Dr. Robert Harris

Associate Professor, Chemistry

Robert Harris
(413) 662-5451
Center for Science & Innovation 308E


Boston University, Boston MA
Post-Doctoral Faculty Fellow 2004-2006

Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Research Fellow 2004

Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Ph. D. (Chemistry) August, 2003

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
M. Sc. (Chemistry) May, 1994 

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
B. Sc. (Chemistry) May, 1991

Courses Taught

CCST 105:The Chemistry of C.S.I.

CCST 110: Intro to Forensic Chemistry

CHEM 150: Introduction to Chemistry I

CHEM 201 and CHEM 202: Organic Chemistry

CHEM 440: Advanced Organic Chemistry

Research Interests

For over 30 years, the use of C2-symmetric P, P or N, N ligands has dominated the field of asymmetric catalysis. Recently, the development of C1 symmetric modular P, N ligands has introduced a new class of ligands to the field. Often times these C1 ligands have shown higher selectivity than their C2 counterpoints. The chiral nature of the C1 Using this approach, We are interested in creating a new class of nonsymmetrical norbornane-based P,N ligands for use in asymmetric catalysis including: Rh-catalyzed hydrogenations, Pd-catalyzed allylic substitutions and Cu-catalyzed cyclopropanation of olefins.

Service to MCLA Community

Member of Academic Technology Advisory Group (ATAG)
Member of Curriculum Committee
Member of the Student Affairs Committee
Member of Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) discussion group
Massachusetts Science Fair Region I judge
Massachusetts Middle School Science Fair Region I Judge


Junior Faculty Member of the Year 2008
Hardman Grant Award 2008
Keynote Speaker for Region I Science Fair 2008
MCLA Faculty Research Award  2007
MCLA Curriculum Improvement Award 2007


"Photolithographic Patterning of Ring-Opening Metathesis Catalysts on Silicon" Harris, R. F.; Ricci, M. J.; Farrer, R. A. Praino, J.; Miller, S. J.; Saleh, B. E. A.; Teich, M. C.; Fourkas, J. T. Adv. Mater. 2005, 17, 29-41.

"A Polymeric and Fluorescent Gel for Combinatorial Screening of Catalysts." Harris, R. F.; Nation, A. J.; Copeland, G. T.; Miller, S. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2000, 122, 11270 - 11271.

"Direct Determination of trans-Octadecenoic Acid in Diet Composites Using Silver Ion High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Capillary Gas Chromatography." Phillips, K. M.; Lugogo, R.; Harris, R. F.; Stewart, K. K. J. Food Lipids, 1997, 4, 173-188.

"Simplified Gravimetric Determination of Total Fat in Mixed Food Composites After Chloroform/Methanol Extraction." Phillips, K. M.; Tarragó, M. T.; Grove, T. M.; Gruen, I.; Lugogo, R.; Harris, R. F.; Stewart, K. K. J. Amer. Oil Chem. Soc. 1997, 74, 137-142.


"The Design and Synthesis of Non-C2 Symmetric Ligands for Metal Mediated Asymmetric Catalysis" Cook, C and  Harris, R.F. NCUR conference Salisbury MD 2008

 "Toward Novel Biomimetic Transition Catalysts Using Small Polypeptide Supporting Ligands" Armstrong, W. H.; Howard, R. J.; Black, M.; Harris, R. F., III; Mukhopadhyay, S.; Vaughn, J. W. ACS meeting 2001 Boston, MA.

"The Use of Peptides in the Synthesis of (m-oxo) bis(m-carboxylato) Diiron (III) complexes" Harris, R. F.; Vaughn, J. W.; Armstrong, W. H. Boston College Graduate Research Symposium1998.

"Direct Determination of trans-Octadecenoic Acid in Diet Composites Using Silver Ion High Performance Liquid Chromatography." Harris, R. F.; Phillips, K. M.; Lugogo,R.; Stewart, K. K American Oil Chemists Society Meeting 1996

"The Synthesis of Mixed b-Diketonate-Alkoxy Zirconium Derivatives for Applications in the Fabrication of PZT Thin Films." Harris, R. F.; Deshu, S. B.; Hanson, B. E. Southeastern Regional ACS meeting 1993.