Core Faculty

  Name / Title / Lab Contact Info Research Interests

Marcy Balunas, PhD

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School and Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy

Lab

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-1168
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  1570A MSRB II

The Balunas Research Group focuses on interaction-driven molecule discovery from host-microbe symbioses, seeking a fundamental understanding of how the metabolome mediates host-microbiota interactions. We aim to discover novel bioactive metabolites involved in chemical communication between eukaryotic hosts, their bacterial associates, and pathogenic organisms. Given that these host-microbe symbioses have naturally evolved to select for biologically active bacteria, they provide a source of specialized metabolites likely to have potent medicinal activity and thus be poised for future preclinical drug development. 

Mustapha Beleh, PhD

Director of Education and Collegiate Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry

Phone:  734/647-9459
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  2565 NUB

The focus of my research group is on pharmaceutical education and curricular development. Our research explores the use of novel pedagogical approaches, web-based tools, remedial programs, integration of courses and best models for student assessment.  We examine the effect of these components on the learning of our diverse student body, their performance as they progress through our curriculum and how they best fit in curricular design.

Timothy Cernak, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/647-6793
Email:  [email protected]
Office: 3815 Chem

 

The Cernak Lab applies chemical synthesis and data science tactics towards important societal problems. We apply our resources towards the creation of medicines ­– for cancer, infection, and pain – agrochemicals, natural products, music, perfumes, and robotic protocols. Students in the group navigate challenges in organic chemical synthesis, data science, machine learning, automation, computation, drug discovery, and environmental preservation.

Martin Clasby, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Co-Director of the Vahlteich Medicinal Chemistry Core
VMCC
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/647-1949
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  3632 Chem

In the VMCC we design and synthesize drug-like molecules and diagnostic probes for use in biomedical research.  Our graduate students and staff collaborate with other biomedical researchers in translating novel therapeutic hypotheses into proof-of-concept in animal models of disease regardless of therapeutic area.  We have established many productive collaborations with labs within the University and at external institutions.

George A. Garcia

George Garcia, PhD

Professor and Interim Chair of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
Lab
 

Phone:  734/764-2202
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  4567 NUB

Antibiotic discovery: Structure-based approach to discover improved RNA polymerase inhibitors for Tuberculosis, targeting Shigella virulence pathways, and targeting the SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.

Amanda Garner, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Director, Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy 
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS
 

Phone:  734/763-2654
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  B520 Rm 3343 NCRC

The Garner Laboratory uses chemical biology, medicinal chemistry and molecular and cellular biology approaches to investigate the high-risk/high-reward areas of targeting microRNAs, RNA-protein and protein-protein interactions for probe and drug discovery. These efforts are part of our larger interest in studying mechanisms of translational control, which are dysregulated in many human diseases, yet remain underexplored for therapeutic development.

Michelle Hastings, PhD

Professor of Pharmacology, Medical School; Pfizer Upjohn Research Professor of Pharmacology; Director, mRNA Therapeutics, Center for RNA Biomedicine and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy 
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS
 

Phone:  734/936-3050
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  2220A MSRB III

Dr. Hastings' research focuses on understanding genetic basis of disease and discovering new therapeutics that modulate the process of pre-mRNA splicing to alter gene expression.

Roland Kersten, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Lab

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/647-1840
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  4062 NUB

The Kersten lab aims to discover new plant-based chemicals to cure human diseases by combination of ancient wisdom about medicinal plants and modern knowledge of plant biochemistry. We use plant genomics, mass spectrometry and synthetic biology to unlock new medicinal chemistry from plants.

Nouri Neamati, Ph.D. | Cancer Biology | Michigan Medicine | University of  Michigan

Nouri Neamati, PhD
John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

Lab

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/647-2732
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  B520-1363 NCRC

Areas of primary interest to the Neamati laboratory include 1) synthetic medicinal chemistry, machine learning, structure- and ligand-based drug design, 2) cellular and molecular pharmacology, and 3) preclinical drug development. Specifically, we are interested in performing in-depth lead-optimization and pre-clinical pharmacology of a series of promising small-molecule compounds that we have recently discovered for the treatment of various cancers.

Matthew O'Meara, Ph.D. | Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics |  Michigan Medicine | University of Michigan

Matthew O'Meara PhD

Assistant Professor of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, Medical School and Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy 
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS
 

Phone:  415/818-3308
Email:  [email protected]
Office: 2044D Palmer Commons

Dr. O'Meara's research interests are in computational pharmacology including virtual screening and statistical analysis of high-content and screens.

Jason Rech, PhD
Associate Research Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy and Director of the Vahlteich Medicinal Chemistry Core
VMCC

 

Phone:  734/763-1894
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  4563 NUB

In the VMCC we design and synthesize drug-like molecules and diagnostic probes for use in biomedicinal research. Our graduate students and staff collaborate with other biomedical researchers in translating novel therapeutic hypotheses into proof-of-concept in animal models of disease regardless of therapeutic area. We have established many productive collaborations with labs within the University and at external institutions.

Emily Scott, PhD

F. F. Blicke Collegiate Professor of Pharmacy;
Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Professor of Pharmacology, Medical School; Professor of Biological Chemistry, Medical School; and Professor of Biophysics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/764-3530
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  2020 Pharm

The Scott lab studies structure/function of human cytochrome P450 enzymes involved in 1) drug metabolism and procarcinogen activation and 2) generation of important endogenous steroids, fatty acids, and eicosanoids. Understanding the former P450 enzymes is important in predicting drug dosing and adverse effects, while the latter are drug targets in many diseases.  Biochemical, biophysical, and structural biology approaches are employed.

Peter Scott, PhD

Professor of Radiology and Professor of Pharmacology, Medical School; and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-1756
Email: [email protected]
Office:  2298 Med Sci 1 Radiology

Non-invasive in vivo imaging of biochemical processes in neurological and oncological disease states using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging, design and synthesis of novel small molecules that can be radiolabeled with fluorine-18 or carbon-11 to generate radiopharmaceuticals for positron emission tomography imaging; Solid-phase organic synthesis.

Jonathan Sexton, PhD

Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Medical School, and Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

 

Phone:  734/764-1550
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  4742F Med Sci II

The Sexton lab performs drug discovery and development for the interrelated set of disorders involving diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and associated complications. We use a combination of phenotypic and molecular target driven drug discovery approaches coupled with in vivo models of diabetes and obesity. Our main technology focus is high content screening, cell painting and drug repurposing to enable rapid benchside-to-bedside translation for unmet medical needs.

David Sherman, PhD

Hans W. Vahlteich Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School; Professor of Chemistry, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute; Co-Director, Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (PSTP) 
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-9907
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  4036 LSI

Sherman pursues research on natural product drug discovery.  His laboratory has developed a unique library of compounds and extracts that are being screened against numerous disease targets relating to cancer, microbial pathogens, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and human parasites.  Sherman’s research includes genomic analysis of diverse microorganisms that generate natural products in an effort to understand their assembly, structural diversification and modes of self-resistance.

Picture of Terra in front of a green background with a shiny white button down shirt and buzzed haircut

Terra Sztain-Pedone, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Lab

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/764-7312
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  2567 NUB

Dr. Sztain’s research focus involves using artificial intelligence to predict the effects of mutations on protein structure and function, exemplified by recent work on SARS-Cov2.

Peter L. Toogood, PhD

Research Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Director of Michigan Drug Discovery (MDD)

Lab
MDD

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/763-5747
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  3546 NUB

We use organic synthesis and computational chemistry to identify novel ligands for challenging protein and RNA targets. A primary focus of our work is a class of metabolic enzymes implicated in cancer and autoimmune disease.

John Traynor, PhD

Edward F. Domino Research Professor; Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Professor and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Pharmacology, Medical School

Lab
Domino Research Center

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/647-7479
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  1220C MSRB 3

Research in the Traynor laboratory is centered on drugs that act at opioid receptors to give analgesia, but have on-target side-effects including life-threatening respiratory depression and addiction.  We use biochemical, pharmacological and computational methods to understand how opioid receptors work and to design novel ligands that target these receptors, and associated proteins, to develop medications for pain and substance abuse.

Ashootosh Tripathi, PhD

Director, UM-Natural Products Discovery Core; Associate Research Scientist, Life Sciences Institute; Research Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy

Lab

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/647-8988
Email:  [email protected]
Office:  4024 LSI

Tripathi's core laboratory works towards unraveling the microbial chemical diversity identified through HTS and connecting the producing biosynthetic gene clusters to the novel/unknown chemical entities by utilizing state-of-the-art technologies in Natural Products Discovery Core. Furthermore, the rapid genomic and metabolomics profiling allows users to identify high-value molecules, as well as, novel enzymes as probes, drug leads, and tools.

Shaomeng Wang, PhD

Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Internal Medicine, Medical School, and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy

Lab

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-3969
Email: [email protected]
Office:  1245/NCRC 520

Dr. Wang’s areas of interest include on structure-based design and synthesis of molecular target-specific novel small molecule drugs for treatment of cancer and neurological diseases. Development and application of new computational and informatics methods, and tools for drug design and discovery.

 

Affiliated Faculty in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry

  Name / Title / Lab Contact Info Research Interests

Charles Brooks III, PhD
Cyrus Levinthal Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics; Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Chemistry; Director of Biophysics
and Faculty Associate in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS
 

Phone:  734/647-6682
Email: [email protected]

Office:  2006 Chem

Protein simulations, and structure-based drug discovery

CierpickiPhoto.jpg | Chemical Biology

Tomek Cierpicki, PhD
Professor of Pathology, Medical School, and Professor of Biophysics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Lab

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-9324
Email: [email protected]

Office:

 
Jolanta Grembecka, PhD

Richard and Susan Rogel Professor of Cancer Therapeutics and Professor of Pathology, Medical School and Faculty Associate in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry

Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-3860
Email: [email protected]
Office:  4510D MSRB 1 Pathology

Inhibition of protein-protein interactions, Cancer biology, New epigenetic drug targets, Design and synthesis of new inhibitors targeting proteins involved in cancer development

John Montgomery, PhD
Arthur F. Thurnau Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor in Medicinal Chemistry and Synthetic Chemistry, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and Faculty Associate in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/764 4424
Email: [email protected]
Office:  3819 Chem

Organic chemistry, Organometallic chemistry, Complex molecule synthesis

Pavel Nagorny | U-M LSA Chemistry

Pavel Nagorny, PhD
Professor of Chemistry, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Faculty Associate in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry

Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-2833
Email: [email protected]
Office:  3807 Chem

Total synthesis, Cardiotonic steroids, Carbohydrate chemistry, Organocatalysis

Alison Narayan, PhD
Life Sciences Director, Mary Sue Coleman Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences, Research Associate Professor, Life Sciences Institute and Associate Professor of Chemistry, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Faculty Associate in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-6873
Email: [email protected]
Office:  4002 LSI

We harness the powerful reactivity and selectivity of chemistry that exists in nature — and develop new tools and approaches for creating biologically interesting and beneficial molecules.

Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska, MS, PhD
Professor of Pathology, Program Associate, Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Program, and Associate Director Academic Programs, Medical School; and Faculty Associate in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-9202
Email: [email protected]
Office:  B520 Rm 1368

Discovery, design and development of small molecules as new molecularly targeted therapies for cancer.

Anna Schwendeman

Anna Schwendeman, PhD
William I Higuchi Collegiate Professor of Pharmacy; Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences,and Faculty Associate in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry
Lab

ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/763-4056
Email: [email protected]
Office:  B20 Rm 102W NCRC

High density lipoproteins (HDL), atherosclerosis, HDL interactions with cellular proteins, Nanomedicine, Peptide-phospholipid interactions, Lipid nano-rafts for membrane protein structure elucidation, Design of lipoprotein mimetic peptides.

Janet Smith, Ph.D. | Biological Chemistry | Michigan Medicine | University  of Michigan

Janet Smith, PhD
Rita Willis Professor of the Life Sciences, Martha L Ludwig Distinguished University Professor of Biological Chemistry, Professor of Biological Chemistry, Medical School, Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute, Associate Director, Department of Life Sciences Institute and Professor of Biophysics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and Faculty Associate in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-9564
Email: [email protected]
Office:  3437 LSI

Molecular mechanisms of proteins, X-ray crystallography.

Duxin Sun, PhD
Charles R. Walgreen Jr. Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy,and Faculty Associate in the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry
Lab
ACCEPTING STUDENTS

Phone:  734/615-8740
Email: [email protected]
Office:  NCRC, B520 Rm 3353

Protein-protein interactions, Cancer stem cells, Biopharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics, and drug metabolism, Nanotheranostics for drug delivery.

Adjunct Faculty

  Name / Title  Contact Info Research Interests

Heather Carlson, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Email: [email protected] Dr. Heather Carlson is Vice-President for Data Science at Odyssey Therapeutics. Dr. Carlson is a renowned computational medicinal chemist with a track record of excellence and decades of experience as a member of the UM Medicinal Chemistry faculty for 23 years, the last 1.5 years serving a department chair.

 

Robert Kennedy, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor
Email: [email protected]  

Jeffrey Kittendorf, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor
Email:  [email protected] Dr. Jeffrey Kittendorf is the co-founder of three biotech companies: Alluvium Biosciences (VP) develops and employs synthetic biology approaches to generate drug leads from natural products, PharmaForensics(Managing Partner) provides technical/experimental litigation support services to intellectual property litigation attorneys in the areas of life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology, andSteep Hill Michigan (CEO) a licensed medical and adult-use/recreational cannabis safety compliance testing facility. He is the author of numerous research papers and reviews and has 20 years of interdisciplinary research experience in industry and academic laboratories.

Jie (Jack) Li, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Jie (Jack) Li has over 25 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery in both big pharma and biotechnology companies in the US including Pfizer, BMS, and Revolution Medicines.  In addition to 34 research articles and 12 patents, he has published over 30 books on organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and history of drug discovery.  He published 10 books with Nobel Laureate E. J. Corey.  His book “Name Reactions: A Collection of Detailed Mechanisms and Synthetic Applications”, now in its 6th edition, is popular worldwide, having educated a generation of organic chemists.

Nicholas Meanwell, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Nicholas A. Meanwell joined Bristol Myers Squibb in 1982 and retired in 2022 after having led drug discovery programs in the cardiovascular, neurosciences and virology therapeutic areas, work that resulted in the advancement of 33 clinical candidates. Dr. Meanwell has authored/co-authored more than 300 publications, review articles, book chapters and editorials and presented more than 180 invited lectures at National and International meetings, Universities and Schools. He is named as an inventor/co-inventor of 144 issued U.S. Patents. Dr. Meanwell is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry with co-responsibility for Perspectives articles.

 

Drago Robert Sliskovic, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Email: [email protected]  

 

Emeritus Faculty

  Name / Title  Contact Info Research Interests

Henry Mosberg, PhD
Tom D. Rowe Collegiate Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy, and Professor Emeritus of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
Email: [email protected] Research in the Mosberg lab focuses primarily on molecular recognition between small to medium size ligands (usually peptides) and their macromolecular targets (usually membrane-associated, G protein-coupled receptors, GPCRs) and spans structure-based drug design and syntheis, combinatorial synthesis, protein structure modeling, and biochemical characterization.

Hollis Showalter, PhD
Research Professor Emeritus of Medicinal Chemistry

 

Email:  [email protected]

Natural products modification and heterocyclic chemistry synthesis, Designing in physicochemical properties to high-throughput screen hits that confer “druggability” (e.g., conformity to Lipinski rules, absence of toxicophores), Development of structure-activity relationships (SAR) to derive compounds with optimal pharmacokinetic and metabolic profiles toward the initiation of in vivo studies, Principal therapeutic focus in bacterial diseases and oncology with extensive knowledge of associated targets, e.g., RNA polymerase and protein kinases.

Ronald Woodard, PhD
F. F. Blicke Collegiate Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy, Professor Emeritus of Medicinal Chemistry, and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

Email:  [email protected]

Biosynthesis and degradation of simple and complex carbohydrates both at the construction level, cellular control and physiological function. Biosynthesis and physiological roles of the lipopolysaccharide portion of pathogenic Gram-negative microorganisms, in particular the 3-deoxy-D-manno-oct-2-ulosonic acid (kdo) biosynthetic/attachment branch. 

 

Listing Row

Thursday, September 5, 2019
Thursday, September 5, 2019