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Dr. Robert Strongin
Dr. Robert Strongin

Professor of Organic Chemistry

Ph.D.| University of Pennsylvania, 1995


Personally Maintained Website

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Professor Robert M. Strongin directs an internationally recognized academic research program, is a successful biotech startup founder and he is highly regarded for his work in STEM education. He received his B.A (honors) in Chemistry from Temple University, and worked as an industrial chemist at FMC Corporation in Princeton, NJ and as a medicinal chemist at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals (now GlaxoSmithKline) in King of Prussia, PA. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in the laboratory of Professor Amos B. Smith, III, where he co-authored 33 peer-reviewed research papers. Upon graduation, he directly joined the tenure-track faculty at Louisiana State University where he rose through the ranks to Philip and Foymae Kelso West Professor of Chemistry. While at LSU, Professor Strongin received an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award for enabling new avenues of research in chemistry and biology. He joined the faculty at Portland State University in 2007, and additionally received affiliate appointments in both Physiology and Pharmacology and the Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, where he has several ongoing research collaborations. In 2009, he served as a Sigma Xi National Lecturer. He has earned several awards and honors since joining the faculty at PSU, including the John Eliot Allen Teaching Award, Outstanding Researcher Award in the Physical Science from the Sigma Xi Columbia-Willamette Chapter and the PSU Presidential Career Research Award. 
Current research in the Strongin group addresses a range of interdisciplinary challenges. Projects include the investigation of the chemical reactions and aerosol profiles of electronic cigarettes, including both tobacco and cannabis products. His group is also developing functional molecular probes that selectively target pancreatic cancer as well as enzymes and biochemical pathways involved in oxidative stress and chronic disease. 

Representative Publications

  • Meehan-Atrash, J.; Luo, W. T.; McWhirter, K. J.; Strongin, R. M. "Aerosol Gas-Phase Components from Cannabis E-Cigarettes and Dabbing: Mechanistic Insight and Quantitative Risk Analysis," Acs Omega 2019, 4, 16111-16120.

  • Vreeke, S.; Peyton, D. H.; Strongin, R. M. "Triacetin Enhances Levels of Acrolein, Formaldehyde Hemiacetals, and Acetaldehyde in Electronic Cigarette Aerosols," Acs Omega 2018, 3, 7165-7170.

  • Meehan-Atrash, J.; Duell, A. K.; McWhirter, K. J.; Luo, W. T.; Peyton, D. H.; Strongin, R. M. "Free-Base Nicotine Is Nearly Absent in Aerosol from IQOS Heat-Not-Burn Devices, As Determined by H-1 NMR Spectroscopy," Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2019, 32, 974-976.

  • Korzun, T.; Munhenzva, I.; Escobedo, J. O.; Strongin, R. M. "Synthetic food dyes in electronic cigarettes," Dyes Pigm. 2019, 160, 509-513.

  • Duell, A. K.; McWhirter, K. J.; Korzun, T.; Strongin, R. M.; Peyton, D. H. "Sucralose-Enhanced Degradation of Electronic Cigarette Liquids during Vaping," Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2019, 32, 1241-1249.

  • Yue, Y. K.; Huo, F. J.; Cheng, F. Q.; Zhu, X. J.; Mafireyi, T.; Strongin, R. M.; Yin, C. X. "Functional synthetic probes for selective targeting and multi-analyte detection and imaging," Chem. Soc. Rev. 2019, 48, 4155-4177.

  • Wang, L. G.; Munhenzva, I.; Sibrian-Vazquez, M.; Escobedo, J. O.; Kitts, C. H.; Fronczek, F. R.; Strongin, R. M. "Altering Fundamental Trends in the Emission of Xanthene Dyes," J. Org. Chem. 2019, 84, 2585-2595.

  • Yue, Y. K.; Huo, F. J.; Yue, P.; Meng, X. M.; Salamanca, J. C.; Escobedo, J. O.; Strongin, R. M.; Yin, C. X. "In Situ Lysosomal Cysteine-Specific Targeting and Imaging during Dexamethasone-Induced Apoptosis," Anal. Chem. 2018, 90, 7018-7024.

  • Kang, J.; Huo, F. J.; Zhang, Y. B.; Chao, J. B.; Strongin, R. M.; Yin, C. X. "Detecting intracellular ClO- with ratiometric fluorescent signal and its application in vivo," Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical 2018, 273, 1532-1538.

  • Salamanca, J. C.; Meehan-Atrash, J.; Vreeke, S.; Escobedo, J. O.; Peyton, D. H.; Strongin, R. M. "E-cigarettes can emit formaldehyde at high levels under conditions that have been reported to be non-averse to users," Sci. Rep. 2018, 8.

  • Vreeke, S.; Korzun, T.; Luo, W. T.; Jensen, R. P.; Peyton, D. H.; Strongin, R. M. "Dihydroxyacetone levels in electronic cigarettes: Wick temperature and toxin formation," Aerosol Sci. Technol. 2018, 52, 370-376.

  • Klipp, R. C.; Li, N.; Wang, Q. L.; Word, T. A.; Sibrian-Vazquez, M.; Strongin, R. M.; Wehrens, X. H. T.; Abramson, J. J. "EL20, a potent antiarrhythmic compound, selectively inhibits calmodulin-deficient ryanodine receptor type 2," Heart Rhythm 2018, 15, 578-586.

  • Korzun, T.; Lazurko, M.; Munhenzva, I.; Barsanti, K. C.; Huang, Y.; Jensen, R. P.; Escobedo, J. O.; Luo, W.; Peyton, D. H.; Strongin, R. M. "E-Cigarette Airflow Rate Modulates Toxicant Profiles and Can Lead to Concerning Levels of Solvent Consumption," Acs Omega 2018, 3, 30-36.

  • Bittel, A. M.; Davis, A. M.; Wang, L.; Nederlof, M. A.; Escobedo, J. O.; Strongin, R. M.; Gibbs, S. L. "Varied Length Stokes Shift BODIPY-Based Fluorophores for Multicolor Microscopy," Sci. Rep. 2018, 8.

  • Jensen, R. P.; Strongin, R. M.; Peyton, D. H. "Solvent Chemistry in the Electronic Cigarette Reaction Vessel," Sci. Rep. 2017, 7.

  • Li, N.; Wang, Q. L.; Sibrian-Vazquez, M.; Klipp, R. C.; Reynolds, J. O.; Word, T. A.; Scott, L.; Salama, G.; Strongin, R. M.; Abramson, J. J.; Wehrens, X. H. T. "Treatment of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia in mice using novel RyR2-modifying drugs," Int. J. Cardiol. 2017, 227, 668-673.

  • Meehan-Atrash, J.; Luo, W. T.; Strongin, R. M. "Toxicant Formation in Dabbing: The Terpene Story," Acs Omega 2017, 2, 6112-6117.

  • Pankow, J. F.; Kim, K.; McWhirter, K. J.; Luo, W.; Escobedo, J. O.; Strongin, R. M.; Duell, A. K.; Peyton, D. H. "Benzene formation in electronic cigarettes," PLoS ONE 2017, 12.

  • Salamanca, J. C.; Munhenzva, I.; Escobedo, J. O.; Jensen, R. P.; Shaw, A.; Campbell, R.; Luo, W. T.; Peyton, D. H.; Strongin, R. M. "Formaldehyde Hemiacetal Sampling, Recovery, and Quantification from Electronic Cigarette Aerosols," Sci. Rep. 2017, 7.

  • Strongin, R. M. E-Cigarette Chemistry and Analytical Detection. In Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry, Vol 12; Bohn, P. W., Pemberton, J. E., Eds. 2019; Vol. 12, p 23-39.

  • Wang, L.; Barth, C. W.; Sibrian-Vazquez, M.; Escobedo, J. O.; Lowry, M.; Muschler, J.; Li, H. Y.; Gibbs, S. L.; Strongin, R. M. "Far-Red and Near-Infrared Seminaphthofluorophores for Targeted Pancreatic Cancer Imaging," Acs Omega 2017, 2, 154-163.

  • Yin, C. X.; Xiong, K. M.; Huo, F. J.; Salamanca, J. C.; Strongin, R. M. "Fluorescent Probes with Multiple Binding Sites for the Discrimination of Cys, Hcy, and GSH," Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 13188-13198.

  • Yue, Y.; Huo, F.; Li, X.; Wen, Y.; Yi, T.; Salamanca, J.; Escobedo, J. O.; Strongin, R. M.; Yin, C. X. "pH-Dependent Fluorescent Probe That Can Be Tuned for Cysteine or Homocysteine," Org. Lett. 2017, 19, 82-85.