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Kenneth K Laali


Chemistry | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Brief Overview Program Description

Research in the Laali laboratory focuses on multifaceted projects that combine synthetic, physical organic (structural/mechanistic and spectroscopic) and theoretical approaches to solving diverse problems in organic chemistry. These projects fit into Green Chemistry, Biological Chemistry, and Materials Chemistry focus areas.

Broad Research Interests and Expertise Areas:


Mechanistic and Synthetic Organic/Organometallic (Heteroatom) Chemistry, dealing mainly with the following areas:

- Ionic Liquids as solvents and catalysts for organic and organometallic transformations with emphasis on the synthetic method development, catalysis, and mechanistic aspects

- Organofluorine Chemistry with emphasis on synthesis of fluorinated building blocks of pharmaceuticals and and drugs and synthesis of SF5-substituted aromatic compounds

- Biological chemistry problems, in particular mechanistic and synthetic aspects related to PAH chemistry and carcinogenesis, modeling biological electrophiles, PAH-chemistry, structure/reactivity relationships, studying the correlation between DNA-Binding and PAH-carbocation stability and structure, Hetero-PAHs, onium salts of Hetero-PAHs as DNA intercalating/anti-cancer agents

Other expertise areas:

- Carbocation and Onium Ion Chemistry/Superacid Chemistry (broadly defined)
- Host-Guest Chemistry (in solution and in the gas phase)
- Organophosphorus and Organosilicon chemistry
- Conducting organic materials mainly based on pi-pi stacking (cyclophane chemistry)
- Synthesis and catalysis of organic reactions (broadly defined)
- Ion-Molecule reactions (by mass spectrometry)
- Theoretically interesting molecules
- Computational chemistry (DFT, GIAO-DFT, NICS, MP2)


Ph.D. - University of Manchester 1977
Bachelor of Science (Honors) - University of Tehran 1973



Delaney Presidential Professor (2014)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry - FRSC (since 1994)

Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship; 2012

ACS Fluorine Division Award for Undergraduate Research in Organofluorine Chemistry; 2009

ACS Fluorine Division Award for Undergraduate Research in Organofluorine Chemistry; 2003

ACS Fluorine Division Award for Undergraduate Research in Organofluorine Chemistry; 1996

Editorial Advisory Board Member “Current Organic Synthesis”

Executive Guest Editor “Modern Organofluorine Chemistry—Synthetic Aspects” for “Advances in Organic Synthesis Series”, Bentham Science Publishers, 2006

Executive Guest Editor “Current Organic Synthesis”; Special Issue (Synthesis in Ionic Liquids), 2007.

Teaching Development Award, UNF, summer 2014

Research and Creativity Award; KSU, summer 1996

Teaching Development Award; KSU, summer 1995

Visiting Professorship, Danish Research Council 1992


Visiting Professorship, Danish Research Council 1997

Swiss National Res. Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship; 1981-1982

French CNRS Postdoctoral Fellowship; 1979-1980

Science Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship; 1977-1979

Chartered Chemist, Royal Society of Chemistry; 1977-Present

UMIST Teaching Assistantship; 1976-1977

Graduated with distinction/honors in Chemistry; 1973


The American Chemical Society; The Organic Division of the ACS; The Fluorine Division of the ACS; The Royal Society of Chemistry; The American Society for Mass Spectrometry

Publications & Presentations

Publications in peer-reviewed international journals: 200

Monographs and books: 4

Book chapters: 15

Invited and contributed research presentations at National, International, and Regional Professional meetings:

over 150

Contact Information

Building 50, Room 3630

(904) 620-1503