Ahmed Heikal, PhD, MS

Adjunct Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Ahmed Heikal


Office Phone
Office Address

253C Swenson Science Building
Duluth, MN 55812
United States


Adjunct Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Professor of UMD Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry


PhD of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology; PhD of Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamics

Master of Atomic Physics, Tanta University

Bachelor's of Physics, Tanta University

Expand all



Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Minnesota Duluth (July 2012-Present)
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Minnesota Duluth (2009 - 2012)
Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, PSU (2003 - 2009)
Research Associate, School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University (2000 - 2003)
Postdoctoral Associate, School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University (1997 - 2000)
Research Fellow in Chemistry, Beckman Institute, California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (1995 - 1997)-


University of Minnesota Duluth:
CHEM 5624: Advanced Physical Chemistry
IBS 5101: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
PHAR 6161: Drug Delivery I (co-Facilitator)
PHAR 6164: Biopharmaceutics (co-Facilitator)

Pennsylvania State University:
BIOE 423: Chemical Kinetics in Biological Systems
BIOE 520: Advanced Biophotonics in Life Sciences
BIOE 597C: Biophysics of Molecular Assemblies
BIOE 100S: First-Year Seminar in Bioengineering

American Chemical Society
The American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biophysical Society
The American Society for Cell Biology
Biomedical Engineering Society
The International Society for Optical Engineering
The American Physical Society
Optical Society of America


Invited Reviews

  • -Heikal, A.A. Intracellular coenzymes as natural biomarkers for metabolic activities and mitochondrial anomalies. Biomarkers in Medicine, 4(2): 241-263 (2010).

Book Chapters

  • -Heikal, A.A. A multiparametric fluorescence approach for biomembrane studies. In, “Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes”, Editor: Iglic A, Volume 13, Elsevier, Inc.; p. 169-197 (May 2011).
  • -Heikal, A.A. A Multiparametric Imaging of Cellular Coenzymes for Monitoring Metabolic and Mitochondrial Activities. In, “Annual Review in Fluorescence 2010”, Editor: Chris D.Geddes, Springer, 2011.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • -Solntsev, P.V., K. L. Spurgin, J. R. Sabin, A. A. Heikal, and V. N. Nemykin. Photoinduced Charge Transfer in Short-Distance Ferrocenylsubphthalocyanine Dyads. Inorg. Chem., 51 (12), pp 6537–6547 (2012).
  • -Yu Q and Heikal AA. Two-photon autofluorescence dynamics imaging reveals sensitivity of intracellular NADH concentration and conformation to cell physiology at the single-cell level. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology (B): Biology, 95: 46–57 (2009). 
  • Ariola FS, Li Z, Cornejo C, Bittman R, Heikal AA. Membrane fluidity and lipid order in ternary giant unilamellar vesicles using a new Bodipy-cholesterol derivative. Biophysical Journal, April Issue, 96(7), 2696–2708 (2009).
  • -Yu Q, Proia M, Heikal AA. Integrated biophotonics approach for noninvasive and multiscale studies of biomolecular and cellular biophysics. J. Biomed. Optics; July/August Issue, 13(4):0413151-14, (2008).
  • -Larson DR, Ow H, Vishwasrao HD, Heikal AA, Wiesner U, Webb WW. Silica nanoparticle architecture determines radiative properties of encapsulated fluorophores. Chem. Mater., 20:2677-2684 (2008).
  • -Davey AM, Krise K, Sheets ED, Heikal AA. Molecular perspective of antigen-mediated mast cell signaling. J. Biol. Chem., 283:7117-7127 (2008).
  • -Davey, A.M., R.P. Walvick, Y. Liu, A.A. Heikal, and E.D. Sheets. Membrane order and molecular dynamics associated with IgE receptor crosslinking in mast cells. Biophys. J., 92:343-355 (2007).
  • -Ariola FS, Mudaliar DJ, Walvick RP, Heikal AA. Dynamics imaging of lipid phases and lipid-marker interactions in model biomembranes. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 8:4517-4529 (2006).
  • -Liu Y, Kim H-R, Heikal AA. Structural basis of fluorescence fluctuation dynamics of green fluorescent proteins in acidic environments. J. Phys. Chem. B, 110:24138-24146 (2006).
  • -Shi K, Heikal AA, Liu Z. A single-shot approach for measuring two-photon action cross-section of fluorescent markers. Optics Express, 14:8722-8727 (2006).
  • -Korlach J., Baird DW, Heikal AA, Gee KR, Hoffman GR, Webb WW. Spontaneous nucleotide exchange in low molecular weight GTPases by fluorescently labeled ?-phosphate-linked GTP analogs. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 101:2800-2805 (2004).
  • -Vishwasrao HD, Heikal AA, Kasischke KA, Webb WW. Conformational dependence of intracellular NADH on metabolic state revealed by associated fluorescence anisotropy. J. Biol. Chem., 280:25119-25126 (2005). Issue Cover and Paper of the Week.
  • -Hess ST, Heikal AA, Webb WW. Fluorescence photoconversion kinetics in novel green fluorescent protein pH sensors (pHluorins). J. Phys. Chem. B, 108:10138-10148 (2004). Issue Cover
  • -Hess ST, Sheets ED, Wagenknecht-Wiesner A, Heikal AA. Quantitative analysis of the fluorescence properties of intrinsically fluorescent proteins in living cells. Biophys. J., 85:2566-2580 (2003).
  • -Huang S, Heikal AA, Webb WW. Two-photon fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy on NAD(P)H and flavoprotein, Biophys. J., 82:2811-2825 (2002).
  • -Hess ST, Huang S, Heikal AA, Webb WW. Biological and chemical applications of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy: a review. Biochem. 41:697-705 (2002).
  • -Heikal AA, Hess ST, Webb WW. Multiphoton spectroscopy and excited state dynamics of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP): acid-base specificity. Chem. Phys., 274:37-55 (2001).
  • -Kuebler SM, Rumi M, Watanabe T, Braun K, Cumpston BH, Heikal AA, Erskine LL, Thayumanavan S, Barlow S, Marder SR, Perry JW. Optimizing two-photon initiators and exposure conditions for three-dimensional lithographic microfabrication. J. Photopoly. Sci. Tech., 14(4):657-668 (2001).
  • -Rumi M, Ehrlich JE, Heikal AA, Perry JW, Barlow S, Hu Z, McCord-Maughon D, Parker TC, Roeckel H, Thayumanavan S, Marder SR, Beljonne D, Bredas J-L. Structure-property relationships for two-photon absorbing chromophores: bis-donor diphenylpolyene and bis(styryl)benzene derivatives. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 122(39):9500-9510 (2000).
  • -Heikal AA, Hess ST, Baird GS, Tsien RY, Webb WW. Molecular spectroscopy and dynamics of intrinsically fluorescent proteins: coral red (dsRed) and yellow (Citrine). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 97:11996-12001 (2000).
  • -Schwille P, Kummer S, Heikal AA, Moerner WE, Webb WW. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy reveals fast optical excitation-driven intramolecular dynamics of yellow fluorescent proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 97:151-156 (2000).
  • -Cumpston BH, Ananthavel SP, Barlow S, Dyer DL, Ehrlich JE, Erskine LL, Heikal AA, Kuebler SM, Lee I-YS, McCord-Maughon D, Qin J, Rockel H, Rumi M, Wu X-L, Marder SR, Perry JW. Two-photon polymerization initiators for three-dimensional optical data storage and microfabrication. Nature, 398:51-54 (1999).
  • -Albota M, Beljonne D, Bredas J-L, Ehrlich JE, Fu J-Y, Heikal AA, Hess ST, Kogej T, Levin MD, Marder SR, McCord-Maughon D, Perry JW, Rockel H, Rumi M, Subramaniam G, Webb WW, Wu X-L, Xu C. Design of organic molecules with large two-photon absorption cross sections. Science, 281:1653-1656 (1998).
  • -Heikal AA, Baskin JS, Banares L, Zewail AH. Structural effects on the isomerization dynamics of trans-stilbenes: IVR, microcanonical reaction rates, and the nature of the transition state. J. Phys. Chem. A, 101:572-590 (1997).
  • -Heikal AA, Chong SH, Baskin JS, Zewail AH. Microscopic friction and solvation in barrier crossing: isomerization of stilbene in size-selected hexane clusters, Chem. Phys. Lett., 242:380-389 (1995).
  • -Kim SK, Breen JJ, Willberg DM, Peng LW, Heikal AA, Syage JA, Zewail AH. Solvation ultrafast dynamics of reactions. 8. Acid-base reactions in finite-sized clusters of naphthol in ammonia, water, and piperidine. J. Phys. Chem., 99:7421-7435 (1995).
  • -Lienau C, Heikal AA, Zewail AH. Picosecond dynamics of hexane-solvated trans-stilbene. Chem. Phys., 175:171-191 (1993).
  • -Banares L, Heikal AA, Zewail AH. Ultrafast dynamics of isomerization reactions: structural effects in stilbene(s). J. Phys. Chem., 96:4127-4130 (1992).
  • -Heikal AA, Banares L, Semmes DH, Zewail AH. Real-time dynamics of vibrational predissociation in anthracene-argonn (n = 1, 2, 3). Chem. Phys., 156:231-250 (1991).
  • -Breen JJ, Peng LW, Willberg DM, Heikal A, Cong P, Zewail AH. Real-time probing of reactions in clusters. J. Chem. Phys., 92:805-807 (1990).