Robert Barrows

Robert D. Barrows

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics 



  • Organic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry Lab
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry


Dr. Barrows’ interests broadly include synthetic organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry. He designs compounds with predicted biological activity, produces them synthetically, then tests them for potency and other drug-like characteristics. Currently, he is interested in improving the potency and in vivo metabolism of therapeutics by developing novel bioisosteres for problematic structural motifs.


  • BS, Montclair State University
  • PhD, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Academic Profile

Dr. Barrows earned his BS at Montclair State University where he worked under Prof. David Konas on the synthesis of novel substrates for MtIGP synthase, an enzyme unique to mycobacterium tuberculosis. Afterward, he started his graduate career at Rutgers, New Brunswick in the lab of Prof. Spencer Knapp. While there, he designed and synthesized compounds potent against plasmodium falciparum, a parasite responsible for most Malaria deaths worldwide. After receiving his doctorate, he moved to Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Matthew Shair. His research in Cambridge involved the development of novel inhibitors of enzymatic oncology targets.

At the conclusion of his postdoc, Dr. Barrows began his independent career at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he, and his undergraduate mentees, continue to design and synthesize drug-like compounds. His current focus is the development of novel bioisosteres, which are functionalities designed to replace problematic groups within therapeutics and other biologically active structures.

For a list of publications by Dr. Barrows in the field of organic and medicinal chemistry, follow the link:

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