Joshua Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Professional Education

  • Bachelors of Science in Chemistry - Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • Bachelors of Science in Mathematics - Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • Bachelors of Science Education in Chemistry - Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • Bachelors of Science Education in Mathematics - Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Chemistry - University of Florida


Dr. Smith grew up in Clarion County in western Pennsylvania and attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with the following degrees Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and also Mathematics along with Bachelors of Science Education in both Chemistry and Mathematics.  He then attended graduate school at the University of Florida to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Chemistry, where he developed fluorescent, magnetic, and gold nanoparticle systems for the detection of biological targets. 

Dr. Smith began his career teaching general and analytical chemistry topics as well as involving undergraduate students in research at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia.  He left Georgia after four years for a two year National Research Council Fellowship at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, where he continued to develop nanoparticle based sensors. 

Dr. Smith then became a contractor to continue working with the Air Force in Ohio, where he began fabricating microfluidic devices and continued working with nanoparticle systems to further understand how these sensors functioned.  The continued nanoparticle work involved studying nanoparticles and the interaction of the target recognition elements via nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis.  He continued working as a contractor for two years before joining the faculty at Alvernia University.

Courses Taught

  • General Chemistry I and Laboratory
  • General Chemistry II and Laboratory
  • Quantitative Analysis and Laboratory
  • Instrumental Analysis and Laboratory
  • Advanced Analytical Chemistry and Laboratory-Bioanalytical

Research Interests

Dr. Smith’s research expertise is in the synthesis and design of targeted nanoparticle based assays for biological and practical applications.  He also has interests in the design and fabrication of microfluidic devices as lab-on-a-chip platforms, and has interests in understanding the complex nature of the interactions between nanoparticles and the target recognition elements (particularly aptamers) through NMR investigations.

Selected Presentations and Publications

Smith, J.E.; Chavez, J.L.; Hagen, J.a.; Kelley-Loughnane, N. "Design and Development of Aptamer Gold Nanoparticle Based Colorimetric Assay for in the Field Applications", in press JOVE 2015.

Mirau, P.A.; Smith, J.E.; Chavez, J.L.; Naik, R.R.; Kelley-Loughnane, N. "NMR Studey of the Effect of Gold Nanoparticles on Aptamers Used in Colorimetric Assays". manuscript submitted ACS Nano 2015.

Martin, J.A.; Smith, J.E.; Mercedes, W.; Chavez, J.L.; Hagen, J.A.; Kelley-Loughnane, N. "A Method for Selecting Structure-Switching Aptamers Applied to a Colorimetric Gold Nanoparticle Assay". JoVE 2015, 96.

Smith, J.E.; Griffin, D.K.; Leny, J.K.; Hagen, J.A.; Chavez, J.L.; Kelley-Loughnane, N. "Colorimetric detection wth aptamer-gold nanoparticle conjugates coupled to an android-based color analysis application for use in the field", Talanta 2014, 121, 247-255.

Makhinson, B.; Duncan, A.K.; Elam, A.R.; Smith, J.E.; Werner, E.J. "Enabling Lanthanide Luminescence via Nonoencapsulation", Inorg. Chem. 2013, 52, 6311-6318.

*NOTE: authors whose names are underlined are undergraduates.

Contact Information

Joshua Smith

Bernardine Hall #216