coordination complexes containing polyazine ligands: synthesis and luminescent properties” Shawn Swavey and Rochael Swavey Coordination Chemistry Reviews (invited paper), 2009, 253, 2627-2638.

“Structural analysis of a homodinuclear erbium(III) complex bridged by 2,2′-bipyrimidine” Albert Fratini and Shawn Swavey Inorganic Chemistry Communications, 2009, 12, 509-510.

“Electrooxidation of Ni(II), Cu(II), Fe(II) and Co(II) porphyrins on edge plane pyrrolytic graphite electrodes and their use as electrocatalysts for the reduction of oxygen in acidic media” Gregory Richards and Shawn Swavey European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2009, 5367-5376.

“Anaerobic photocleavage of supercoiled DNA by a ruthenium(II) multi-metallic porphyrin” Anna McCrate, Melissa Carlone, Mark Nielsen, Shawn Swavey communication accepted in Inorganic Chemistry Communications, 2010.

“Tris-ruthenium(II)/copper(II) multi-metallic porphyrin: synthesis, characterization, DNA binding and supercoiled DNA photocleavage studies” Emily Craver, Anna McCrate, Mark Nielsen, Shawn Swavey Inorganica Chimica Acta, 2010, 363, 453-456.

“Lab Documentation: Synthesis and Characterization of Europium(III) and Terbium(III) Complexes: An Advanced Undergraduate Inorganic Chemistry Experiment” Shawn Swavey accepted in Journal of Chemical Education, 2010.

Funded Research

Research Council Grant (internal UD), Title: “Synthesis and Characterization of a Novel Platinum(II) Porphyrin Complex as a Potential Photodynamic Therapy Agent” 2003. $4,000.

Research Corporation, Title: ”Mechnaistic Studies of the Reduction of Oxygen in Acidic Solutions at Electrodes Modified with Redox-Active Multi-Metallic Porphyrins” over two years (June 2004-June 2006). $30,548.

Phase I STTR, Title: “Temperature Compensated Pressure-Sensitive Paint Containing a Bichromophoric Luminophore” Co-PI, (August 2004 to May 2005). $100,000.

Research Council Grant (internal UD), Title: “Synthesis and Characterization of Homodinuclear Lanthanide(III) Complexes Bridged by Polyazine Ligands” 2006. $6,000.

Phase II STTR, Title: “Temperature Compensated Pressure Sensitive Paint” contractor, Total Grant $500,000 over two years (I will receive $80,000 over two years) in collaboration with ISSI a local research company (Begins January 2006) $80,000.

Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program (PI): “ Multimetallic Porphyrins as Potential Photodynamic Therapy Agents: Interactions of Synthetic Porphyrins with DNA in-vitro to in-vivo” (2007-2009) $60,000.