Herman Nikolayevskiy headshot

Herman Nikolayevskiy

Assistant Professor

Full-Time Faculty
Harney Science Center 344


Herman Nikolayevskiy received his BE in Chemical Engineering from Cooper Union, a primarily-undergraduate institution in the heart of NYC. After a transformative undergraduate research experience, Herman was inspired to pursue a PhD in Organic Chemistry at Yale University, where he focused on the total synthesis and computational analysis of bioactive natural products under Professor Seth B. Herzon. After leaving New Haven, Herman did his postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with Dr. Daniel H. Appella, where he employed NMR spectroscopy to study the mechanism of action of thioester-based HIV inhibitors.

At USF, the Nikolayevskiy group uses its expertise in synthetic chemistry and mechanistic analysis to explore the therapeutic potential of molecular “off-switches” as a strategy for increasing the tolerability of anticancer chemotherapies. Students in the group will develop novel methodologies for the efficient synthesis of programmable, bioactive molecules and probe their kinetic and thermodynamic tunability using biophysical techniques. This work has the potential to expand the repertoire of clinically available cytotoxins, and may be useful in related areas of interest, including logic-gated polymers and molecular diagnostics.


  • Organic synthesis
  • Mechanistic studies
  • Medicinal chemistry

Research Areas

  • Synthesis and evaluation of antibiotics
  • Development of safer chemotherapeutics
  • Functionalization of ɣ-Pyrones


  • Program Director, MS in Chemistry
  • Co-chair, College Curriculum Committee
  • Member, Policy Board


  • PhD, Organic Chemistry, Yale University
  • BE, Chemical Engineering, Cooper Union

Prior Experience

  • Adjunct Professor in Chemistry, Montgomery College
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, NIH

Selected Publications

  • Nikolayevskiy, H., Scerba, M. T., Deschamps, J. R., Appella, D. H., Reaction kinetics direct a rational synthesis of an HIV-1 inactivator of Nucleocapsid Protein 7 and provide mechanistic insight into cellular metabolism and antiviral activity. Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 9485.

  • Nikolayevskiy, H., Tun, M. K. M., Rablen, P. R., Ben Mamoun, C., Herzon, S. B., A complex stereochemical relay approach to the antimalarial alkaloid ocimicide A1. Evidence for a structural revision. Chem. Sci. 2017, 8, 4867.

  • Healy, A. R., Nikolayevskiy, H., Patel, J. R., Crawford, J. M., Herzon, S.B., A Mechanistic Model for Colibactin-Induced Genotoxicity. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 15563.