An-Phong Le, Ph.D.

Department Chair
Associate Professor of Chemistry
The Dr. John A. Leighty Endowed Chair in Chemistry

Chemistry has helped to transform our world for centuries, but significant challenges (for example, those in medicine, environmental preservation, and agriculture) remain unsolved. Chemistry will make substantial contributions to answering these challenges, but we must further our understanding of how molecules interact with each other and change over time. I challenge students to build their own connections between the very small (molecular and nanoscale principles) and the very large (macroscopic phenomena) through active hands-on and brains-on experiences that bridge the classroom and the laboratory. These connections extend from our coursework to the diverse topics and fields that fascinate our students, and it is these interconnections that will lead to breakthroughs, both big and small, that will continue to change and improve the world.

- An-Phong Le

Connect with
An-Phong Le

building is Polk Science - room is 219
Phone 863.680.4132



Dr. Le grew up in Waterloo, Illinois and earned his bachelor's degree in 2004 in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During that time, Dr. Le had summer internships at General Mills and at Procter and Gamble, and he did a summer of undergraduate research. However, his experiences as an undergraduate teaching assistant sparked his desire to teach as a profession and led him to stay at the University of Illinois to pursue graduate studies. In 2011, Le earned his Ph.D. with specializations in analytical chemistry and chemical education, working on projects related to nanostructured surfaces and materials for high performance optical sensing and a project investigating the conceptual changes experienced by chemistry students as they progress through their formal coursework.

At Florida Southern College, Dr. Le serves as co-coordinator of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program and supervises students interested in doing internships in chemistry. He is also the Secretary of the Florida Local Section of the American Chemical Society.


Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Honors and Awards

  • Phi Kappa Phi national honor society faculty inductee, 2014
  • Gamma Sigma Epsilon chemistry honor society faculty inductee, 2012
  • Laboratory Teaching Load Committee - 2012
  • Organic Chemistry Search Committee - 2012
  • Physics Search Committee 2011/2012
  • Honors Committee - 2011 to present

Current Projects

Research Interests

Dr. Le’s research interests focus on three major areas:

  • Development of inexpensive sensors for environmental analyses using paper-based microfluidic devices
  • Characterization of the migration of flavor compounds and chemical contaminants in food during storage, preparation, and cooking
  • Development of inexpensive instrumentation for the instructional laboratory using open-source microcontrollers

Dr. Le has collaborated with or mentored over 20 undergraduate students at Florida Southern in a wide range of projects in biology and chemistry.

Student Research Presentations

Presentations given by FSC undergraduate students supervised in research projects by Dr. Le at national meetings - student researcher names underlined.

J. S. Yudichak, A.-P. Le. Allicin distribution in seasoned meats via microwave extraction and high performance liquid chromatography. The 245th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition; April 7-11, 2013; New Orleans, LA. (Poster)

R. Huang, A.-P. Le. Paper-based microfluidic devices for the detection of nitrite in water. The 247th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition; March 16-20, 2014; Dallas, TX. (Poster)

J. McCabe, A.-P. Le. Investigation of the potential for reversible photodegradation of imidacloprid in water. The 247th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition; March 16-20, 2014; Dallas, TX. (Poster)

A. Telcy, A.-P Le. Migration and distribution of capsaicinoids in seasoned beef measured using microwave-assisted high-performance liquid chromatography. The 247th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition; March 16-20, 2014; Dallas, TX. (Poster)

Publications and Exhibitions

F. Abd-El-Khalick, M. Waters, A.-P. Le. Representation of nature of science in high school chemistry textbooks over the past four decades. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 45 (2008) 835-855. DOI: 10.1002/tea.20226

J. Yao, A.-P. Le, M. V. Schulmerich, J. Maria, T.-W. Lee, S. K. Gray, R. Bhargava, J. A. Rogers, R. G. Nuzzo. Soft embossing of nanoscale optical and plasmonic structures in glass. ACS Nano. 5 (2011) 5763-5774. DOI: 10.1021/nn201464t

A.-P. Le, S. Kang, L. Thompson, S. Rubakhin, J. Sweedler, J. Rogers, R. Nuzzo. Quantitative reflection imaging of fixed Aplysia californica pedal ganglion neurons on nanostructured plasmonic crystals. Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 117 (2013) 13069-13081. DOI: 10.1021/jp402731f