Dr. Bruce Armitage

photo of Bruce Armitage

Dr. Bruce Armitage

Professor and Co-Director, Center for Nucleic Acid Science and Technology

Department of Chemistry
Carnegie Mellon University
4400 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Office: Mellon Institute 722
Phone: (412) 268 4196
Fax: (412) 268 1061
E-mail: army@andrew.cmu.edu

Department of Chemistry profile

Bruce was born in Niagara Falls (NY) and raised in Lewiston (NY), a few miles downstream from the Falls. He attended the University of Rochester and received his Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry in 1988. He performed undergraduate research with Professor David G. Whitten, studying photochemical reactions in organized media such as reversed micelles and lipid bilayers. Bruce also spent two summers working in the labs of Drs. Samir Farid and Ian Gould at Eastman Kodak Company, studying the relationship between the thermodynamics and the kinetics of electron transfer reactions within the Marcus inverted region.

Bruce performed his Ph.D. work at the University of Arizona, studying photoinduced electron transfer, energy transfer and polymerization reactions within lipid bilayers under the supervision of Professor David F. O'Brien. After completing his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1993, he joined Professor Gary B. Schuster's group at the University of Illinois as a postdoctoral fellow, working on the design of new DNA photocleavage agents.

Bruce moved to Georgia Tech with the Schuster group in 1995 to continue this work. Bruce then spent the summer of 1997 in Denmark, working in the labs of Professors Peter E. Nielsen and Henrik Nielsen at the University of Copenhagen, studying the interactions between peptide nucleic acid (PNA) oligomers and RNA.

In August of 1997, Bruce moved to Carnegie Mellon University as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He was promoted to Associate and then Full Professor of Chemistry, with courtesy appointments in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering. In 2007, Bruce co-founded the Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology, which he co-directs with John Woolford of the Department of Biological Sciences. In 2011, Bruce and Danith Ly co-founded PNA Innovations, Inc, a biotechnology startup company that is commercializing gammaPNA technology under an exclusive license from Carnegie Mellon.

Bruce takes great pleasure in teaching undergraduate organic chemistry and graduate courses in medicinal chemistry and sensors. Bruce’s current research interests include the use of PNA for sequence-specific recognition of DNA and RNA and the development of new fluorescence imaging and sensing reagents, as described in the Research section of this website.