The Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute logo
  • Dr. Sherri McFarland, PhD


Professor, Department of Chemistry (Acadia)
Adjunct Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering and Pathology (Dalhousie)


Acadia University
Dalhousie University

Research Interests:

inorganic photophysics, photosensitizers, photodynamic therapy, phototherapy, photomedicine, medicinal chemistry, drug design,chemical biology

We combine light and molecules to act as therapeutic and diagnostic agents in anticancer therapy.

The McFarland group is multidisciplinary, with projects aimed at designing novel metallodrug photosensitizers as agents for photodynamic therapy (PDT). Our interest in photomedicine, particularly in the development of theranostic agents, has taken us from just ideas on paper –the use of ruthenium and osmium-based complexes to overcome the inherent limitations of organic photosensitizers– to a Phase 1 human clinical trial in 2015 for treating bladder cancer with PDT using one of our photosensitizers. We are now focused on using similar strategies for developing PDT for melanoma.

Membership Status:

Dr. Sherri McFarland is a Senior Scientist






Department of Chemistry, Acadia University, 6 University Ave., Elliott Hall Rm. 217, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6


Ru(II) Dyads Derived from α-Oligothiophenes: a New Class of Potent and Versatile Photosensitizers for PDT: Coord. Chem. Rev., 2015, 282-283, 127-138. DOI 10.1016/j.ccr.2014.04.012

Ru(II) Dyads Derived from 2-(1-Pyrenyl)-1H-imidazo[4,5-f][1,10]phenanthroline: Versatile Photosensitizers for Photodynamic Applications: J. Phys. Chem. A, 2014, 118, 10507-10521. DOI:10.1021/jp504330s
In Vitro Multiwavelength PDT with 3IL States: Teaching Old Molecules New Tricks: Inorg. Chem., 2014, 53, 4548−4559. DOI 10.1021/ic5002368

Site by: Spectacle Group