Alex Lippert

Alex Lippert portrait



Office: 303 Fondren Science
Phone: 214-768-2482
Email: alippert[@]
Professional website:

Educational Background

Postdoc, University of California, Berkeley, 2009-2012; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2008; B.S., Caltech, 2003


  • Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University, 2018-present
  • Assistant Professor, Southern Methodist University, 2012-2018
  • Chief Science Officer, Biolum Sciences, LLC, 2016-present

Research Interests

  • Organic
  • Luminescence
  • Bioimaging

The Lippert laboratory designs and synthesizes smart organic molecules that switch their luminescent properties in response to a range of stimuli. The molecules are used to image biological chemistry in living cells using fluorescence microscopy and in living animals using small molecule chemiluminescent imaging. Results in these model organisms can be compared to measurements made in human breath samples using luminescent assays. These photoswitching molecules are also used in a new type of volumetric 3D display developed in our laboratory.

Selected Publications

  1. Ryan, L. S.; Gerberich, J.; Haris, U.; Nguye, D.; Mason, R. P.; Lippert, A. R. “Ratiometric pH Imaging Using a 1,2-Dioxetane Chemiluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer Sensor in Live Animals.” ACS Sens. 2020, Article ASAP.

  2. Bezner, B. J.; Ryan, L. S.; Lippert, A. R. “Reaction-Based Luminescent Probes for Reactive Sulfur, Oxygen, and Nitrogen Species: Analytical Techniques and Recent Progress.” Anal. Chem. 2020, 92, 309-326.

  3. Jones, K. A.; Kentala, K.; Beck, M. W.; An. W.; Lippert, A. R.; Lewis, J. C.; Dickinson, B. C. “Development of a Split Esterase for Protein-Protein Interaction-Dependent Small-Molecule Activation.” ACS Cent. Sci. 2019, 5, 1768–1776.

  4. Ryan, L. S.; Gerberich, J. L.; Cao, J.; An, W.; Jenkins, B. A.; Mason, R. P.; Lippert, A. R. “Kinetics-Based Measurement of Hypoxia in Living Cells and Animals Using an Acetoxymethyl Ester Chemiluminescent Probe.” ACS Sens. 2019, 4, 1391-1398.

  5. An, W.; Ryan, L. S.; Reeves, A. G.; Bruemmer, K. J.; Mouhaffel, M.; Gerberich, J. L.; Winters, A.; Mason, R. P.; Lippert, A. R. “A Chemiluminescent Probe for HNO Quantification and Real-time Monitoring in Living Cells.” Angew. Chem. Int. Edit. 2019, 58, 1361-1365.

  6. Woods, J. J.; Cao, J.; Lippert, A. R.; Wilson, J. J. “Characterization and Biological Activity of a Hydrogen-Sulfide Releasing Red Light-Activated Ruthenium(II) Complex.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 12383-12387.

  7. Cao, J.; An, W.; Reeves, A. G.; Lippert, A. R. “A Chemiluminescent Probe for Cellular Peroxynitrite Using a Self-Immolative Oxidative Decarbonylation Reaction.” Chem. Sci. 2018, 9, 2552-2558.

  8. Ryan, L. S.; Lippert, A. R. "Ultrasensitive Chemiluminescent Detection of Cathepsin B: Insights into the New Frontier of Chemiluminescent Imaging." Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 622–624.

  9. Patel, S. K.; Cao, J.; Lippert, A. R. “A Volumetric Three-Dimensional Digital Light Photoactivatable Dye Display.” Nature Commun. 2017, 15239.

  10. Lippert, A. R. "Unlocking the potential of chemiluminescence imaging." ACS Cent. Sci. 2017, 3, 269–271.

  11. Cao, J.; Campbell, J.; Liu, L.; Mason, R. P.; Lippert, A. R.* "In Vivo Chemiluminescent Imaging Agents for Nitroreductase and Tissue Oxygenation." Anal. Chem. 2016, 88, 4995–5002.

  12. Cao, J.; Lopez, R.; Thacker, J. M.; Moon, J. Y.; Jiang, C.; Morris, S. N. S.; Bauer, J. H.; Tao, P.; Mason, R. P.; Lippert, A. R. "Chemiluminescent Probes for Imaging H2S in Living Animals." Chem. Sci. 2015, 6, 1979–1985.

  13. Lollar, C. T.; Krenek, K. M.; Bruemmer, K. J.; Lippert, A. R. "Ylide Mediated Carbonyl Homologations for the Preparation of Isatin Derivatives." Org. Biomol. Chem. 2014, 12, 406–409.
  14. Lin, V. A.; Lippert, A. R.; Chang, C. J. "Cell-trappable fluorescent probes for endogenous hydrogen sulfide signaling: Imaging H2O2-dependent H2S production." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2013, 110, 7131-7135. (Highlighted in the April 22 issue of Chemical & Engineering News)


  • Welch Research Grant, 2020-2023
  • ACS PRF, 2020-2022
  • NSF CAREER, 2017-2022
  • Sam Taylor Fellowship, 2016
  • NIH R15, 2015-2022
  • Dean's Research Council Grant, 2015