Dr. Dionicio Siegel

Synthesis Applied to Drug Discovery and Development

Dio Siegel Photo
Dionicio Siegel, Ph.D.

Professor
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Email
drsiegel@health.ucsd.edu
Phone
(858) 822-3666
Research Summary

Building molecules using synthetic organic chemistry is the focus of our research. The compounds targeted for synthesis fall in three categories; probe compounds for elucidating function and regulation, optimized compounds with enhanced pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic attributes, and structurally complex natural products.  All of these molecule constructing programs are focused on advancing new ideas in small molecule-based therapeutics. In particular, synthesis in the laboratory enables the creation of new chemical matter that provides a competitive edge enhancing the projects’ translational potential.

Academic Achievements

Education:

B.A. Chemistry (1997) Reed College; Ph.D. Chemistry (2003) Harvard University; Postdoctoral Studies in Molecular Pharmacology (2003-2007) Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 

Awards and Honors:

Institute Fellowship, California Institute of Technology (1997-1998); Upjohn-Pharmacia Fellow (1998); Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (2005-2007); College of Natural Science Teaching Excellence Award (2010); The University of Texas System Reagents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (2010); College of Natural Sciences Outreach Excellence Award (2011); National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2012-2017) 

Leadership Experience:

Division Head of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UC San Diego 7/2019-present; Director of Californian Shaman, 5/2016-present; Co-Director UC San Diego Center for Compound Resources 1/2015-present; Director of Texas Shamans, 2008-2013. 

Teaching

Chemistry 40 Series. Organic Chemistry

Chemistry 199 Reading and Research

Biology Research Internship Program 199 Individual Research for Undergraduates

Pharmaceutical Chemistry I – Advanced Organic Chemistry (SPPS 221)

Key Contributions
  • Developed synthetic routes to natural products with unknown mechanism of action
  • Developed a new synthetic method natural products that regulate diverse biological functions
  • Determined biological targets of for the conversion of arenes to phenolic compounds tolerant of diverse functionality
Potential Collaborative Programs
  • Design and synthesis of compounds predicted to have improved pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic
    properties
  • Development of synthetic routes to generate gram to decagram amounts of material for in depth testing
  • Synthesis of labeled compounds for metabolism and regulation of studies
  • Synthesis of probe compounds for imaging and the determination of mechanism(s) of action
  • Training opportunities for synthetic chemists