Zhaohua Dai

Zhaohua Dai

Department Chairperson
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry/Physical Sciences NY
One Pace Plaza


Faculty Bio

Zhaohua Dai obtained his B.S. in 1996 from Wuhan University, the namesake of the capital city of his home province of Hubei in central China. After earning his MS in 1999 from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, he attended New York University, where he received his PhD in chemistry in 2004. After a postdoctoral stint with Professor David S. Lawrence at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he joined Pace University as an assistant professor in January 2006. He was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2010 and to professor in 2013. His research interests include the development of sensing systems for analytes that are of environmental, biological, and forensic importance.

Awards and Honors

  • Yilida Corporation, Hong Kong, 1997, Yilida Fellowship
  • Wuhan University, 1996, Outstanding Graduate
  • Wang and Luo Family through Wuhan University, 1995, Wang and Luo Fellowship
  • Huikai Corporation through Wuhan University, 1994, Huikai Fellowship
  • Wuhan University, 1993, Wuhan University Fellowship

Licensures and Certificates

  • Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Controlled Substance License
  • NYS Department of Health, New York State Controlled Substance License


PhD, New York University, New York, 2004

MS, New York University, New York, 2001

MS, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 1999

BS, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China, 1996

Research and Creative Works

Research Interest

Fluorescent sensors for metal ions and enzyme activities Chirality

Grants, Sponsored Research and Contracts

Raman spectroscopy as a teaching tool in the Forensic Science and Chemistry courses.
Mojica, E. & Dai, Z. Verizon Thinkfinity Foundation through Pace Provost's Office, Pace University. Funded.

Courses Taught

Past Courses

BMB 710: Research I
BMB 711: Research II
CHE 111: General Chemistry I
CHE 112: General Chemistry II
CHE 112: General Chemistry II (Lab)
CHE 112: General Chemistry II (Lecture)
CHE 213: Foundations of Organic Chem
CHE 223: Organic Chemistry I
CHE 223: Organic Chemistry I (Lab)
CHE 223: Organic Chemistry I (Lecture)
CHE 223: Organic Chemistry I Recitation
CHE 224: Organic Chemistry II
CHE 224: Organic Chemistry II (Lab)
CHE 224: Organic Chemistry II (Lecture)
CHE 224: Orgnc Chmstry II Recitation
CHE 330: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 331: Instrumental Analysis
CHE 392: Chemistry Seminar I
CHE 395: Independent Study in Chemistry
CHE 480: Research in Chemistry
CHE 492: Chemistry Seminar II
ENS 622: Quantitative Methods in Env Sc
FOR 502: Analytical Chem & Instrumental
FOR 502: Quntttve & Instrmntl Analysis
FOR 615: Forensic Separations Chemistry
FOR 615: Separations Chemistry
FOR 620: Analytical Spectroscopy
FOR 621: Internship
FOR 699: Forensic Science Seminar
FOR 798: Research Mthd in Forensic Sci
FOR 798: Thesis I
FOR 799: Thesis
FOR 799: Thesis II
SCI 101: The Planet Earth

Publications and Presentations


Chiroptical Sensors
Dai, Z., Canary, J., Duan, X., , . & , . Elsevier.

Multimode Selective Detection of Mercury by Chiroptical Fluorescent Sensors Based on Methionine/Cysteine
Carney, P., Lopez, S., Mickley, A., Grinberg, K., Zhang, W. & Dai, Z. (2011). Chirality/Wiley. Vol 23 , pages 916-920.

Syntheses of Chiroptical Fluorescent Ligands for the Detection of Mercury
Mickley, A., Carney, P., Isaacman, M., Tan, C. & Dai, Z. (2011). Asian Journal of Chemistry. Vol 23 (Issue 7) , pages 2852-2856.

Exploring the Scope of Redox-Triggered Chiroptical Switches: Syntheses, X-Ray Structures and Circular Dichroism of Cobalt and Nickel Complexes of N, N-Bis(arylmethyl)methionine Derivatives
Das, D., Dai, Z., Holmes, A. E. & Canary, J. W. (2008). Chirality/Wiley. Vol 20 , pages 585-591.

Rigidified Tripodal Chiral Ligands in the Asymmetric Recognition of Amino Compounds
Dai, Z., Xu, X. & Canary, J. W. (2005). Chirality. Vol 17 , pages S227-233.

Professional Contributions and Service

Intellectual Property

Patent: Chiral piperidine and quinulclidine ligands [Non-Provisional] , United States

Professional Memberships

  • The American Academy of Forensic Science
  • The American Chemical Society

Professional Service

CUNY Research Fund [Reviewer, Grant Proposal]
MDPI [Reviewer, Journal Article]
New York University Ph.D Thesis Defense Committee [Committee Member]
Petroleum Research Fund [Reviewer, Grant Proposal]
Royal Society of Chemistry Journals [Reviewer, Journal Article]