David A. Lightner

R. C. Fuson Professor Emeritus

Contact Information


  • NSF Postdoctoral Fellow (1964-65), University of Minnesota (Albert Moscowitz)
  • NSF Postdoctoral Fellow (1963-64), Stanford University (Carl Djerassi)
  • Ph.D. (1963), Stanford University (Carl Djerassi)
  • A.B. (1960), University of California at Berkeley

Research Interests

Research interests include synthesis, stereochemistry, molecular recognition and photochemistry, with an emphasis on (i) dipyrrole and tetrapyrrole synthetic analogs of bilirubin, the yellow pigment of jaundice; (ii) organic conformational analysis from circular dichroism and NMR spectroscopy; (iii) photobiology, molecular mechanisms of phototherapy for neonatal jaundice, bilirubin metabolism, pyrrole chemistry and photochemistry, photooxidation and singlet oxygen; (iv) chiral molecular recognition; (v) chiroptical properties and electronic interaction of non-adjacent chromophores, long-range interactions; (vi) exciton interactions in organic and biological systems as detected by circular dichroism; and (vii) stereochemistry of cyclic ketones and the Octant Rule.


  • Abbate, S.; Mazzeo, G.; Meneghini, S.; Longhi, G.; Boiadjiev, S.E.; Lightner, D.A.  Bicamphor:  A Prototypic Molecular System to Investigate Vibrational Excitons.  J. Phys. Chem. A 2015, 119, 4261-4267.
  • Pfeiffer, W.P.; Lightner, D.A.  (m.n)​-​Homorubins:  syntheses and structures.  Monatsh. Chem. 2014, 145, 1777-1801.
  • Dey, S.K.; Datta, S.; Lightner, D.A.  Hydrogen bonding:  HOC=O···H-​N vs. HOC=O···H-​C.  Monatsh. Chem. 2014, 145, 1595-1609.
  • Anstine, D.T.; Lightner, D.A.  Intramolecular hydrogen bonding and linear pentapyrrole conformation.  Monatsh. Chem. 2014, 145, 1117-1137.
  • Pfeiffer, W.P.; Dey, S.K.; Falk, H.; Lightner, D.A.  Homorubins and homoverdins.  Monatsh. Chem. 2014, 145, 963-981.
  • Sabido, P.M.G.; Lightner, D.A.  Synthesis and properties of mesobilirubins XIIγ and XIIIγ and their mesobiliverdins.  Monatsh. Chem. 2014, 145, 775-789.
  • Abbate, S.; Longhi, G.; Lebon, F.; Castiglioni, E.; Superchi, S.; Pisani, L.; Fontana, F.; Torricelli, F.; Caronna, T.; Villani, C.; Sabia, R.; Tommasini, M.; Lucotti, A.; Mendola, D.; Mele, A.; Lightner, D.A.  Helical Sense-​Responsive and Substituent-​Sensitive Features in Vibrational and Electronic Circular Dichroism, in Circularly Polarized Luminescence, and in Raman Spectra of Some Simple Optically Active Hexahelicenes.  J. Phys. Chem. C 2014, 118, 1682-1695.
  • Longhi, G.; Castiglioni, E.; Abbate, S.; Lebon, F.; Lightner, D.A.  Experimental and Calculated CPL Spectra and Related Spectroscopic Data of Camphor and Other Simple Chiral Bicyclic Ketones.  Chirality 2013, 25, 589-599.
  • Johannessen, C.; Blanch, E.W.; Villani, C.; Abbate, S.; Longhi, G.; Agarwal, N.R.; Tommasini, M.; Lightner, D.A.  Raman and ROA Spectra of (-​)​- and (+)​-​2-​Br-​Hexahelicene:  Experimental and DFT Studies of a π-​Conjugated Chiral System.  J. Phys. Chem. B 2013, 117, 2221-2230.
  • Abbate, S.; Lebon, F.; Longhi, G.; Boiadjiev, S.E.; Lightner, D.A.  Vibrational and Electronic Circular Dichroism of Dimethylmesobilirubin-XIIIalpha.  J. Phys. Chem. B 2012, 116, 5628-5636.
  • Huggins, M.T.; Salzameda, N.T.; Lightner, D.A.  Amide to Carboxylic Acid Hydrogen Bonding.  The Dipyrrinone Receptor. Supramol. Chem. 2011, 23, 226-238.
  • Huggins, M.T.; Gurst, J.E.; Lightner, D.A.  2D-NMR-Based Organic Spectroscopy; Prentice-Hall, 2011.
  • Lambert, J.B.; Gronert, S.; Shurvell, H.F.; Lightner, D.A.  Organic Structural Spectroscopy, 2nd ed.; Prentice-Hall, 2011.
  • Dey, S.K.; Lightner, D.A.  Lipid- and Water-Soluble Bilirubins.  Monatsh. Chem. 2010, 141, 101-109.
  • Frey, J.; Khan, S.I.; Knobler, C.B.; Lightner, D.A.; Maverick, E.F.; Phillips, D.J.; Rappoport, Z.; Trueblood, K.N.  Thermal Motion of tert-Butyl Groups.  III tert-Butyl Substituents in Aromatic Hydrocarbons, the View from the Bottom of the Well.  Acta Crystallogr., Sect. B:  Struct. Sci. 2010, 66, 622-638.
  • Boiadjiev, S.E.; Lightner, D.A.  13C-Labeled Bilirubin:  Synthesis of 31(32),171(172)-di-[13C]-Mesobilirubin-XIII alpha.  Monatsh. Chem. 2009, 140, 111-119.
  • Datta, S.; Lightner, D.A.  13CO2H-Labeled Semirubin.  Hydrogen Bonding and pKaMonatsh. Chem. 2009, 140, 1229-1236.
  • Datta, S.; Lightner, D.A.  Carboxylic Acid to Thioamide Hydrogen Bonding.  Tetrahedron 2009, 65, 77-82.
  • Abbate, S.; Burgi, L.F.; Gangemi, F.; Gangemi, R.; Lebon, F.; Longhi, G.; Havel, H.A.; Lightner, D.A.  Comparative Analysis of IR and Vibrational Circular Dichroism Spectra of a Series of Camphor-Related Molecules.  J. Phys. Chem. A 2009, 113, 11390-11405.
  • Abbate, S.; Lebon, F.; Longhi, G.; Fontana, F.; Caronna, T.; Lightner, D.A.  Experimental and Calculated Vibrational and Electronic Circular Dichroism Spectra of 2-Bromohexahelicene.  Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2009, 11, 9039-9043.
  • Nikitin, E.N.; Lightner, D.A.  Imploded Bilirubins.  Synthesis and Properties of C(10)-nor-Mesobilirubin-XIII alpha and Analogs. Monatsh. Chem. 2009, 140, 97-110.