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Sherri McFarland

Sherri McFarland


Office: 168 Science & Engineering Innovation & Research Building (SEIR)
Phone:817 272 6072

B.S. Hendrix College, 1996
M.S.  Univeristy of California San Diego 1998
Ph.D.  Univeristy of California San Diego 2003
Post Doctorate: 
Dalhousie University 2005

Research Interests:

Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry
Photophysics and Photochemistry
Chemical Biology
Cancer Drug Discovery


Sherri McFarland obtained her PhD in Chemistry at the University of California San Diego (2003) where she focused on the control of excited state dynamics for luminescent chemosensing. Building on this work, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University (2005) in ultrafast spectroscopy and inorganic photophysics, using femtosecond laser techniques.

Dr. McFarland continues to expand these core areas of expertise through a multidisciplinary research program aimed at developing new photoactive drugs (in combination with light sources and protocols) as anticancer agents and as antibiotics. Some of the most promising compounds have been licensed to a Toronto company and are undergoing clinical trials to treat non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Sherri also co-founded a company that develops natural product-based photoactives, with particular focus on improving oral health. She has raised over $2M in research and development funding and has co-authored more than 80 scientific works.

Publications (since 2013):


45 Neutral iridium(III) complexes bearing BODIPY-substituted N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands: synthesis, photophysics, in vitro theranostic photodynamic therapy, and antimicrobial activity. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2019 (accepted)

44 A New Class of Homoleptic and Heteroleptic Bis(terpyridine) Iridium(III) Complexes with Strong Photodynamic Therapy Effects. ACS Appl. Bio Mater., 2019 (accepted)

43 Monocationic Iridium(III) Complexes with Far−Red Charge Transfer Absorption and Near−IR Emission: Synthesis, Photophysics, and Reverse Saturable Absorption. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem, 2019, accepted. DOI:

42 Predictive Strength of Photophysical Measurements for In Vitro Photobiological Activity in a Series of Ru(II) Polypyridyl Complexes Derived from π-Extended Ligands. Inorg. Chem., 2019 (58) 3156–3166. DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b03223

41 Heteroleptic Ir(III)N6 Complexes with Long-Lived Triplet Excited States and In Vitro Photobiological Activities. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2019 (11) 3629–3644. DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b14744

40 S,S-Chiral Linker Induced U-Shape with a Syn-facial Sensitizer and Photocleavable Ethene Group. Photochem. Photobiol., 2019 (95) 293-305, DOI: 10.1111/php.13000

39 Transition Metal Complexes and Photodynamic Therapy from a Tumor-Centered Approach: Challenges, Opportunities, and Highlights from the Development of TLD1433. Chem. Rev. 2019 (119) 797-828 (invited) DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.8b00211

38 Synthesis, Characterization, and Photobiological Studies of Ru(II) Dyads Derived from α-Oligothiophene Derivatives of 1,10-Phenanthroline. Photochem. Photobiol., 2019 (95) 267-279 (invited) DOI: 10.1111/php.13012

2017 National Science Foundation Early Career Award

2008 John L. Margrave Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award

2008 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Graduate Students Abroad