Mihaela Leonida

Professor of Chemistry

School of Natural Sciences

Credentials, capsule biography:

Ph.D., Chemistry, Wesleyan University; Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Bucharest Polytechnic University; M.S., Chemical Engineering, Bucharest Polytechnic University.

Visiting Professor, Universite de Quebec a Montreal (2003)

Visiting Professor, Universite de Nantes (2004)

Fulbright Senior Fellow (2010)

9 books and chapters in books, 63 papers in journals, 84 oral presentations, and 30 full-length invited lectures.

Publications, press mentions:

Selected Publications

Ramachandran, P., Fouad, M., Aurian-Blajeni, B., Leonida, M.D., Ionic liquids used in enzyme “wiring”, Nonlinear Optics and Quantum Optics, 2012, 44, 2-3, 167-175.

Amarandei, C-A., Ungureanu E-M., Leonida, M.D., C. Andronescu, Glucose oxidase “wired” with potassium ferricyanide polypyrrole films, U.P.B. Sci. Bull., Series B,  2012, 74, 3, 19.

Leonida, M.D., Kumar, I., Microfluidics at the interface between engineering and life sciences, Curr. Nanoscience,  2012, 8, 3, 458-473.

Leonida, M.D., Banjade, S., Vo, T., Anderle, G., Haas, G.J., Philips, N., Nanocomposite     materials with antimicrobial activity based on chitosan, Int.J. Nano&Biomat., 2011, 3, 4, 316-334.

Leonida, M.D., Educating scientists with a global perspective, INTED 2011, ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3, 1275-1283.

Mihalcu M. and Leonida M. D, The secret world of old iconographers, Ed. Eikon, Cluj-Napoca, 2009, 357 pp.

Mihalcu, M., Leonida, M.D., Iconography in the late Romanian Middle Ages:   granulometry issues, Studii Teologice, 2009, Seria III, Anul V, no. 4, 37-56.

Mihalcu, M., Leonida, M.D., Topics in granulometry and the work of medieval Romanian painters, ARA Journal 2005-2009, 29-33, 45.

Natarajan, P., Ambati, B., Andrei, I., Leonida, M.D., Haas, G.J., Coaction of plant- derived antimicrobials with antibiotics, Phytomedicines (Elsevier), 2008, 15, 3, 194-201.

Mihalcu, M., Leonida, M.D., Black organic pigments known, prepared and used by Romanian medieval painters, Études et Documents Balkaniques et Mediterranéens (Paris), 2007, Récueil 31, 73-78.

Mihalcu, M., Leonida M.D., Visible and hidden influences in the technical part of the Romanian “books of painting”, Origins. Romanian Roots, 2007, vol. XI, 4-5, 27-36.

Leonida, M.D., Mihalcu, M., Old copper-based pigment, The Bulletin (NJAS), 2005, 50,  2, 15.

Mihalcu M., Leonida M.D., Concerning the fresco technique used by the Romanian   Medieval Painters, Études et Documents Balkaniques et Mediterranéens (Paris), 2005, Récueil 29, 41-54.

Mihalcu M., Leonida M.D., About some vegetable materials used in painting and manuscripts during the Middle Ages in Romania, Études et Documents Balkaniques et Mediterranéens (Paris), 2004, Récueil 27, 33-44.

Leonida, M.D., Mihalcu, M., Chemistry and medieval art. White pigments prepared and used in mural painting by medieval painters, ARA Journal, 2003, 28, 71-76.

Leonida M.D., Starczynowski D.T., Waldman R., Aurian-Blajeni B., Polymeric FAD Used as Enzyme-friendly Mediator in Lactate Detection, Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 2003, 376, 6, 832- 837.

Leonida, M.D., Yeasts in Biosensing, Curr. Topics Med. Chem., 2003, 3, 175-186.

Mihalcu, M., Leonida, M.D., From the “secrets” of the old Romanian icon painters. The raw materials they used, Etudes Roumaines et Aroumaines, Paris-Bucharest, 2002, vol.VII, 5-18.

Mihalcu, M., Leonida, M.D., Adhesive materials used in gilding by Romanian medieval icon painters, Études et Documents Balkaniques et Mediterranéens (Paris), 2002, Récueil 25, 53-70.

Leonida M.D., Fry A.J., Sobolov S.B., and Bartoszko-Malik A., Two-enzyme CLEC used  in chiral synthesis, Int. J. Bio-Chromatography, 2001, 6, 207.

Leonida M.D. Redox enzymes used in chiral synthesis coupled to coenzyme regeneration, Current Med. Chem., 2001, 8, 345.

Leonida M.D., Mihalcu M., Historic notes from afar. Natural products traditionally used in cosmetic care, Cosmetiscope,  Sept. and Oct. 1999, p. 1.

Leonida Draganoiu M., Sobolov S.B. and Fry A.J., FAD – Mediated conversion of NAD+ to NADH. Application to chiral synthesis of L-lactate, Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett, 1998, 8, 10.

Leonida Draganoiu M., Voivodov K.I. and Fry A.J., Coelectropolymerization of a viologen oligomer and lipoamide dehydrogenase on an electrode surface. Application to cofactor regeneration,  Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett., 1996, 6, 1663.

Sobolov S.B., Leonida  Draganoiu M.,  Bartoszko-Malik A., Voyvodov K.I. and Fry A.J., Cross- linked LDH crystals lactate synthesis coupled to electroenzymatic regeneration of NADH, J. Org. Chem., 1996, 61, 2125.

​Press Mentions

  • In Sight - with Dr. Mihaela Leonida

Nanosizing Chitosan for Antimicrobial Synergy

(Cosmetics & Toiletries® magazine, www.CosmeticsandToiletries.com, Vol. 127, No. 8/August 2012)

  • Nanoparticles Developed from Chitosan Tout New-Age Skin Renewal

Mihaela Leonida and colleagues have documented their methodology of producing nanoparticles from chitosan  that could help heal wound and, in turn, stimulate growth of skin cell.

(Business and Health, March 19, 2012)

  • Shrimp shell particles considered for anti-ageing cream

A team of researchers based at Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Teaneck, New Jersey, have put forward the theory that nanoparticles of the substance chitosan (derived from the shells of sea creatures like shrimps) may have anti-ageing properties which could be harnessed to manufacture body and face creams.

(Digital Journal, Science, March 17, 2012)

  • Mihaela Leonida of Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Teaneck, New Jersey and colleagues…. made their chitosan nanoparticles (CNP) using an ionic gelation process with sodium tripolyphosphate….Chitosan could be used as a protective wound-healing material to avoid opportunistic infection as well as working to facilitate wound healing.

(Disabled World, http://www.disabled-world.com/medical/nanotechnology/chitosan.php#ixzz1pu1TN3X8, March 17, 2012)

  • Researchers Produce Nanocomposite Materials with Antimicrobial Activity 

(Inderscience, March 19, 2012)

  • Nanoparticle-sized Chitosan has shown promise in effectively combating Staphylococcus saprophyticus and E. coli.

(NYDailyNews.com, March 18, 2012)

  • Mihaela Leonida of Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Teaneck, New Jersey and colleagues writing in the International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials describe how they have prepared nanoparticles of chitosan that could have potential in preventing infection in wounds as well as enhancing the wound-healing process itself by stimulating skin cell growth.

(Science Spot UK,http://sciencespot.co.uk/natural-nanotech-heals-wounds-solves-age-old-skin-problem.html)

  • Nanoparticles containing chitosan have been shown to have effective antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Escherichia coli.

(Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120316094454.htm, March 16, 2012)

  • Lecture: Romanian Icons on Glass, with Mihaela D. Leonida, Professor of Chemistry, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ., Saturday, November 17, 2012, 3 p.m.

Peasant icons on glass offer the strange image of a folk art, clearly outlined and unique in its technical quality and sensitivity. It is the result of the harmonious merging of moralizing teachings and the mythology of an ancient faith, of subjects taken from the Romanian folklore, from apocryphal books, and the precepts of a local ethical code, thousands of years old. The slight emotional emphasis therein is on the national and social context of a people with a stormy and too frequently changing history.

The talk introduces the Romanian icons on glass in the cultural environment of Central and Eastern Europe making comparative notes and historic connections. Less known information about how the peasant iconographers prepared their own materials and the technical skills they mastered in creating these icons is presented together with many examples of icons on glass from different geographical areas of today’s Romania.

(Museum Of Russian Icons, http://www.centralmass.org/media-center/releases/museum-russian-icons-november-news-and-events)


Short Abstract

University College

School of Natural Sciences
1000 River Road, (H-DH4-03)
Teaneck, NJ 07666


I am interested in stabilizing redox enzymes and making them conduct current. Several strategies to achieve this were reported by us, among which “wiring” had an important role. The modified enzymes were used in biosensors for medical and environmental applications and in the synthesis of compounds interesting for the pharmaceutical industry.

Nanocomposite materials based on natural compounds are another topic of interest for me. Our syntheses target products with antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiproliferative activity. We test them as potential drug carriers, in cosmetic formulations, or in cleaning agents.

I am also interested in the materials and techniques used by medieval artists.


Biochemistry (undergraduate and graduate)

Enzymology (graduate)

Analytical Chemistry (lecture and lab, undergraduate and graduate)

Organic Chemistry (lecture and lab, undergraduate)

Science and Art (undergraduate, for non-science majors)