Chemistry at Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Alexander Scheeline

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Professor Alexander Scheeline received his B.S. degree from Michigan State University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1978. He joined the faculty at Illinois in 1981. His research interests are in nonlinear dynamics, oscillating reactions, and oxidative stress.


Real-world systems are characterized by their composition and by their dynamical interactions. We characterize, model, and extend nonlinear systems in the realms of chemical biology and materials.

Oscillatory Enzyme Kinetics. Our first area of research is oscillatory oxido-reductive biochemistry as catalyzed by peroxidases. We have developed electrochemical sensors for use with an array of spectrophotometric, magnetic resonance, and chromatographic instruments. We elucidated the chemical details of the NADH/O2 oscillatory reaction as catalyzed by horseradish peroxidase and now study the dynamics of reactions catalyzed by mammalian myeloperoxidase. We pursue methods of modulating enzyme activity to optimize the bioactivity of reaction cofactors.

Enzyme Kinetics in Microliter Volumes. We have begun to study enzyme kinetics in microliter drops. Ultrasound ensures rapid mixing of the drop, and the absence of wall effects promises to simplify both the complexity of the observed chemistry and the analysis of rate data.

Sensor Arrays for Chemical Kinetics. Efficient study of chemical kinetics requires that many species simultaneously be identified and quantified. Development of multicomponent sensors with rapid response, drift compensation, and some ability to sense when novel interferences are occurring requires microfabriction together with electronics integration. Complementing electrochemical and optical sensors are more powerful than either in isolation. A system on which we are concentrating is the oxidative stress on the inner ear correlated with noise-induced hearing loss. We collaborate with biophysicists and audiological biochemists in the study of these temporally and structurally complicated systems.

Flame Diagnostics. Finally, we continue to work on flame diagnostics, closely related to the plasma diagnostics that were the major focus of our group prior to 1994. Our off-campus collaborators use multi-kilowatt combustors to remove metal ions from waste streams.


C. R. Field and A. Scheeline. "Design and implementation of an efficient acoustically levitated drop reactor for in stillo measurements," Rev. Sci. Instrum., 78 125102-125110 (2007).

D. D. Lewis, M. L. Ruane, and A. Scheeline, "Biofilm Effects on the Peroxidase-oxidase Reaction," J. Phys. Chem. B, 110, 8100-8104 (2006).


  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Special Grant in the Chemical Sciences
  • Fellow, Society for Applied Spectroscopy
  • Society for Applied Spectroscopy William F. Meggars Award
  • ACS Newsmaker Award



Photo of Alexander Scheeline