Rita Upmacis

Rita Upmacis

Associate Professor
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry and Physical Sciences


Faculty Bio

Dr. Upmacis obtained both her BSc and PhD degrees in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, UK. She was a postdoctoral fellow in Bio-inorganic Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, and performed research at Rohm and Haas Company (Philadelphia) and Weill Cornell Medical College (New York) before coming to Pace University in 2010.

Awards and Honors

  • Royal Society of Chemistry, 2014, Elected to Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
  • Dyson College, 2014, Inducted as Dyson Fellow in the Society of Fellows
  • Provost's Office, 2014, Provost's Award (2nd Annual Research Day)

Research and Creative Works

Research Interest

Dr. Upmacis’ research focuses on investigating factors that lead to oxidative and nitrative stress under conditions of inflammation during disease states and also infections. Oxidative and nitrative stress occurs when there is an overproduction of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that can act together to cause toxic effects in cells and contribute to inflammation. Recent research has examined the products formed when certain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in fish oils, scavenge oxygen. In addition, the effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their oxidized products on parasite survival are under investigation.

Grants, Sponsored Research and Contracts

Calcium and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease: Acquisition of a Calcium Ion Electrode
Upmacis, R. K. Scholarly Research, Pace University, $1,495.00. Funded.

An Undergraduate Green Chemistry Course & Videotaping Experiments in an Analytical Chemistry Course
Upmacis, R. K. Kenan Fund for Faculty Development, Pace University, $1,000.00. Funded.

Gender-Specific Prostaglandin Production
Upmacis, R. K. Dyson College 2014 Faculty Summer Research Grant, Pace University, $1,000.00. Funded.

Interactive whiteboards and computerized assistance in Chemistry.
Mojica, E., Upmacis, R. K. & Karaalioglu, C. Verizon Thinkfinity Foundation through Pace Provost's Office, Pace University, $11,647.00. Funded.

Courses Taught

Past Courses

BIO 480: Research in Biology
BIO 491: Internship in Biology
BIO 492: Internship in Biology II
BMB 710: Research I
BMB 711: Research II
CHE 111: Chemistry I Discussion Group
CHE 111: General Chemistry I
CHE 111: General Chemistry I (Lecture)
CHE 112: General Chemistry II
CHE 112: General Chemistry II (Lab)
CHE 112: General Chemistry II (Lecture)
CHE 112: General Chemistry II- Dis Grp
CHE 221: Analytical Mthds & Techniques
CHE 310: Green Chemistry
CHE 330: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 480: Research in Chemistry
UNV 101: First-Year Smnr Unvrsty Cmmnty

Publications and Presentations


Teaching Green Chemistry principles to undergraduate students.
Rozov, M., Brescia, T., Valdez, L. & Upmacis, R. K. Athens Journal of Sciences.

Professional Contributions and Service

Professional Memberships

  • American Society for Microbiologists [Member]
  • American Society for Inverstigative Pathology [Member]
  • North American Vascular Biology Organization [Member]
  • American Chemical Society [Member]
  • Royal Society of Chemistry [FRSC]