Dr. Petia Bobadova


  • Ph.D.  Physical Chemistry, Sofia University (Sofia, Bulgaria), 2000
    • Thesis: Reactivity of Molecules in Hydrogen Bonding: Computational Study of Hydrogen-Bonded 

      Complexes of Carbonyl and Nitrile Compounds
  • MS Condensed Matter Physics, Sofia University (Sofia, Bulgaria) 1988 –1993

    • Summa Cum Laude

    • Thesis: Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering of Nascent and Thermal Treated Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Polyethylenes

Professional Experience: 

  • Professor and Department Chair, Department of Chemistry, Rockhurst University (Kansas City, MO), 2016-2021
  • Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Rockhurst University (Kansas City, MO), 2014-2020
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Rockhurst University (Kansas City, MO),  2008-2014
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA), 2007-2008
  • Postdoctoral Research Postdoctoral Research Research Associate, Cherry L. Emerson Center for Scientific Computation, Emory University (Atlanta, GA), 2004-2006
  • Postdoctoral Research Postdoctoral Research Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA), 2003-2004
  • Postdoctoral Research Postdoctoral Research Research Associate, Department of Physics, Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant, MI), 2000-2002


  • Computational modeling
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Photophysical Properties
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Intermolecular Interactions

My research group uses computer modeling to design materials with medical and industrial applications. Theoretical models and calculations are fast and inexpensive. We are able to answer questions that cannot be answered by experiment only. It is possible to explain the properties of different materials and get insights into the reasons for their unique behavior. Thus, it is possible to design new materials with enhanced desired characteristics, guide their synthesis and increase their practical applications.

Our current research focuses on computational modeling of fluorescent dyes with exciting applications as biological labels, imaging agents, ion sensors, or as sensitizers for the photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancers. Borondipyrromethene (BODIPY) is a class of fluorescent dyes that has low cytotoxicity and high cell membrane permeability. These dyes absorb and emit energy in the visible and near-infrared region of the optical spectrum (400–900 nm) and have excellent photophysical and optoelectronic properties that include sharp absorption and emission bands, high photostability, and high fluorescence quantum yields. We examine different structural modifications of these molecules that will increase their stability, solubility, and finely tune their photophysical properties.

We work in collaboration with the group of Prof. M. Graca H. Vicente from Louisiana State University who performs the synthesis of BODIPYs (medschool.lsuhsc.edu/cancer_center/facultybio_vicente_m.aspx).

We have an active grant through the National Science Foundation. The grant allows for travel to conferences and summer stipends for our undergraduate research students.

Our research made the cover of the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Porphyrins and Phtalo cyanides.

Selected Publications: 

G. Zhang, M. Wang, C. Ndung’U, P. Bobadova-Parvanova, F.R. Fronczek, K. M. Smith, and M. Graca H. Vicente, “Synthesis and investigation of BODIPYs with restricted meso-8-aryl rotation”, Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines, 2020, 24, 869-877.

Maodie Wang, Guanyu Zhang, Nichole E. M. Kaufman, Petia Bobadova-Parvanova, Frank R. Fronczek, Kevin M. Smith, M. Graça H. Vicente, “Linker-Free Near-IR Aza-BODIPY-Glutamine Conjugates Through Boron Functionalization”, Eur. J. Org. Chem., 2020, 8, 971-977.

M. Wang, G. Zhang, P. Bobadova-Parvanova, A. N. Merriweather, L. Odom, D. Barbosa, F. R. Fronczek, K. M. Smith, and M. Graca H. Vicente, “Synthesis and Investigation of Linker-free
BODIPY-Gly Conjugates Substituted at the Boron Atom”, Inorg. Chem., 2019, 58, 11614–11621.

G. Zhang, N. Zhao, P. Bobadova-Parvanova, M. Wang, F F. R. Fronczek, K. Smith, and M. Graça H. Vicente, “Synthesis, Spectroscopic Properties, and Computational Study of E/Z-ethenyl and ethynyl-linked BODIPYs”, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2018, 22 (30), 6256–6265.

W. Sheng, Y. Wu, C. Yu, P. Bobadova-Parvanova, E. Hao, and L. Jiao, “Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and the Deep Near-Infrared Absorption/Emission of Bright AzaBODIPY-Based Organic Fluorophores”, Organic Letters 2018, 20 (9), 2620–2623.

M. Wang, M. Graça H. Vicente, D. Mason, and P. Bobadova-Parvanova, “Stability of a Series of BODIPYs in Acidic Conditions: An Experimental and Computational Study into the Role of
the Substituents at Boron”, ACS Omega, 2018, 3 (5), 5502–5510.

Book chapter. N. Zhao, P. Bobadova-Parvanova and M. G. H. Vicente. “Carborane-functionalized conducting polymers based on polypyrrole and polythiophene. In Handbook of Boron Science: Applications in Organometallics, Catalysis, Materials and Medicine, Volume 3: Boron in Materials Chemistry. N. S. Hosmane and R. Eagling (Eds), World Scientific Publishers, 2018, Chapter 6, pages 189-226.

J. Cui, W. Sheng, Q. Wu, C. Yu, E. Hao, P. Bobadova-Parvanova, M. Storer, A. M. Asiri, H. M. Marwani, and L. Jiao, “Synthesis, Structure, and Properties of Near-Infrared [b]Phenanthrene- Fused BF 2 Azadipyrromethenes”, Chemistry: An Asian Journal, 2017, 12, 2486-2493.

N. Zhao, B. Fabre, P. Bobadova-Parvanova, F. R. Fronczek, and M. Graça H. Vicente “Synthesis and Electropolymerization of a series of 2,2'-(ortho-Carboranyl)bisthiophenes”, J. Organometallic Chemistry, 2017, 828, 157.

A. L. Nguyen, M. Wang, P. Bobadova-Parvanova, Q. Do, Z. Zhou, F. R. Fronczek, K. Smith, and M. Graça H. Vicente “Synthesis and properties of B-cyano-BODIPYs”, Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines, 2016, 20, 1409.

A. L. Nguyen, P. Bobadova-Parvanova, M. Hopfinger, F. R. Fronczek, K. M. Smith, and M. G. H. Vicente, “Synthetic Routes to 4,4-Dialkoxy-BODIPYs: an Experimental and Computational Study”, Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54, 3228.

Title: Professor, Department Chair and Research Mentor
Department: Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-8478

Office address
GWH 419