Dr. Aruna J. Weerasinghe


  • Ph.D. Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), 2011
  • B.S. University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 2001

Professional Experience: 

  • Lecturer, Appalachian State University, 2013-present
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Duke University, Durham, NC, 2011-2013
    • Advisor: Alvin Crumbliss

Research and Interests: 

Developed new fluorescent sensors based on rhodamine-B derivatives to detect various biologically and environmentally important metal ions (Cr3+, Fe3+, Cu2+, Hg2+ and Ni2+) and G-type nerve agents. In addition, I was involved in the synthesis and characterization of a new class of siderophore analogs bearing a cholic acid backbone. Upon graduating from Western Michigan University, I joined the research group of Dr. Alvin Crumbliss at Duke University to study the importance of synergistic anions in ferric binding protein (FbpA) mediated iron transport in several Gram-negative bacterial strains (M. algicola, B. pertussis, and N. gonorrhoeae). I am interested in designing novel fluorescent sensors to detect toxic compounds such as nerve agents and currently, I am working on novel Eu3+ complexes bearing rhodamine-B derivatives as ligands to detect V-Type nerve agents.

Selected Publications: 

  • Weerasinghe, A. J.; Oyeamalu, A.; Abebe, F. A.; Venter, A.; Sinn, E. Rhodamine based turn-on sensors for Cr3+ and Ni2+ in organic media: detecting CN- via metal displacement approach. J. Fluoresc., 2016, 26, 891-898.
  • Weerasinghe, A. J.; Amin, S. A.; Barker, R.; Othman, T.; Parker Siburt, C. J.; Romano, A. N.; Tisnado, J.; Lambert. L. A.; Huxford, T.; Carrano, C. J.; Crumbliss, A. L. Borate as a synergistic anion for Marinobacter algicola ferric binding protein, FbpA: a role for boron in iron transport in marine life. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 14504-14507.
  • Weerasinghe, A. J.; Schmiesing, C.; Varaganti, S.; Ramakrishna, G.; Sinn. E. Single-and multiphoton turn-on fluorescent Fe3+ sensors based on bis(rhodamine). J. Phys. Chem. B 2010, 114, 9413-9419
Title: Senior Lecturer, Research Mentor
Department: Chemistry

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-8470

Office address
GWH 301