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Christine Heinecke

Renan Bu Contreras and Monica LeDee Distinguished Professor in Chemistry, Associate Professor


Ph.D. Chemistry, North Carolina State University                                                     2004 – 2009

B.S. Chemistry*, ACS Certified James Madison University                                      2000 – 2004

*Concentration in Materials Science


  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Chemistry


Dr. Heinecke is a multidisciplinary chemist with experience in organic, inorganic and biological chemistry. She has been a faculty member at Loyola since 2013 and is interested in preparing novel nanomaterials for biomedical drug delivery applications as well as catalysis. She began her scientific career as an undergraduate researcher at James Madison University (a PUI like Loyola) where she developed synthetic techniques for open framework metal phosphonates. During her Ph.D. work, she synthesized small organic molecules for targeted biological applications in myotonic dystrophy and anti-biofouling. Then, as a postdoctoral scholar she synthesized gold nanoclusters, investigated the structural basis for ligand place exchange and evaluated their toxicity in vitro and in vivo. Dr. Heinecke is also an avid karaoke enthusiast, and you may on occasion find her singing in the lab.

Classes Taught

  • General Chemistry I & II Lecture + Lab
  • Organic Chemistry I Lecture
  • Organic Chemistry I & II Lab
  • Integrated Chemistry I Lab
  • Advanced Topics: Nanochemistry

Areas of Expertise

  • Nanomaterials
  • Bio-organic Chemistry


Jensen, Kirsten M.O.; Juhas, Pavol; Tofanelli, Marcus A.; Heinecke, Christine L.; Vaughan, Gavin; Ackerson, Christopher J.; Billinge, Simon J. L. “Polymorphism in magic-sized Au144(SR)60 clusters. Nature Communications, 7, 2016, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11859


Wong, O. Andrea; Hansen, Ryan J.; Ni, Thomas W.; Heinecke, Christine L.; Compel, W. Scott; Gustafson, Daniel L.; Ackerson, Christopher J. Structure Activity Relationships for Biodistribution, Pharmacokinetics, and Excretion of Atomically Precise Nanoclusters in a Murine Model. Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 10525 – 10533.


Heinecke, Christine L. and Ackerson, Christopher J. Preparation of Gold Nanocluster Bioconjugates for Electron Microscopy. Nanoimaging: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology. Volume 950, Chapter 17, pp. 293 – 311, 2013. Edited by Alioscka Sousa and Michael J Kruhlak.

Heinecke, Christine L.; Ni, Thomas W.; Malola, S.; Wong, O. Andrea; Hakkinen, Hannu; Ackerson, Christopher J. Structural and Theoretical Basis for Ligand Exchange on Thiolate Monolayer Protected Gold Clusters. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2012, 134, 13316 – 13322.


Wong, O. Andrea; Heinecke, Christine L.; Simone, Ashli R.; Whetten, Robert L. and Ackerson, Christopher J. Ligand Symmetry-Equivalence on Thiolate Protected Gold Nanoclusters Determined by NMR Spectroscopy. Nanoscale, 2012, 4, 4099 – 4102.


Heinecke, Christine L. and Melander, Christian. Analysis of Kinamycin-D Mediated DNA Cleavage. Tetrahedron Letters, 2010, 51, 1455-1458.