Dr. Dionicio Siegel

Synthesis Applied to Drug Development

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Dionicio Siegel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

(858) 822-3666
Research Summary

Our group develops synthetic routes to natural products that provides the basis for subsequent investigations into the mechanisms of action of the compounds as well as optimization of the natural products’ biological performance through medicinal chemistry.

Through collaborative efforts with research groups in different disease areas we optimize compounds that originate in their laboratories for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics properties. We also help prepare novel molecular probes to decipher the mechanisms of action of these compounds. 

Academic Achievements


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:

Head of the Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSD 7/2018-6/2020 Director of Californian Shaman, 5/2016-present Co-Director UCSD Center for Compound Resources 1/2015-present Director of Texas Shamans, 2008-2013. 

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
  • Development of synthetic routes affording gram to decagram access to preclinical agents
  • Direct synthesis of phenolic metabolites from drugs for toxicology and related testing
  • Creation of convergent synthetic routes to rapidly access chemically edited analogs
  • Training opportunities for synthetic chemists