Craig A. Aspinwall, PhD

Department Head, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Aspinwall is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He received B.S. in Chemistry from Berry College and a Ph.D in Chemistry from the University of Florida.  Prior to joining the University of Arizona, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Molecular Medicine at Karolinska Institute and an Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Energy Ames Laboratory. He holds joint appointments in Biomedical Engineering, the BIO5 Institute for Collaborative Bioresearch, the Arizona Cancer Center and the Sarver Heart Center. His research focuses on the development of new measurement approaches to better understand biological signaling, with a focus on biofunctionalized nanomaterials, biochemical sensors and chemical separations.

Research Interests: 

Biological signaling processes are comprised of diverse molecular species which present a number of chemical and physical challenges with respect to chemical measurement. The most challenging species to measure, and thus the ones whose roles are least defined in signaling pathways are those compounds that lack inherent chemical moieties that are amenable to high sensitivity spectroscopic or electrochemical detection. The majority of our research efforts are focused on the development of biomimetic and biofunctionalized sensor strategies that allow detection of key signaling components, while also proving useful for other key bioanalyses including drug discovery and clinical diagnostics.


  • Fröbom R, Berglund E, Aspinwall CA, Lui W-O, Nilsson I-L, Larsson C, Bränström R. 2021. Direct interaction of the ATP-sensitive K channel by the tyrosine kinase inhibitors imatinib, sunitinib and nilotinib. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 557:14–19. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.03.166.
  • Janczak CM, Calderon IAC, Noviana E, Hadvani P, Lee JR, Aspinwall CA. 2019. Hybrid Nanoparticle Platform for Nanoscale Scintillation Proximity Assay. ACS Appl Nano Mater. 2:1259–1266. doi:10.1021/acsanm.8b02136.
  • Janczak CM, Calderon IAC, Mokhtari Z, Aspinwall CA. 2018. Polystyrene-Core, Silica-Shell Scintillant Nanoparticles for Low-Energy Radionuclide Quantification in Aqueous Media. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 10:4953–4960. doi:10.1021/acsami.7b15943.
  • Johnson GM, Chozinski TJ, Gallagher ES, Aspinwall CA, Miranda KM. 2014. Glutathione sulfinamide serves as a selective, endogenous biomarker for nitroxyl after exposure to therapeutic levels of donors. Free Radic Biol Med. 76:299–307. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.07.022.
  • Berglund E, Berglund D, Akcakaya P, Ghaderi M, Daré E, Berggren P-O, Köhler M, Aspinwall CA, Lui W-O, Zedenius J, et al. 2013. Evidence for Ca(2+)-regulated ATP release in gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Exp Cell Res. 319:1229–38. doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2013.03.001.