Faisal Ibrahim

Assistant Professor
Natural Sciences

Faisal Ibrahim is originally from Ghana, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Chemistry with first class honors from the University for Development Studies. Faisal later moved to the US in 2014 for graduate studies. He received his master’s degree in chemistry from both East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee (2016), and University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky(2019). He completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Louisville (2021). His Ph.D. dissertation was on Catalysis in aqueous media and Lipid Nanoparticle-based siRNA delivery.

Faisal was a visiting fellow at the RNA Structure & Design Section of the RNA Biology Laboratory at the National Cancer Institutes of the National Institutes of Health. In 2021, he moved to the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy for his Postdoctoral Research where he worked on Lipid Nanoparticle formulation development and LNP-based siRNA delivery of therapeutic agents to target cells.

Faisal has expertise in the field of Chemistry and specifically in the area of Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Sustainable Nano-catalysis (focusing on environmentally friendly synthetic methodology). His research targets important and fundamental questions in the field of nano-catalysis and Biomedical sciences and led to the development of a novel nonionic surfactant (PS-750-M) derived from proline, lauric acid, and mPEG to mimic hazardous amidic and ethereal solvents like DMF and siRNA delivery system. PS-750-M has been commercialized by Sigma-Aldrich with catalog # 911178 and 911151. https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/US/en/product/aldrich/911151.

His siRNA delivery system uses cationic lipids as a delivery agent. In this work, Faisal demonstrated the use of a uniquely designed cationic lipid (vector) to deliver siRNA into human lung cancer cells which subsequently turns down the expression of the encoded protein.

Courses Taught
  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Organic Chemistry Lab I
  • Postdoc - University of Connecticut - (Pharmaceutical Sciences), 2021-2023
  • (Pre)postdoc - National Cancer Institutes - National Institutes of Health, 2020-2021
  • PhD - University of Louisville - (Organic Chemistry), 2021
  • MS - University of Louisville - (Organic Chemistry), 2019
  • MS - East Tennessee State University - (Organic Chemistry), 2016
  • BSc - University for Development Studies, Ghana - (Applied Chemistry), 2009
Student/College Service
  • Organic Chemistry Fellow, Social and Environment Justice Institute
Research Interests
  • Lipids as non-viral vectors for gene therapy
  • LNP-based siRNA/mRNA delivery systems
  • LNP formulation development
  • Nano-catalysis and Green Chemistry
  • Synthetic methodology
  1. Sharma, S.; Parmar, P.; Ibrahim, F.; Clark, A. H.; Nachtegaal, N.; Jasinski, J. B.; Gallou, F.; Kozlowski, P. M.; Handa, S. Sustainable and Bench-Stable Photoactive Aqueous Nanoaggregates of Cu(II) for ppm Level Cu(I) Catalysis in Water. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2022, 32, 2204459 (IF 18.8). DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202204459.
  2. Puri, A.; Ibrahim, F.; Beringhs, A. O.; Isemann, C.; Zakrevsky, P.; Whittenburg, A.; Hargrove, D.; Kanai, T.; Dillard, R. S.; de Val, N.; Nantz, M. H.; Lu, X.; Shapiro, B. A. Stealth oxime ether lipid vesicles promote delivery of functional DsiRNA in human lung cancer A549 tumor bearing mouse xenografts. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, 2022, 44, 102572.
  3. Handa, S.; Ibrahim, F.; Ansari, T.; Gallou, F. π-Allylpalladium Species in Micelles of FI-750-M for Sustainable and General Suzuki-Miyaura Couplings of Unactivated Quinoline Systems in Water. ChemCatChem, 2018, 19, 4229–4233. [Featured as a cover article —front cover, FI-750-M is also commercialized on Sigma].
  4. Smith, J. D.; Ansari, T. A.; Andersson, M. A.; Dongari, Y.; Ibrahim, F.; Liang, S.; Hammond, G.B.; Gallou, F.; Handa, S. Micelle-enabled Clean and Selective Sulfonylation of Polyfluoroarenes in Water Under Mild Conditions. Green Chemistry, 2018, 20, 1784-1790. [Featured as a cover article — back cover].
  5. Brals, J.; Smith, J. D.; Ibrahim, F.; Gallou, F.; Handa, S. Micelle-Enabled Palladium Catalysis for Convenient sp2-sp3 Coupling of Nitroalkanes with Aryl Bromides in Water Under Mild Conditions. ACS Catalysis, 2017, 7, 7245–7250.
  6. Mei, H.; Ibrahim, F. Two New Diazonium Bis(Perfluoroalkyl)arylsulfonyl Imide Zwitterionic Monomers from Perfluoro(3-oxa-4-pentene)sulfonyl Fluoride for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, 2017, 199, 46–51.
  7. Mei, H.; McCloud, R.; Ibrahim, F.; Nworie, C.; Musket, A. Alkaline Aqueous Solution Promoted Debromination of 1,2-Dibromo-fluorocarbons – A Convenient Method for Electron Deficient Perfluorovinyl Ethers. Tetrahedron Letters, 2017, 58, 2026–2030.
Office Hours

Mondays and Wednesdays: 1:30-3:30 pm or by appointment