Tharushi Perera

  • Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Tharushi Perera

Dr. Tharushi Perera is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry within the Department of Natural Sciences at Mercy University. Beyond her role in the classroom and laboratory, she is a member of the General Education Curriculum Committee and several other school and program committees at Mercy University. She earned her doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Missouri, Columbia, under the guidance of Emeritus Professor Paul R. Sharp. Following her graduation in 2015, Dr. Perera joined Texas State University as a Postdoctoral Scholar, working alongside Professor Todd W. Hudnall’s research group. Before her tenure at Mercy University, Dr. Perera shared her expertise by teaching organic chemistry courses at Syracuse University, NY.

Over a decade of scientific research and teaching experience, Dr. Perera aims to instill curiosity and ignite a fervor for discovery in the minds of aspiring chemists. Dr. Perera’s research interests are directed towards carbon-neutral and sustainable energy processes, aiming to make these advancements accessible to all individuals, including those in underprivileged communities worldwide.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Texas State University (2015).

Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Missouri, Columbia (2015).

B.S in Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, Sri Lanka (2009).

Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), UK (2006).

Our research program combines my past research experiences in two key areas. First, we explore the activation of small molecules, such as water and hydrohalic acids, to convert solar energy into storable chemical forms. Secondly, our investigations delve into the interactions of diaminocarbenes with extended polyaromatic hydrocarbons and unactivated alkanes under photochemical stimuli, seeking new synthetic methodologies with diverse applications in organic synthesis and material science. Our goal is to pave the way for future innovations in solar energy conversion and catalysis, driving towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy and chemical processes.  

  • CHEM 160/160A – General Chemistry I Lecture/Lab
  • CHEM 161/161A – General Chemistry II Lecture/Lab
  • CHEM 140/140A – General Organic and Biochemistry Lecture/Lab
  • CHEM 260/260A – Organic Chemistry I Lecture/Lab
  • CHEM 261/261A – Organic Chemistry II Lecture/Lab
  • CHEM 354 – Biochemistry Lecture/Lab
  • Perera, T.A.; Taylor, W.V.; Gildner, M.B.; Reinheimer, E.W.; Ito, S.; Nelson, A.; Yost, S.R.; Hudnall, T.W. Photochemical Reactions of a Diamidocarbene: Cyclopropanation of Bromonaphthalene, Addition to Pyridine, and Activation of Sp3 C–H Bonds. Chem. Sci. 2023, 14, 7867–7874.
  • Tharushi A. Perera, Eric W. Reinheimer, and Todd W. Hudnall, Photochemically switching diamidocarbene spin states leads to reversible Büchner ring expansions. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139 (41) pp 14807 – 14814.
  • Hudnall, T. W.; Perera, T. A.; Arias, R. N. “Main Group Complexes with N-Heterocyclic Carbenes: Bonding, Stabilization, and Applications in Catalysis” in RSC Catal. Series, N-Heterocyclic Carbenes: From Laboratory Curiosities to Efficient Synthetic Tools 2016.
  • Tharushi A. Perera, Mehdi Masjedi, and Paul R. Sharp, Photoreduction of Pt (IV) chloro complexes: substrate chlorination by a triplet excited state. Inorganic Chemistry., 2014, 53 (14), pp 7608–7621.
  • Faculty Senate Micro-Grant (2023).
  • Faculty Development Grant (2023).
  • HHMI Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow (2022).
  • STEM Ready Project Based Learning Fellow (2022).
  • Graduate Student Association Travel Grant Award, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (2014).
  • Mizzou Advantage Travel Award, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (2014).
  • Professional Presentation Travel Award, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (2014).
  • Graduate Professional Council (GPC) Travel Award, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (2014).
  • American Chemical society (ACS) Bauman Travel Award (2013, 2014).
  • Department of Chemistry Travel Award, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (2013).
  • Henry Ashmore Peiris Memorial Prize for Management, Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, Sri Lanka (2008).
  • B.A Jayasinghe Memorial Prize for Best Performance Practical Final Examination in all three major streams of Chemistry (Organic, Inorganic, and Physical Chemistry), Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, Sri Lanka (2007).