Kuppuswamy Arumugam, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Oelman Hall 408, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435-0001


Swamy received his Ph.D from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, followed with a postdoctoral stint at The University of Texas at Austin. Before moving to Wright State he worked at St. Bonaventure University as an Assistant Professor. His research interests lie in the interface between organometallic chemistry, catalysis, material sciences and biology. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, biking, running, hiking, and being outdoors.

Education History

Master of Science – Pondicherry University

Doctorate of Philosophy in Chemistry – Tulane University

Post Doctoral Research Associate – Department of Chemistry, The University of Texas Austin

Current Reserch Interests/Projects

Our research interests lie in the interface between organometallic chemistry, materials sciences, and biology. Our studies involve the synthesis of several organometallic complexes/polymers that posses interesting catalytic, photophysical and anti-cancer properties.

1) An Electrochemical Approach to Control the Ring size of Cyclic Polyester

Cyclic polyesters have attracted attention as potential drug delivery vectors; however, in order to be viable for biomedical applications, cyclic polyesters with low PDIs and enhanced molecular weight control are necessary. The zwitterionic polymerizations for preparation of cyclic polyesters using N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) are promising; they deliver a higher degree of control over molecular weight distributions. However, the key concerns requiring attention are the mode of catalyst introduction and recovery, controlled reactivity, and the inability to achieve precision molecular architecture. Based on a new principle, an integrated electrochemical approach coupled with zwitterionic polymerizations will be used to address the above mentioned issues.

2) Cytotoxicity of Redox Active N-Heterocyclic Carbene Annulated Gold Complexes

Several (NHC)AuCl complexes have been reported for anticancer activity. They exploit either metal-based reactivity with the selenoenzyme Thioredoxin Reductase (TrxR) and/or mitochondrial swelling induced by their delocalized lipophilic cation (DLC) behavior to show anticancer effects. In certain cases, these complexes have proven to be more cytotoxic than cisplatin in a human urothelial cancer cell line, a prostate carcinoma cell line, and a breast carcinoma cell line. We investigate the intrinsic antineoplastic properties of redox active ligands with the known anticancer effects of NHC-gold complexes.

3) Functional Polymeric Hybrid Materials

Macromolecules containing metal centers are emerging as an interesting class of molecules that are targeted for potential applications such as emissive materials. The key to developing such metallopolymers hinges on the development of new tunable molecular scaffolds (linkers) that can bridge a variety of transition metals. A modular approach for synthesis of tunable molecular scaffolds incorporating NHC-dithiolene functionalities will be investigated. 


Department of Chemistry, 408 Oelman Hall

Wright State University

3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH, 45435


T:937-775-4661; F:937-775-2717


Selected Publications:

1) Detailed Structural and Spectroscopic Elucidation of Ferrocenium Coupled N-heterocyclic Carbene Gold(I) Complexes Reinhard, G., Selvakumar, J., Prybil, Arambula, J. F., and Arumugam, K.*, Dalton Trans., (accepted)

2) Zn Coordination and the Nature of the Halide Ancillary Ligand Dramatically Influences the Photophysical Properties of 2,3-di(pyridin-2-yl)benzo[g]quinoxaline, Lauren Loftus, Emma C. Olsen, David J. Stewart, Alexis T. Phillips, Arumugam, K., Albert Fratini, Scott T. Iacono, Thomas M. Cooper, Joy E. Haley, and Tod A. Grusenmeyer, Inorg. Chem., 2021, 60, 13177-13192.

3)  An Electrochemically Controlled Release of N-heterocyclic carbene Using Iron Bis(dithiolene) N-heterocyclic Carbene Adducts, Selvakumar, J., Simpson, S. M., Zurek, E., and Arumugam, K.* Inorg. Chem. Front., 2021, 8, 59-71.

4) Rationally Designed Redox-Active Au (I) N-Heterocyclic Carbene: An Immunogenic Cell Death Inducer S Sen, S Hufnagel, EY Maier, I Aguilar, J Selvakumar, JE DeVore,  VM Lynch, Arumugam, K.,*, Z Cui, JL Sessler, J  F Arambula, J. Am Chem. Soc., 2020, 142 (49), 20536-20541.

5) Expanding the biological utility of bis-NHC gold(I) complexes through post synthetic carbamate conjugation, Sajal, S., Li, Y., Lynch, V., Arumugam, K., Sessler, J. L., and Arambula J. F., Chem. Comm., 2019, 55, 10627-10630

6) Dual Targeting of the Cancer Antioxidant Network with Naphthoquinone Fused Gold(I) N-heterocyclic Carbene Complexes” McCal R., Miles M., Kocerha, J., Burney, B., Patel, Z., Sidoran, K. J., Grossie, D. A., Sessler, J. L., Arumugam, K.,* and Arambula J. F.,* Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 5918-5929. (Hot article of the month and featured as inside cover art)

7) Targeting Antioxidant Pathways with Ferrocenylated N-Heterocyclic Carbene Supported Gold(I) Complexes in A549 Lung Cancer Cells, Arambula, J.; McCall, R., Sidoran, K., Bielawski, C. W.; Sessler, J., Arumugam., K.* Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 1245-1256






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