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Mark Schoenfisch

Distinguished Professor Adjunct Professor Distinguished Professor

Mark Schoenfisch, Ph.D.

Peter A. Ornstein Distinguished Professor, UNC Department of Chemistry

Joint Professor, Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics


(919) 843-8714
Department Of Chemistry, Caudill 318, CB# 3290, , NC, 27599

Our research is focused on three main areas: 1) designing macromolecular nitric oxide release vehicles as novel therapeutics; 2) improving the analytical performance of implantable continuous glucose monitoring devices for diabetes management; 3) designing nitric oxide sensors that allow real-time detection in vivo and in biological media. In the Schoenfisch Lab, we work at the interface of chemistry, pharmaceutical science, biomedical engineering, and biology. The types of multi-disciplinary research opportunities that are available include the development of novel therapeutics to treat lung infections and skin cancers; sensors that function reliably and continuously, real time, to facilitate disease management; microelectrode and microfluidic sensor design and fabrication for clinical, point-of-care, and diagnostic/prognostic applications; and, new macromolecular scaffolds that manipulate biology and physiology.

Lab Website

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Recent Publications

  1. Yang, F. Teles, W. Gong, S.A. Dua, L. Martin, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Antibacterial Action of Nitric Oxide-Releasing Hyperbranched Polymers Against Ex Vivo Dental Biofilms,” Dental Mater. 2020, in press.
  2. R. Rouillard, D.B. Hill, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Antibiofilm and Mucolytic Action of Nitric Oxide Delivered as a Gas or Via Macromolecular Donor Using in Vitro and Ex Vivo Models,” J. Cystic Fibr. 2020, in press.
  3. R. Hall, K.R. Rouillard, D.J. Suchyta, M.D. Brown, M.J.R. Ahonen, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Mode of Nitric Oxide Delivery Affects Antibacterial Action,” ACS Biomat. Sci. & Eng. 2020, 6, 433-441.
  4. R. Hall, S.E. Maloney, H. Jin, J.B. Taylor, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Nitric Oxide Diffusion Through Cystic Fibrosis-Relevant Media and Lung Tissue,” RSC Advances 2019, 68, 40176-40183.
  5. J. Malone-Povolny, E.P. Merricks, L.E. Wimsey, T.C. Nichols, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Long-term Accurate Continuous Glucose Biosensors via Extended Nitric-Oxide Release,” ACS Sensors 2019, 4, 3257-3264.
  6. D. Brown and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Electrochemical Nitric Oxide Sensors: Principles of Design and Characterization,” Chem. Rev. 2019, 119, 11551-11575.
  7. Yang, L. Jing, Y. Jiao, L. Wang, J.T. Marchesan, S.N. Offenbacher, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “In Vivo Antibacterial Efficacy of Nitric Oxide-Releasing Hyperbranched Polymers against Porphyromonas gingivalis,” Mol. Pharmaceutics 2019, 16, 9, 4017-4023.
  8. J.R. Ahonen, D.B. Hill, and M.H. Schoenfisch “Nitric Oxide-Releasing Alginates as Mucolytic Agents,” ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 2019, 5, 3409-3418.
  9. D. Brown and M.H. Schoenfisch, “A Selective and Sensocompatible Electrochemical Nitric Oxide Sensor with a Bilaminar Design,” ACS Sensors 2019, 4, 1766-1773.
  10. J.R. Ahonen, J.M. Dorrier, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Antibiofilm Efficacy of Nitric Oxide-Releasing Alginates against Cystic Fibrosis Bacterial Pathogens,” ACS Infect. Dis. 2019, 5, 1327-1335.
  11. J. Malone-Povolny, S.E. Maloney, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Nitric Oxide Therapy for Diabetic Wound Healing,” Adv. Healthcare Mater. 2019, 1801210, 1-18.
  12. J. Malone-Povolny and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Extended Nitric Oxide-Releasing Polyurethanes via S-Nitrosothiol-Modified Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles,” ACS Appl. Mater. & Interfaces 2019, 11, 12216-12223.
  13. Paula, C.A. Beltrame, D.A. Suchyta, I.A. Alraheam, A. Mohammed, M.H. Schoenfisch, R. Walter, I. Almeida, L.C. Souza, and P. A. Miguez, “Effect of Phosphorylated Chitosan on Dentin Erosion: An In Vitro Study,” Caries Res. 2018, 52, 378-386.
  14. Zhang, K.P.R. Crizer, M.H. Schoenfisch, D.B. Hill, and G. Didier, “Fluid Heterogeneity Detection Based on the Asymptotic Distribution of the Time-Averaged Mean Squared Displacement in Single Particle Tracking Experiments,” J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 2018, 51, 1-41. PMC6486181.
  15. D. Brown, J.R. Hall, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “A Direct and Selective Electrochemical Hydrogen Sulfide Sensor,” Anal. Chim. Acta 2019, 1045, 67-76. PMC6641862.
  16. Jin, L. Yang, M.J.R. Ahonen, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Nitric Oxide-Releasing Cyclodextrins,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 14178-14184.
  17. Yang and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Nitric Oxide-Releasing Hyperbranched Polyaminoglycosides for Antibacterial Therapy,” ACS Applied Bio Mater. 2018, 1, 1066-1073.
  18. Yang, M.J.R. Ahonen, E.S. Feura, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Nitric Oxide-Releasing Macromolecular Scaffolds for Antibacterial Applications,” Adv. Healthcare Mat. 2018, 1800155, 1-17. PMC6159924.
  19. Marchesan, M.S. Girnary, L. Jing, M.Z. Miao, S. Zhang, L. Sun, T. Morelli, N. Inohara, M.H. Schoenfisch, S. Offenbacher, and Y. Jiao, “An Experimental Murine Model to Study Periodontitis,” Nature Methods 2018, 13, 2247-2267.
  20. Dunn, L. Kartchner, K. Gast, M. Sessions, R. Hunter, L. Thurlow, A. Richardson, M. Schoenfisch, B. Cairns, and R. Maile, “Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Regulates a Hyperresponsive State in Pulmonary Neutrophils Late after Burn Injury,” J. Leukoc Biol. 2018, 103, 909-918. PMC6181446.
  21. Yang, X. Wang, D.J. Suchyta, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Antibacterial Activity of Nitric Oxide-Releasing Hyperbranched Polyamidoamines,” Bioconjugate Chem. 2018, 29, 35-43.
  22. R. Hall and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Direct Electrochemical Sensing of Hydrogen Sulfide without Sulfur Poisoning,” Anal. Chem. 2018, 90, 5194-5200.
  23. D. Brown and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Catalytic Selectivity of Metallophthalocyanines for Electrochemical Nitric Oxide Sensing,” Electrochimica Acta 2018, 273, 98-104. PMC6366661.
  24. J.R. Ahonen, D.J. Suchyta, H. Zhu, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Nitric Oxide-Releasing Alginates,” Biomacromolecules 2018, 19, 1189-1197.
  25. J. Soto, E.P. Merricks, D.A. Bellinger, T.C. Nichols, and M.H. Schoenfisch, “Influence of Diabetes on the Foreign Body Response to Nitric Oxide-Releasing Implants,” Biomaterials 2018, 157, 76-85. PMC6121707.


Recent Grants

  • “Nitric Oxide-Releasing Dendrimers for the Treatment of Periodontal Disease,” National Institutes of Health (NIDCR R01DE025207), 07/02/2015-04/30/2021 (NCE), $1,578,751. Role: PI.
  • “Role of Diabetes and Nitric Oxide Release Duration on Analytical Performance of In Vivo Glucose Biosensors,” National Institutes of Health (NIDDK R01DK108318), 12/01/2015-11/30/2020 (NCE), $1,905,732. Role: PI.
  • “Synthesis and Characterization of Next Generation Nitric Oxide-Releasing Polymers,” KnowBIO, 01/01/2018-12/31/22, $1,061,831. Role: PI.
  • “Dual Antimicrobial/Mucolytic Therapeutics for Cystic Fibrosis, “Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,” 11/01/2018-10/31/2020, $269,156. Role: PI.

Current Projects

  • Role of diabetes and nitric oxide release duration on analytical performance of in vivo glucose biosensors
  • Nitric oxide-releasing dendrimers for the treatment of periodontal disease
  • Improving the Host Response to Implantable Glucose Sensors via Nitric Oxide Release

2018 UNC Inventor of the Year (Office of Commercialization & Economic Development)
2015 Chapman Family Teaching Award for Distinguished Teaching of Undergraduates
Institute for the Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellowship
2007 John L. Sanders Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Service
2005 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Young Observer Award
2004 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
2002 Eli Lilly and Company Young Investigator Award
2001 Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh Young Investigator Award
1998 National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • 1992 -1997: Ph.D. in Chemistry at University of Arizona
  • 1988-1992: B.A. in Chemistry and Germanic Languages & Literature at University of Kansas