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Faculty participating in the program hold appointments in either the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, or the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Faculty Research Interests
Craig A. Aspinwall
Cellular Function at the Interface of Analytical Chemistry and Cell Physiology
Michael Brown
NMR spectroscopy; membrane proteins and lipid bilayers; receptors and biological signaling; vision
Eli Chapman
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Protein-guided therapeutic discovery; Chemical biology to study p97 biochemistry and biophysics; Small-molecule based therapeutic discovery and development
Pascale Charest Chemistry/Biochemistry Signaling mechanisms and directed cell motility
Matthew Cordes
Structural Evolution and Conformational Switching in Proteins
Indraneel Ghosh
Signal Transduction Pathways, Anti-Cancer Agents and Protein Based Biosensors
Michael Heien Chemistry/Biochemistry Measuring neurotransmitters and neuromodulators.  Specifically to figure out how chemicals affext individual neurons and behavior. The goal of his research is to understand the molecular mechanisms behind synapse formation, the role of supporting cells in modulation of neurotransmission, and how these work to regulate behavior.
Nancy Horton
Macromolecular structure and function; X-ray crystallography
Victor J. Hruby
Asymmetric Synthesis; Biologically Active Peptides/Mimetics; Conformation-Activity Relationships
Christopher Hulme
Enabling chemistries and platform technologies for the construction of targeted small molecule libraries that span possible applications across multiple target families
Laurence H. Hurley
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Development of antitumor agents
John Jewett
Chemical virology - Developing chemical tools to study dengue virus
Eugene A. Mash, Jr.
Organic Synthesis; Medicinal Chemistry; Chemical Toxicology
Michael Marty


Membrane proteins play a number of critical biochemical roles and make up the majority of drug targets. Despite their importance, membrane proteins remain challenging systems for analysis due to their amphipathic nature and low expression levels. Moreover, the lipid bilayer can play an important but largely unexplored role in regulating membrane protein structure and function. New analytical and biochemical methods are necessary to better understand and design drugs to target membrane proteins.

Katrina M. Miranda

Chemical Biology of Nitrogen Oxides; New Detection Techniques and Donors of Nitrogen Oxides; Drug Development
William R. Montfort
Protein structure, function and dynamics; X-ray crystallography
Jon Njardarson Chemistry/Biochemistry Organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and drug development
Rebecca Page
X-ray crystallography NMR Spectroscopy Cell Signaling Cancer Antibiotic Resistance Protein Phosphatases Protein Kinases Toxin antitoxin systems
Wolfgang Peti
NMR Spectroscopy X-ray crystallography Protein function Signaling cascades Cancer Diabetes Protein Phosphatases Protein Kinases
Robin L. Polt
Cell-surface Carbohydrates
S. Scott Saavedra
Interfacial Optics, Biofilms, Biosensors

Rick Schnellmann
Pharm/Tox - DDD

Identifying and developing drugs to treat acute kidney injury, diabetic kidney disease, stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease.

Steve Schwartz Chemistry/Biochemistry Understanding the atomic reaction coordinate of chemical reactions when catalyzed by enzymes and the function of complex protein motor assemblies.

Catharine L. Smith
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression, their regulation through signaling pathways and modulation by anti-cancer drugs
Deakyu Sun
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Regulation of gene expression with chemicals
Elisa Tomat Chemistry/Biochemistry

Biological inorganic chemistry of oxidative stress, wound healing, cell proliferation and cancer

Jun Wang
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Structure, mechanism, and inhibition of ion channels


Georg Wondrak
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Molecular pathways of skin photocarcinogenesis that involve cellular photooxidative and carbonyl stress; Developing chemical reagents into potent drugs that target reactive chemical intermediates
Donna Zhang
Pharmacology and Toxicology
The Nrf2/Keap1 signaling pathway that is activated by oxidative stress and chemopreventive compounds; Regulation of gene expression by the ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation pathway