Chemistry Faculty Listing
Alessandra Leri, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science
Ph.D., Chemistry, Princeton University, 2007
M.A., Italian, University of Virginia, 2002
B.S., Chemistry, College of William and Mary, 2000
Professor Leri is an environmental chemist who teaches courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and environmental science. Her work on natural organohalogen production has contributed to overturning the paradigmatic view of halogens as unreactive inorganic species in the environment. She maintains an active research laboratory with MMC undergraduates, conducting field studies and laboratory measurements to shed light on biological chlorination in forest ecosystems. She also studies organochlorine compounds in consumer products. Prof. Leri and her research students take frequent trips to Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island to perform X-ray absorption spectroscopic measurements at the National Synchrotron Light Source. She welcomes inquiries from students interested in molecular environmental science.
- A. Leri and S. Myneni. “Organochlorine Turnover in Forest Ecosystems: The Missing Link in the Terrestrial Chlorine Cycle” (2010), Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 24, GB4021.
- A. Leri, J. Hakala, M. Marcus, A. Lanzirotti, C. Reddy, and S. Myneni. “Natural Organobromine in Marine Sediments: New Evidence of Biogeochemical Br Cycling” (2010), Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 24, GB4017.
Benedetta Sampoli Benitez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Chair, Division of the Sciences
B.S., University of Florence
M.S., University of Florence
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Dr. Benedetta Sampoli Benitez joined the Faculty at Marymount Manhattan College in the Fall of 2000. After graduating with honors in Chemistry at the University of Florence, Italy, where she is from, she went on to the University of California, San Diego for her Ph.D. While at UCSD, her main areas of research were Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology. Upon completion of her graduate studies in 1999, she worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a research fellow. Her current research interests are in the area of computational biology. In particular, she investigates the fidelity mechanisms of DNA polymerases using molecular dynamics simulations. To support her research, she has active collaborations with scientists at NYU, Scripps Research Institute and UCSD. Her research students have been presenting their work at regional and national research conferences often earning top honors.
At Marymount Manhattan College, Dr. Sampoli Benitez teaches a variety of chemistry courses for Biology majors including the capstone Biochemistry course. She has also developed numerous courses for the General Education such as Drugs and the Brain and Introduction to Forensic Science.
Sampoli Benitez, B., K Arora, L. Balisreri and T. Schlick. “Mismatched base-pair simulations for ASFV Pol X/DNA complexes help interpret frequent G*G misincorporation.” Journal of Molecular Biology, Dec. 31, 2008, 384(5):1086-97.