• Ryan Walvoord headshot

Ryan R. Walvoord

Dr. Ryan Walvoord hails from the small town of Williamson, NY and received a B.S. in chemistry from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  In 2014, he earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Dr. Marisa Kozlowski, after which he left the northeast for the sunny campus of the University of California, Berkeley.  While at UC Berkeley, Dr. Walvoord conducted postdoctoral research in the area of chemical sensor design in the group of Dr. Chris Chang and taught undergraduate organic chemistry.  He joined the Ursinus faculty in 2016. Interests outside of teaching and research include distance running, rock climbing, and rooting for the Bills.

Dr. Walvoord’s research interests involve applying organic synthesis to better access and design fluorescent molecules.  Particular goals include developing new methods for creating useful fluorophore scaffolds and designing new chemical tools for application in environmental detection and biological imaging.  Students interested in standard organic synthetic techniques, small molecule structural characterization, analysis of photophysical properties, or simply wanting to learn more about organic research are encouraged to contact Dr. Walvoord.




B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania


  • Organic Chemistry I (CHEM-207 and 207L)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM-208 and 208L)
  • Synthesis (CHEM-340)
  • Physical Organic Chemistry (CHEM-340)
  • Rhetoric and Responsibilities of the Modern Scientist (CHEM-202W)
  • Common Intellectual Experience (CIE-100)
  • Advanced Organic Chemistry (CHEM-408W)

Research Interests

Synthetic Modification of Fluorophores
Chemical Sensors

Recent Work

(* Denotes undergraduate coauthor)

Lippe, D. S.*; Elghawy, O.*; Zucker, A. M.*; Yanagawa, E. S. K.*; Mathews, E.*; Ahmed, Y. G.*; D’Elia, P. N.*; Bimson, S.*; Walvoord, R. R. Synthesis of 7-Aminocoumarins from 7-Hydroxycoumarins via Amide Smiles Rearrangement ACS Omega, 2022, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.2c04653. (link)

Walvoord, R. R.; Schneider, M. R.; Michel, B. W. Fluorescent Probes for Intracellular Carbon Monoxide Detection. In Carbon Monoxide in Drug Discovery: Basics, Pharmacology, and Therapeutic Potential; Wang, B.; Otterbein, L., Eds.; John Wiley and Sons, 2022; pp. 321-344. (link)

Morstein, J.; Höfler, D.; Ueno, K.; Jurss, J. W.; Walvoord, R. R.; Bruemmer, K. J.; Rezgui, S. P.; Brewer, T. F.; Saitoe, M.; Michel, B. W.; Chang, C. J. “Ligand-Directed Approach to Activity-Based Sensing: Developing Palladacycle Fluorescent Probes That Enable Endogenous Carbon Monoxide Detection.” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2020, 142, 15917-15930. (link)

Bruemmer, K. J.; Walvoord, R. R.; Brewer, T. F.; Barragan, G. B.; Wit, N.; Patel, K. J.; Chang, C. J. “A General Aza-Cope Reaction Trigger for Developing a Palette of Fluorescent Probes for Imaging Endogenous Formaldehyde Pools in Living Cells” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 5338-5350. (link)

Walvoord, R. R.; Kozlowski, M. C. Cinchonidinium acetate as a convenient catalyst for the asymmetric synthesis of cis-stilbenediamines Tetrahedron Lett. 2015, 56, 3070-3074. (link)

Walvoord, R. R.; Huynh, P. N. H.; Kozlowski, M. C. Quantification of Electrophilic Activation by Hydrogen-Bonding Organocatalysts J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 16055-16065. (link)

Walvoord, R. R.; Berritt, S.; Kozlowski, M. C. Palladium-Catalyzed Nitromethylation of Aryl Halides: An Orthogonal Formylation Equivalent Org. Lett. 2012, 14, 4086-4089. (link)