Synthesis Applied to Drug Discovery and Development
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
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.
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)
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.
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)
- 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
- C. Yuan et al. (2013). Metal-Free Aromatic C-H Oxidation Through a Reverse Rebound Mechanism. Nature 499:192-196
- A. T. Nelson et al (2017) Stereochemistry of Endogenous Palmitic Acid Esters of 9-Hydroxystearic Acid and Relevance of Absolute Configuration to Regulation. Journal of the American Chemical Society 139, 4943-4947.
- T. C. Johnson et al (2016). Synthesis of Eupalinilide E a Promoter of Human Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cell Expansion. Journal of the American Chemical Society 138, 6068-6073.
- H. Wang et al (2019) Stereochemistry of Linoleic Acid Esters of Hydroxy Linoleic Acids. Organic Letters 21, 8080-8084
- D. Tan et al (2019) Discovery of FAHFA-Containing Triacylglycerols and Their Metabolic Regulation Journal of the American Chemical Society 141, 8798-8806
- M. P. Christy et al (2020) Total Synthesis of Micrococcin P1 Through Scalable Thiazole Forming Reactions of Cysteine Derivatives and Nitriles. Organic Letters 22, 2365-2370
- Design and synthesis of compounds predicted to have improved pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic
- 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