School Name

Department Name

Left Callouts

Main Content

Faculty and Staff

Grant. W. Wangila, PhD. | Interim Chairperson

Analytical and Inorganic Chemistry
(870) 575-8382 |

Education: Dr. Wangila holds Bachelor of Education (Science) and Master of Science (Chemistry) from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, and Ph.D. degree (Chemistry) from University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Experience: Interim Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics since May 2015. Joined UAPB family in 2002 as Assistant Professor of Chemistry and rose in the ranks to Associate (2006), tenure (2007) and full professor in 2012. He has prior experiences at Mosoriot Teachers College, Eldoret, Kenya; Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya; Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; University of North Texas for Health Sciences, Fort Worth, Texas and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Research: Directly involved in synthetic of antioxidant complexes that have the ability to alleviate side effects due to chemotherapy and rhabdomyolysis. Some of the complexes synthesized in lab have shown ability to prevent hair loss (Alopecia) caused by anti-cancer drugs. Also, these complexes when used in combination with market products have prolonged the shelf life of the organ allografts. The lab is also involved in synthesis of nanostructure-assisted photo-electrochemical water splitting for hydrogen and oxygen production with direct applicability with the NASA space mission. The new frontier is synthesizing of cellulose nano-materials from the forest for applications in photonics. These meta-materials are artificial synthesized with the state of the art engineering by reacting cellulose with metals producing the products, which have remarkable properties like optical activity.

Grants and Publications: Attracted over 1.25 million dollars directly for research as PI and more millions of dollars as Co-PI in the institutional grants that assist in instruction and instrumentation. He has published over 15 papers in peer-reviewed journals with international repute.
Miah Adel, PhD.
Space Physics, Astronomy, Climate Change, Water Resources, GDP, and Environmental Sciences
(870) 575-8788 |

Education: Dr. Adel holds a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) Honors degree in Physics with minor in Chemistry and Mathematics from Rajshahi University, Bangladesh. Also, he received a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Physics from the same university. He received the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Louisiana State University (LSU).

Experience: He has been serving the Physics Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) since 1988. Prior to joining UAPB, he taught at the Louisiana State University, the American University of Beirut, and Beirut University College, and Rajshahi University. At UAPB, he earned Associate Professorship in two years and Full Professorship in the next five years.

Research: Dr. Adel is a multidisciplinary researcher. His research projects are spread in planetary space physics, solar-terrestrial relations, satellite data analysis, particle telescopic efficiency, astrology, water resources management, arsenic geochemistry, nano-technology-based water purification devices, climate change, lightning protection, downstream impacts from upstream water piracy, food security, and land use and land cover changes.

Grants and Publications: His grants totaled almost a million from federal funding agencies, and government and non-government organizations. He published about 60 articles in refereed journals and a few in meetings proceedings. He authored 9 books, and currently works on a few manuscripts. He often writes in the Bengali Weekly Thikana published from New York. He does science for humanity. He is an advisor to a few international organizations dealing with water rights and human rights. He offers expertise-based community services.
Aslam Chowdhury, PhD.
Optics Physics
(870) 575-8777 |

Education: Bachelors of Science (Hons) and Masters of Science - Dacca University, Bangladesh; M.S. - Marquette University; Ph.D. - Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.

Experience: Dr. Chowdury is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics, and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Prior experiences as Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Louisianan State University and Oklahoma State University and Lecturer at University of Dacca, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Research: Dr. Chowdury is nvolved with mentorship of students from physics, chemistry, computer science and mathematics in research and promotion of university activities. He collaborates with faculty at UALR on nanomaterial research, where UAPB students have hands-on experience in growing and fabricating nano-rods. He has developed the information technology minor program which serves UAPB students and Pine Bluff community. He is the first computer science faculty who teaches graduate database using mysql at UAPB.

Grants and Publication: An active researcher and proposal writer with impeccable record in publications. Since joining UAPB he has had many grants which have transformed many students’ lives.
" "Wei Du, PhD.
Si Photonics; Nanotechnology; Semiconductor Optoelectronics
(870) 575-8974 |

Education: Dr. Du holds Bachelor of Science in Physics from Peking University, China, and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Experience: Currently is Research Scientist of Physics with the Department of Chemistry and Physics. He is also faculty affiliate with the Department of Electrical Engineering at University of Arkansas (Fayetteville).

Research: He has wide range of active research projects in the area of: (a) Si Photonics, to develop the discrete device as well as explore the integration solutions. Research ranges from fundamental material growth mechanism study using Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) to high-performance devices development, including light-emitting diode (LED), laser, waveguide and photodetector; (b) Nanotechnology, to develop the nano-scale device to improve the performance such as emission efficiency and lasing threshold; (c) Semiconductor Optoelectronics, focus on III-V active and passive devices in light emission and detection applications.
His current grants related to these fields are from National Science Foundation (NSF), Air Force Office of Scientifics Research (AFOSR), Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP).

Publications: He has authored and co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal papers and conference publications, and many presentations as invited speaker.

" "Seyed Amir Ghetmiri, PhD.
Si Photonics;laser; Semiconductor Optoelectronics
(479) 684-1101 |

Education: Dr. Ghetmiri holds Bachelor of Science in Physics from Shiraz University, Iran, Master of Science in Photonics from Kerman University, Iran, and Ph.D. degree in Microelectronics-Photonics from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, US.

Experience: Currently is Research Scientist of Photonics with the Department of Chemistry and Physics.

Research: He has participated in theoretical and experimental Si-based Infrared Photonic and Optoelectronic research, including (a) Temperature-dependent characterization of group IV germanium-tin (GeSn) and silicon-germanium-tin (SiGeSn) semiconductors; (b) Modeling the band structure of GeSn and SiGeSn quantum well (QW) devices; (c) Investigation on GeSn-based optically pumped lasers; and (d) Optical and electrical characterization of GeSn light emitting diodes (LEDs) for near infrared and mid-infrared wavelength range.
His current grants related to these fields are from National Science Foundation (NSF).

Publications: He has authored and co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal papers and conference publications, and many presentations as invited speaker. For more information regarding the publications, click the link:
" "Peng He, PhD.
Analytical/Bioanalytical Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry
(870) 575-7155 |

Education: Bachelor of Engineering in Applied Chemistry from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China; Master of Science in Polymer Science from The University of Southern Mississippi; Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from North Carolina State University.

Experience: Currently is Assistant Professor in Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Physics at The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He joined the Department of Chemistry and Physics in 2017. Prior to this position, he worked as postdoctoral associate in Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Departments at Cornell University. He also worked as research scientist and project leader to support P&G Chemicals and Fabric & Home Care Business R&D at The Procter & Gamble Company.

Research: His research interests include polymeric materials for biosensors & bioanalytical microsystems, polymeric barcoding, DNA-accelerated radical polymerization, and phospholipid-nanomaterial bioconjugates. He is developing new types of polymeric materials and bioanalytical sensors for early screening and diagnosis of human diseases, health assessment in space, and forensic analysis. In the past, he developed an amplification-by-polymerization approach in DNA biosensing, electrochemical biosensors in microfluidics for rapid molecular diagnostics and battlefield health assessment and treatment, phospholipid-nanomaterial bioconjugates via phospholipid modification and functionalization for a whole series of nanomaterials, and in situ FTIR approach to study polymer conformational change during the thermal degradation. 

Grants and Publications: He has 23 peer-reviewed scientific publications, three patents, and has spoken at numerous conference presentations and invited talks. He has served as the North America Regional Editor of Current Analytical Chemistry journal, been an invited review panelist for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and referee for more than 20 peer-reviewed journals. He also received academic research awards including the 2009 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad and First Place of Richard D. Gilbert Award in Polymer Science at North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society. Click here for more information on Dr. He's research.
Abul Kazi, PhD. 
Organic Chemistry
(870) 575-8979 |

Education: Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) and Master of Science (Organic Chemistry) - Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Ph.D. (Organic Chemistry) - University of Manchester, U.K.

Experience: Currently full Professor of Chemistry at UAPB. He joined UAPB in 2002 as Associate Professor of Chemistry and was promoted to the rank of full Professor in the year 2009. Prior to joining UAPB, he served as Associate Professor of Chemistry at Mississippi Valley State University, Assistant and Associate Professor of Chemistry at Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. He had other experiences as Post-Doctoral fellow at Tohoku University, Japan and California State University-Northridge, California. Had research experiences at the University of Mississippi, Mississippi, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of Arkansas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

Research: His past research involved synthesis of organic and organometallic compounds to study their biological activities as radioprotective agents. Computational chemistry of transition metal complexes and copper catalyzed organic reactions. Synthesis of Cobalt complexes of amide based ligands as oxygen reduction catalysts for fuel cell applications. His current research interest is directed towards hydrothermal and solvothermal synthesis of metal oxide and metal sulfide nanostructures for fuel cell and solar cell applications. 

Grants and Publications: Received grants of over $100,000 as PI for research and over 500 thousand dollars as Co-PI. Has published over 17 papers in highly acclaimed peer reviewed professional journals of chemistry.
Mansour Mortazavi, PhD.
Quantum Optics - Experimental and Theoretical
(870) 575-8789 |

Education: Dr. Mortazavi holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Minor in Mathematics from University of Tabriz, Iran, and Ph.D. degree in Physics from University of Arkansas.

Experience: Dr. Mortavi is currently Professor of Physics with the Department of Chemistry and Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and director of the Lasers and Nano-Science Laboratories. He is also faculty affiliate at the Nano-Science and Engineering Institute (, Microelectronics and Photonics, a graduate program (, and research projects with the Department of Electrical Engineering at University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Research: He has wide range of active research projects in the area of: (a) semiconductor research, to develop in new materials to create lasers with specific wavelength, and Infra-Red detectors for medical fields and optical communications. These materials use combinations of elements using Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE), and characterization of these materials using photo-luminescence, electro-luminescence, atomic Force, Scanning Tunneling and scanning Electron Microscope techniques to name a few. (b) Computational Science in the area of photon statistics in lasers with Saturable Absorbers that are very interesting because in this region the system show bistability which is important in optical computing, and we can observe this phenomena using photon-counting techniques. (c) To study biological tissue using Raman Microscope, mapping techniques, and laser tweezers to study a single cell. His current funded grants related to these fields are from National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Air Force Office of Scientifics Research (AFOSR). He is also Co-PI of several other major grants related to Mathematics and Computational Sciences.

Grants and Publications: He currently has about $1.5 million in active grants as Principle Investigator, and several millions as Co-PI or other previous grants. He has numerous publications in some of the most prestigious journals such as Science, Science News, Physical Review Letters, Physical Reviews, and many presentations and as invited speaker.

Richard Walker, PhD.
Biochemistry and Physical Chemistry
(870) 575-8894 |

Education: Dr. Walker received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Southern California, and his Ph.D. degree in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of California at San Francisco. He also did postdoctoral research at Oregon State University and the University of Washington.

Experience: Dr. Walker joined the UAPB chemistry faculty in 1984 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1986 and Full Professor in 1995. He served as Interim Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics from 2007 to 2009. Dr. Walker has served on many University committees. He served as chair of the Graduate Council from 2009 to 2011. He currently serves as chair of UAPB’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Research: Dr. Walker’s research interests currently focus on the synthesis and evaluation of chemical compounds which may be used to minimize the damaging side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These compounds may also be of use to NASA for protecting astronauts from the harmful events of space radiation.

Grants and Publications: Dr. Walker has received grants from the National Institutes of Health and NASA-EPSCoR totaling nearly one million dollars. He also serves or has served as a co-investigator on several grants. He currently holds a patent entitled “Composition and Methods of Cytoprotection”. He has also authored or co-authored over 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals relating to his work.
Ryan Watley, PhD.
Organic Chemistry
(870) 575-8759 |

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry - University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ; Doctorate of Philosophy in Chemistry - University of Oklahoma, bridge to doctorate fellow.

Experience: Dr. Watley joined the Department of Chemistry and Physics in 2015 as an Assistant Professor. Prior to, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. He has served as an Adjunct faculty at Rose State College and other experiences at the University of North Texas, The University of South Florida, and The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Research: Concerns identifying developmental pathways that promote mammalian disease and design of therapeutic modalities and agents to prevent progression. The emergence of concomitant photodynamic detection and therapy has been currently approved for the treatment of psoriasis, age related macular degeneration, and cancer. The design of novel near infrared photosensitizers (light sensitive drugs) with reactive functional groups enables these agents to be conjugated to disease specific target vectors for the detection, treatment, and ultimate expansion of this underutilized regimen.

Grants and Publication: Dr. Watley has published in two peer-reviewed journals as well as obtained a patent staking claim to the design of dual functioning BODIPY photosensitizers.
Shaheen Khan, BSc.
General Chemistry, Physical Science and Organic Chemistry
(870) 575-8048 |

Education: Bachelor of Science - Lane College, Jackson, TN; Bachelor of Education from Dhaka, Bangladesh

Experience: General Chemistry lab instructor, work with STEM summer academy students
Janeè Adams, MEd.
Mathematics and Physical Sciences
(870) 575-7156 |

Education:  Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) - University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Master of Education (Mathematical Sciences) - Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi.

Experience: Currently an Instructor of Physical Science and Mathematics. She joined UAPB family in 2010 as an Instructor and has been instrumental in recruitment of students at departmental level and the university.
Kimberly Ross, BA.
Administrative Specialist III
(870) 575-7154 |

Education: Bachelor of Arts from University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Experience: Ms. Ross was employed by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2001 (School of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Dean) and joined to the Chemistry and Physics Department in 2003.

Department of Chemistry and Physics

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff | 1200 N. University Drive, Mail Slot 4941 | Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71603
Dr. Grant Wangila, Interim Chairperson | (870) 575-8382 |