Biological Chemistry Program

ABOUT

The NIH supported Biological Chemistry Program (BCP) is a cross-disciplinary graduate program designed for research at the interface of Chemistry and Biology. Participating Faculty are primarily from the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Drug Discovery and Development Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Students entering the Biological Chemistry Program may work with any of these faculty while earning a PhD in one of two degree programs.

WHY JOIN THE BCP?

The Biological Chemistry Program offers unique opportunities for cutting-edge research with the advantages of choosing from research conducted in any of three excellent programs. The three programs have internationally renowned faculty, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and outstanding support facilities.

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BCP Protein Crystal Structure

CAREER OPORTUNITIES

The Biological Chemistry Program provides exposure to the myriad of excellent career opportunities that exist for scientists trained at the chemistry/biology interface. These opportunities include careers as faculty in Universities and Colleges and as scientists in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration.

The Biological Chemistry Program (BCP) is an NIH supported graduate training program that can be joined as a track through two departments: Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Drug Discovery and Development of Pharmacology and Toxicology. The program is interdisciplinary and students undertake research rotations, courses and seminars involving all three Graduate Programs: Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Drug Discovery and Development. The background for BCP students is expected to include a year of biochemistry and a year of physical chemistry. In our program, students:

  • Satisfy all home program requirements. It is expected that students will remain in good academic standing in their home department, and will achieve candidacy and a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Pharmaceutical Sciences through their home department.

  • Undertake research rotations in at least two programs. Rotations can be with any BCP faculty member and should include at least two research disciplines. BCP faculty, research interests and current rotation opportunities are listed on our web page. Students often choose their thesis advisor by spring break and the fourth rotation can be in this lab even if previously visited. A rotation poster session is held during our Research Forum after each rotation period. Students are expected to devote 10-15 hours per week to the rotation and will receive a grade. Rotations are an excellent hands-on opportunity to learn about a new area of research as well as for learning more about a potential thesis lab. Students are encouraged to use one of their rotations for something completely out of their experience – for example, a synthetic chemist might try cloning and expressing a protein.

  • Undertake one cross-disciplinary core course and an ethics course. In addition to fulfilling the coursework required for a degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Pharmaceutical Sciences, BCP students must take at least two of the approved courses listed below, one each from the Biology and Chemistry disciplines. Students must also take an ethics course such as MCB 695e or CHEM 595A/B.

  • Undertake thesis research with any of the ~35 BCP faculty, regardless of home department. Although most students will have a thesis advisor from their home department, we offer the opportunity for BCP students to work with any of the BCP faculty.

  • Assemble a thesis committee with at least one member outside of their home program. Generally, this person will be a BCP faculty member with cross-disciplinary interests in the student’s research area. Students are encouraged to use this as a means for initiating cross-disciplinary collaborations.

  • Attend the weekly BCP Research Forum (also called Journal Club). Students are expected to attend throughout their graduate careers. Generally, students will present rotation posters in the Research Forum during their first year and full research seminars in their third and fifth years of study. In year four, students present a journal article.

  • Are eligible for BCP fellowships. Applications are solicited each spring; awards are made based on merit, generally within the second and third years.

Biological Chemical

BIOC 565 Proteins & Enzymes

BIOC 568 Nucleic Acids, Metabolism and Signaling

PHSC 530 Intro. Mol. Therapeutics & Drug Discovery

PHSC 670 Princip. Drug Discov., Design and Dev.

PCOL 520a Cellular Commun. And Signal Trans.

 

CHEM 550 Synthetic and Mechanistic Organic Chemistry

CHEM 549A Topics in Chemical Biology

CHEM 510 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

CHEM 523a Bioanalytical Chemistry

CHEM 580 Introduction to Quantum Chemistry

                                                                               Other Requirements:
BIOC 595e BCP Journal Club
MCB 695e Science, Society & Ethics 
CHEM 595A/B Professional Development, or an equivalent course

 

*Last Updated in 2022

Prospective Students should apply to one of the two participating departments,  Chemistry and Biochemistry or Pharmacology and Toxicology, for admission to the University of Arizona. Students accepted into any of the two home departments are welcome to join the Biological Chemistry Program.

Currently Enrolled University of Arizona Graduate Students wishing to join the Biological Chemistry Program should contact Professor William Montfort.

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
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Cellular Function at the Interface of Analytical Chemistry and Cell Physiology

Michael Brown
Chemistry/Biochemistry

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
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Structural Evolution and Conformational Switching in Proteins

Xinxin Ding
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Drug metabolism/disposition, enzyme function/regulation, drug safety/efficacy, and Genetic/enviromental risks for chemical toxicity
James Galligan
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Studying cell metabolism and chromatin function

Indraneel Ghosh
Chemistry/Biochemistry

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
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Macromolecular structure and function; X-ray crystallography

Christopher Hulme
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Enabling chemistries and platform technologies for the construction of targeted small molecule libraries that span possible applications across multiple target families

John Jewett
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Chemical virology - Developing chemical tools to study dengue virus

Nam Lee
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Metabolism, Signaling, and Regulation Protein and Membrane Biochemistry
Hongmin Li
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Structural biology, X-ray crystallography, protein-protein interaction, target-based drug discovery, high throughput screening

Jianqin Lu
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Drug delivery, Nanomedicine, Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics, Nano-Immuno Engineering, Cancer Immunotherapy, Chemotherapy, Biomaterials

Michael Marty
Chemistry/Biochemistry

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
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Chemical Biology of Nitrogen Oxides; New Detection Techniques and Donors of Nitrogen Oxides; Drug Development

William R. Montfort
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Protein structure, function and dynamics; X-ray crystallography

Jon Njardarson      Chemistry/Biochemistry

Organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and drug development

Aikseng Ooi
Pharmacology and Toxicology

NRF2 signaling, Iron metabolism, Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Cancer (HLRCC), Computational Biology.

Robin L. Polt
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Cell-surface Carbohydrates

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.

Catharine L. Smith
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression, their regulation through signaling pathways and modulation by anti-cancer drugs

Daekyu Sun
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Regulation of gene expression with chemicals

Joann Sweasy
Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Molecular basis of mutagenesis and dysfunctional DNA repair as they relate to human diseases including cancer and autoimmunity

Michael Taylor
Chemistry/Biochemistry

Design, develop, and apply new organic chemical transformations that can be used to explore the chemistry-biology interface in living systems

Gregory Thatcher
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Drug Discovery from design through clinical trials. Use of chemical, molecular, and structural biology tools to understand biomolecule targets and design small molecules to engage these targets in cell and animal models.

Thomas Tomasiak  Chemistry/Biochemistry

Advanced structural approaches (x-ray crystallography and cryo-EM) and membrane protein stabilization techniques based on lipid nanodiscs to address pharmacological problems involving eukaryotic lipid and drug transporters.

Elisa Tomat            Chemistry/Biochemistry

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

Marielle Wälti

Chemistry/Biochemistry

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting 5.5 million Americans. Despite many decades of research there is still no known cure. AD is a protein misfolding disease, where the Alzheimer’s protein, Ab, aggregates from a random coil entity into fibrils, which are highly organized aggregates containing a cross-b sheet structure. However, the nature of the toxic species in Alzheimer’s disease remains unknown.
Wei Wang
Pharm/Tox - DDD
Organic synthesis, molecular imaging and recognition, chemical biology and medicinal chemistry (drug discovery)

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

Rue Xiong
Pharmacology and Toxicology

 Focused on the structure-based design of bioactive molecules to modulate disease-causing proteins or genes using X-ray crystallography and computational modeling to guide molecule design

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

Haining Zhu
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Neurodegenerative diseases, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), RNA binding proteins in neurodegenerative diseases, Regulation of RNA metabolism and protein translation in neurodegenerative diseases, Stress granules in neurodegenerative diseases and other human health conditions, Protein homeostasis, misfolding, aggregation and turnover, Mass spectrometry, proteomics and functional genomics, Protein chemistry, biophysics, structure and function relationship

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Student Home Department Entered Program Advisor
Ajibola Adelakun Drug Discovery and Development Fall 2021  
Tasmia Ahmed CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2019 Nam Lee
Genesis Cahigas CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2017 Pascale Charest
Mengyang Chang CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2020 Wei Wang
Keren-ha Chavez CBC/Chemistry Fall 2022  
Tim Chavez CBC/Chemistry Fall 2020 Chris Hulme
Nicholas Christie CBC/Chemistry Fall 2021 Greg Thatcher
Natasha Cornejo CBC/Chemistry Fall 2017 John Jewett
Jenna Courey CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2022  
Sarah Couture Drug Discovery and Development Fall 2022  
Mariposa Cox CBC/Chemistry Fall 2022  
Paola Cruz Flores CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2018 Nam Lee
Tapasyatanu Dash CBC/Chemistry Fall 2021 Michael Marty
Oluwaseun Fapohunda CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2021 Michael Marty
Alessandra Fistrovich CBC/Chemistry Fall 2019 Chris Hulme
Kimber Focke CBC/Chemistry Fall 2022  
Andrea Hamilton CBC/Chemistry Fall 2019 M. Leandro Heien
Bai He CBC/Chemistry Fall 2019 Michael Brown
Lipsa Jena CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2019 Tom Tomasiak
Naoya Kitamura Drug Discovery and Development Fall 2021 James Galligan
Megan Laham CBC/Chemistry Fall 2020 Greg Thatcher
Nicholas Lauta CBC/Chemistry Fall 2018 Jon Njardarson
Michelle Lay CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2019 Jacob Schwartz
Yan Liang CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2019 JY Yoon
Aidan McMahon CBC/Chemistry Fall 2022  
Farhana Mohona CBC/Chemistry Fall 2022  
Michael Okine CBC/Chemistry Spring 2022 Wei Wang
Agata Orlinski CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2016 Pascale Charest
Abigail Page CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2022  
Hieu Pham CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2022  
Devin Pontigon CBC/Chemistry Fall 2020 Wei Wang
MD Shamiul Rasel CBC/Chemistry Fall 2022  
Samantha Rockey CBC/Chemistry Fall 2020 Chris Hulme
Hannah Schmidt CBC/Chemistry Fall 2018 Craig Aspinwall
Kevin Schofield CBC/Chemistry Fall 2019 Chris Hulme
Annika Schulz CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2022  
Devin Seka CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2019 Tom Tomasiak
Jared Sivinski Drug Discovery and Development Fall 2017 Eli Chapman
Stephen Smith CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2016 Pascale Charest
Jeremy Snell Drug Discovery and Development Fall 2019 Charles Wondrak
Farinaz Soleymani CBC/Chemistry Fall 2022  
Prosper Tagbor CBC/Chemistry Fall 2022  
Julia Townsend CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2018 Michael Marty
Marissa Trujillo Drug Discovery and Development Fall 2019 James Galligan
Nhi Van CBC/Chemistry Fall 2019 Joann Sweasy
Brandon Walls Drug Discovery and Development Fall 2019 Jun Wang
Zhihan Wang CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2017 Craig Aspinwall
Nathan Weintraub CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2020 M. Leandro Heien
Alyssa Werner CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2017 Pascale Charest
Helena Woroniecka CBC/Biochemistry Fall 2020 Pascale Charest

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Alumnus Dissertation

LAURA BASANTES, Ph.D. 2022

Title: DYRK1a Kinase Structural and Biochemical Studies

Research Director: William Montfort

ZEKUN LIU, Ph.D. 2022

Title: Peptide Drug Design and the Investigation of Biased Signaling for Melanocortin Receptor System

Research Director: Victor Hruby

HOLLY SOFKA, Ph.D. 2022

Title: Base-Activated Lysine Probes and their Utility in Mosquito Larvae Midguts

Research Director: John Jewett

SAMUAL SUGERMAN, Ph.D. 2022

Title: Post-Translational Protein Switches: Novel and Selective Control in Human Cells

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

BRITTANY STANKAVICH, Ph.D. 2022

Title: The Development and Application of Ligand-Gated Split-Kinases to Interrogate Signal Transduction of Src Family Kinases

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

JONATHON SAWYER, Ph.D. 2022

Title: Structure-Activity Studies of A-Melanotropin and Ultra- Short Glp-1 Analogs to Benchmark the Development of Improved Anti-Obesity Drugs

Research Director: Dr. Victor Hruby

ALEXANDER MARCINIAK, Ph.D. 2022

Title: Development of Immune Modulators Targeting Autoimmune Disor-Ders And Pulmonary Injury: Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Sphingolipid-Derived Sphingosine-1 Phosphate Receptor 1 Agonists

Research Director: Dr. Robin Polt

KEERTHANA ANDAKUDI KESAVAN, Ph.D. 2022

Title: Chemical Biology Strategies for Controlling Protein Function and the Interrogation of Cyclin/CDK Interactions

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

NILOOFAR GHADIRIAN, Ph.D. 2022

Title: Study of DNA Binding Proteins, Structure, Mechanism, and Functional Relevance

Research Director: Dr. Nancy Horton

GARRETT DAVIS, Ph.D. 2022

Title: Forging the Bioconjugate Toolbox: Development of Novel Probes for Orthogonal and Bioorthogonal Protein Functionalization

Research Director: Dr. John Jewett

AMOFAH BISMARK, Ph.D. 2022

Title: Protein Engineering Methods to Understand Kinase Signaling and Protein-Protein Interactions

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

CHRIS ZERIO, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Targeting the Central Dogma to Inhibit Nodes of Convergence in Cancer

Research Director: Dr. Eli Chapman

SARAH YOUNG, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Resolving CD47 Structure and Discerning Function to Understand Signal Transduction Mechanism

Research Director: Dr. William Montfort

KRISTIANE TORGESON, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Conserved Conformational Dynamics Control PTP1B Enzymatic Activity

Research Director: Dr. Rebecca Page

ABIGAIL SHEPARD, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Synthetically Diverse Triazabutadienes and Their Applications Towards Biological Systems

Research Director: Dr. John Jewett

KEVIN SCOTT, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Analysis of FDA-Approved Drugs and Select Methods Toward Analogs of Cantharidin and Apomorphine

Research Director: Dr. Jon Njardarson

MARTA SCHOENLE, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Using Structure to Study the Function of Proteins Involved in Antibiotic Resistance and Viral Infection

Research Director: Dr. Rebecca Page

MATTHEW ROLLINS, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Elucidating the Role of RNA Binding Proteins in Maintaining Genome Integrity

Research Director: Dr. Jacob Schwartz

NILOUFAR MOLLASALEHI, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Two Different Approaches Towards Development of Therapeutics for Neurological Disorders

Research Director: Dr. May Khanna

YANMEI HU, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Targeting Viral Proteins and Host Factors for Discovery and Development of Antivirals Against Influenza, Enterovirus and Coronavirus

Research Director: Dr. Jun Wang

MICHAEL DELOST, Ph.D. 2021

Title: Development of New Anionic Cascades and Analysis of US FDA Drug Architectures

Research Director: Dr. Jon Njardarson

CLAUDIA BARAHONA, Ph.D. 2021

Title: SgrAI, A Model System for the Study of Enzyme Regulation Via Filamentation

Research Director: Dr. Nancy Horton

RAMI MUSHARRAFIEH, Ph.D. 2020

Title: Small-Molecule Drugs Against RNA Viruses - Novel Action and Resistance Mechanisms

Research Director: Dr. Michael Brown

MAHTA MOINPOUR, Ph.D. 2020

Title: Discriminating Changes in Protein Structure Using Tyrosine Conjugation

Research Director: Dr. Jacob Schwartz

CHATHURI KOMBALA, Ph.D. 2020

Title: Development and Application of CEST MRI Contrast Agents that Evaluate Tumor Acidosis and Enzyme Activity

Research Director: Dr. Marty Pagel

LINDSAY GUZMAN, Ph.D. 2020

Title: Protected Triazabutadienes in Chemical Biology

Research Director: Dr. John Jewett

TAYLOR GEE, Ph.D. 2020

Title: Pain and Dopamine in the Mesolimbic System

Research Director: Dr. M. Leandro Heien

CHRISTOPHER FOLEY, Ph.D. 2020

Title: The Discovery of DYR533, a Selective, Orally Bioavailable, Non-Toxic, Brain Penetrant DYRK1A Inhibitor, a Potential Therapeutic for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Research Director: Dr. Christopher Hulme

SHANNON COLLINS, Ph.D. 2020

Title: Role of Ras in Regulating mTORC2 Activity and Function in Cancer Cell Migration

Research Director: Dr. Pascale Charest

ANDREW AMBROSE, Ph.D. 2020

Title: Characterization and Exploitation of Divergence Substrate Binding Within GRP78 for the Development of Selective Inhibitors

Research Director: Dr. Eli Chapman

YANG ZHOU, Ph.D. 2019

Title: Development of Selective Peptide Ligands Targeting Melanocortin Receptors for Melanoma Prevention and Therapy

Research Director: Dr. Victor Hruby

MARGARETHA SCAVELLO, Ph.D. 2018

Title: Uncovering the Role of Protein Kinase A in Dictyostelium Chemotaxis Toward Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate

Research Director: Dr. Pascal Charest

NICHOLAS MCCONNELL, Ph.D. 2018

Title: Identification and Development of TrkA, Flt3, Aurora B and CSF-1R Kinase Inhibitors

Research Director: Dr. Georg Wondrak

JOSHUA GOLDENBERG, Ph.D. 2018

Title: Machine Learning-Based Classification to Differentiate Bacterial Infection from Inflammation

Research Director: Dr. Georg Wondrak

CHANDA DE SILVA, Ph.D. 2018

Title: Employing Chemical Biology Tools for Selective Control of Acetyltransferases and Interrogation of Signal Transduction Pathways of Kinases

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

JESSICA WALES, Ph.D. 2017

Title: Allosteric Regulation of Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase: The Nitric Oxide Receptor

Research Director: Dr. William Montfort

KATHERINE PARENT, Ph.D. 2017

Title: Expanding the Toolbox for Neurochemical Analyses

Research Director: Dr. M. Leandro Heien

KEITH OLSON, Ph.D. 2017

Title: Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Selective Antagonists at the Mu-Delta Opioid Heteromer

Research Director: Dr. Victor Hruby

VISHNU KUMARASAMY, Ph.D. 2017

Title: Targeting the Transcription Of Ret Oncogene in Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma Using Drug-Like Small Molecules

Research Director: Dr. Daekyu Sun

JIE HE, Ph.D. 2017

Title: Study of Triazabutadienes as Protein-Labeling Agents, and Development of a Glycoprotein-Targeted Photocrosslinker

Research Director: Dr. John Jewett

MAHSA GHAFFARI, Ph.D. 2017

Title: Development of Full-Length Ligand-Activated Split-Kinases and Split-Phosphatases for Interrogation of Signal Transduction Pathways

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

GABRIELA FERNANDEZ-CUERVO, Ph.D. 2017

Title: Design, Synthesis and Application of catalyCEST MRI Agents for Enzyme Detection

Research Director: Dr. Georg Wondrak

IMAN DARYAEI, Ph.D. 2017

Title: Study, Evaluation, and Applications of MRI Contrast Agents that Work Based on CEST and T2-EX Mechanisms

Research Director: Dr. Marty Pagel

CYF RAMOS, Ph.D. 2016

Title: Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Novel Peptide Ligands as Kappa Opioid Receptor Antagonists

Research Director: Dr. Victor Hruby

BUKET ONEL, Ph.D. 2016

Title: Promoter G-quadruplexes and Their Interactions with Ligand and Proteins

Research Director: Dr. Danzhou Yang

MICAH NELP, Ph.D. 2016

Title: Biological Synthesis and Transformation of Nitriles

Research Director: Dr. Vahe Bandarian

STEPHANIE JENSEN, Ph.D. 2016

Title: A Bioorthogonal Approach to Chemical Virology

Research Director: Dr. John Jewett

UDEEP CHAWLA, Ph.D. 2016

Title: Role of Membrane Lipids and Hydration in G-protein Coupled Receptor Signaling

Research Director: Dr. Michael Brown

JAVIER CASTILLO-MONTOYA, Ph.D. 2016

Title: Development of Orthogonal Split-Kinase and Split-Phosphatase Systems for Interrogation of Signal Transduction and Creation of Post-Translational Biological Logic Gates

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

AFFANDI TRISIANI, Ph.D. 2016

Title: Structural and Functional Studies of the Histidine Kinase CusS in Escherichia coli

Research Director: Dr. Megan McEvoy

ANDREW VANSCHOIAK, Ph.D. 2015

Title: Mass Spectrometry: Toward Elucidating the Biosignature of Coccidioidomycosis and Insights into Surface Induced Dissociation of Biologically Relevant Carbohydrates

Research Director: Dr. Vicki Wysocki

BRELAND SMITH, Ph.D. 2015

Title: Small Molecule Approaches Toward Therapeutics for Alzheimer¿s Disease and Colon Cancer

Research Director: Dr. Christopher Hulme

ELIZABETH RESTIUYO, Ph.D. 2015

Title: Chemical Tools for the Selective Control of Proteins: Protein Kinases and Acetyl Transferases

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

KAYLA POLZIN, Ph.D. 2015

Title: The Intricate Balance of Metal Trafficking in Bacteria: Import of Iron in Bacillus anthracis and Export of Excess Copper in Escherichia coli

Research Director: Dr. Megan McEvoy

NINA PATRICK, Ph.D. 2015

Title: The Role of Lysine Deacetylases in Glucocorticoid-Mediated Transcription

Research Director: Dr. Catharine Smith

ZACHARY MILES, Ph.D. 2015

Title: Discovery and Biochemical Studies of Enzymes Involved in the Queuosine Biosynthetic Pathway

Research Director: Dr. Vahe Bandarian

VLAD KUMIROV, Ph.D. 2015

Currently: Assistant Staff Scientist, University of Arizona

Title: Structural Plasticity in the Evolution of Cro Proteins

Research Director: Dr. Matthew Cordes

CHRISTINE KAISER, Ph.D. 2015

Title: Characterization and Targeting of the Multiple DNA Secondary Structures in the KRAS Proximal Promoter to Modulate Gene Expression

Research Director: Dr. Laurence Hurley

SARA HALL, Ph.D. 2015

Title: Bradykinin Ligands and Receptors Involved in Neuropathic Pain

Research Director: Dr. Victor Hruby

SEAN CAMPBELL, Ph.D. 2015

Title: Protein Engineering for Biochemical Interrogation and System Design

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

LIU QI CHEN, Ph.D. 2014

Title: Measure Extracellular pH with AcidoCEST MRI

Research Director: Dr. Marty Pagel

RAHUL PUROHOT, Ph.D. 2014

Title: The Mechanism of Allosteric Regulation in Soluble Guanylate Cyclase

Research Director: Dr. William Montfort

PUI WING MOK, Ph.D. 2014

Title: Design and Applications of Split-Luciferase Systems in Vitro and in Cellulo

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

DANIEL LAJOIE, Ph.D. 2014

Title: New Tricks from a 'Dead' Enzyme: Exploration of the Phospholipase D Toxins from the Sicariidae Spiders

Research Director: Dr. Matthew Cordes

BRENDAN FRETT, Ph.D. 2014

Title: Discovery and Development of Novel RET Inhibitors for the Treatment of Pervasive Malignancies

Research Director: Dr. Hong Yu Li

YUWEI YU, Ph.D. 2014

Title: NMR Solution Structures of Promoter Region G-Quadruplexes and their Interactions with Proteins

Research Director: Dr. Danzhou Yang

BOBBI ANGLIN, Ph.D. 2014

Currently: Adjunct Lecturer, University of Arizona

Title: Design and Synthesis of Pacap Based Glycopeptide Analogs; Effect of Clycosylation on Activity and Blood-Brain Barrier Penetration

Research Director: Dr. Robin Polt

JULIANA THE, Ph.D. 2014

Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow, Structural Genomics Consortium

Title: Structural Studies of Thioredoxin S-nitrosation and Detection of Protein S-nitrosothiols by Phosphine Derivatization

Research Director: Dr. William Montfort

TONI GREEN, Ph.D. 2013

Title: Membrane Protein Complexes Involved in Thrombospondin-1 Regulation of Nitric Oxide Signaling

Research Director: Dr. William Montfort

KATIE STEWART, Ph.D. 2013

Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Leeds

Title: A Reduction in Structural Specificity by Polar-to-Hydrophobic Surface Substitutions in the Arc Repressor Protein: A Romance of Three Folds

Research Director: Dr. Matthew Cordes

VINEELA KADIYALA, Ph.D. 2013

Title:

Research Director: Dr. Craig Aspinwall

SANTOSH SHAH, Ph.D. 2013

Currently: Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Title: Structural and Functional Studies of DNA Nucleases: SgrAI and Mk0566

Research Director: Dr. Nancy Horton

ELYSSIA GALLAGHER, Ph.D. 2013

Currently: Associate Professor, Baylor University

Title:

Research Director: Dr. Craig Aspinwall

CHRISTOPHER CABELLO, Ph.D. 2013

Title: Identification of Experimental Prooxidants Targeting the Redox Vulnerability of Malignant Melanoma

Research Director: Dr. Georg Wondrak

TIFFANY MEALMAN, Ph.D. 2012

Title: Metal Transfer and Protein-Protein Interactions in the CusCFBA Cu(I)/Ag(I) Efflux System of E. coli

Research Director: Drs. Vicki Wysocki and Megan McEvoy

LOGAN AHLSTROM, Ph.D. 2012

Title: Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the Effect of the Crystal Environment on Protein Conformational Dynamics and Functional Motions

Research Director: Dr. Osamu Miyashita

WENZHOU LI, Ph.D. 2012

Title: Protein Identification Algorithms Developed from Statistical Analysis of MS/MS Fragmetation Patterns

Research Director: Dr. Vicki Wysocki

JULIO CARDENAS, Ph.D. 2012

Currently: Posdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Sciences

Title: New models and contrast agents for dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI

Research Director: Dr. Mark Pagel

FEMINA RAUF, Ph.D. 2012

Currently: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, The Biodesign Institute

Title: Chimeric and recombinant protein reagents for cellular analysis and immunoassays

Research Director: Dr. Craig Aspinwall

ERIN JOHNSON, Ph.D. 2011

Currently: Clinical Chemistry Fellow, Mayo Clinic

Title: Applications of Mass Spectrometry to Bacterial Diagnostics: Affinity Capture Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry and Polymerase Chain Reaction Mass Spectrometry

Research Director: Dr. Vicki Wysocki

REID MCCARTY, Ph.D. 2011

Currently: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Texas - Austin

Title: Elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway for 7-deazapurines

Research Director: Dr. Vahe Bandarian

BENJAMIN JESTER, Ph.D. 2011

Currently: Scientist, Luceome Biotechnologies

Title: Development of a three-hybrid split-luciferase system for interrogating protein kinase inhibition

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

CAROLYN SHOMIN, Ph.D. 2011

Currently: Scientist, Luceome Biotechnologies

Title: A bivalent methodology for targeting protein kinases: Conjugating phage display selected cuclic peptides to staurosporine

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

JAMIN STEFFEN, Ph.D. 2011

Title: Design, development, and evaluation of tools to study cellular ADP-ribose polymer metabolism

Research Director: Dr. Myron Jacobson

BRADLEY FRITZ, Ph.D. 2011

Currently: Scientist, Ventana Medical Systems

Title: Molecular model of soluble guanylyl cyclase: Insight into allostery in nitric oxide signaling

Research Director: Dr. William Montfort

MICHAEL KIMZEY, Ph.D. 2011

Currently: Assay/Product Development Scientist, ProZyme

Title: Identification, characterization, and quantification of dicarbonyl adducts in the plasma proteome in type-2 diabetes

Research Director: Dr. Serrine Lau and Dr. David Galbraith

JENNIFER FURMAN, Ph.D. 2010

Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher, The Scripps Research Institute

Title: In vitro and in vivo detection of nucleic acids and proteins using split-protein reassembly

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

KATHERINE BLOCK, Ph.D. 2010

Currently: Senior Development Scientist, Beckman Coulter

Title: Design of novel cancer therapeutics through the validation of PARG as a therapeutic target and the evaluation of small molecule inhibitors of hypoxia-induced transcription

Research Director: Dr. Myron Jacobson

DAVIDE BOTTA, Ph.D. 2010

Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Title: Strategies for structural studies of poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase: Towards the validation of a novel therapeutic target

Research Director: Dr. Myron Jacobson

TORI LOCKETT, Ph.D. 2010

Currently: Lecturer, University of Arizona

Title: Gas-Phase Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Computational Studies of [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Inspired Catalysts for Hydrogen Production

Research Director: Dr. Dennis Lichtenberger

JASON PORTER, Ph.D. 2010

Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California San Francisco

Title: Biomolecular interactions and modulators thereof

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

ALBERTO RASCON, Ph.D. 2010

Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California San Francisco

Title: Enzyme kinetics and biochemical properties of serine proteases from the midgut of the Dengue mosquito, Aedes aegypti

Research Director: Dr. Roger Miesfeld

CHRISTIAN ROESSLER, Ph.D. 2010

Currently: Research Associate, Brookhaven National Laboratory

Title: Two case studies of protein fold evolution: Bacteriophage Cro proteins and insect salivary lipocalins

Research Director: Dr. Matthew Cordes

BRITTANY PERKINS, Ph.D. 2009

Currently: Instructor, Albuquerque

Title: Probing gas-phase peptide structure and protein-protein interactions using mass spectrometric techniques

Research Director: Dr. Vicki Wysocki

JUSTIN CROTTY, Ph.D. 2009

Currently: Law student, George Washington University Law School

Title: Crystal structures and kinetics of S-nitrosoglutathione reductase from Arabidopsis thaliana and Homo sapiens

Research Director: Dr. William Montfort

JUSTIN DIETRICH, Ph.D. 2008

Currently: Senior Scientist, Abbott Laboratories

Title: The design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel DFG-out allosteric kinase inhibitors

Research Director: Dr. Laurence Hurley

ASHLEY FISHER, Ph.D. 2008

Currently: Senior Scientist, SIGA Technologies

Title: Chemical-induced post-translational modifications and the consequent structural and functional alterations

Research Director: Dr. Serrine Lau

CLIFFORD STAINS, Ph.D. 2008

Currently: Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska (Lincoln)

Title: Methods for the detection of protein-nucleic acid and protein-protein interactions

Research Director: Dr. Indraneel Ghosh

JAMES SPOONAMORE, Ph.D. 2008

Currently: Research Scientist, Broad Institute

Title: Chemical transformations encoded by a gene cluster in Streptomyces coelicolor containing an unusual GTP cyclohydrolase

Research Director: Dr. Vahe Bandarian

KEXIAO GUO, Ph.D. 2008

Currently: Postdoctoral Research Associate, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Title: DNA secondary structures in the promoters of human VEGF and RET genes and their roles in gene transcriptional regulation

Research Director: Dr. Laurence Hurley

XIAHUI HU, Ph.D. 2008

Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California San Diego

Title: Nitric oxide signaling through soluble guanylate cyclase

Research Director: Dr. William Montfort

YONG QIN, Ph.D. 2008

Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Title: Targeting the promoter regions of PDGF ligand and receptor

Research Director: Dr. Laurence Hurley

QIAN CHENG, Ph.D. 2007

Currently: Research Fellow, Vanderbilt University

Title: In vitro reconstitution of the entire enterocin biosynthetic pathway: New insights into type II PKS enzymology

Research Director: Dr. Brad Moore

AIK OOI, Ph.D. 2007

Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California Los Angeles

TitleSequence-specific DNA detection utilizing custom-designed zinc finger proteins

Research Director: Dr. David Segal

UZMA ZAKAI, Ph.D. 2007

Title: Design, synthesis, and evaluation of chalcogen interactions

Research Director: Dr. Richard Glass

THOMAS DEXHEIMER, Ph.D. 2006

Currently: Research Scientist, NIH Chemical Genomics Center

Title: Defining the role of DNA secondary structures and transcriptional factors in the control of c-myc and bcl-2 expression

Research Director: Dr. Laurence Hurley

BRANWEN HALL, Ph.D. 2006

Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Title: Functional evolution of the Cro protein family of transcription factors

Research Director: Dr. Matthew Cordes

CHANDANAMALIE ADIKARAM-PUNCHIHEWA, Ph.D. 2006

Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Title: DNA and DNA-interacting proteins as anticancer drug targets

Research Director: Dr. Danzhou Yang

STEVEN WARNER, Ph.D. 2005

Currently: Vice President of Drug Discovery, Tolero Pharmaceuticals

Title: Targeting the Aurora kinases to treat pancreatic cancer

Research Director: Dr. Laurence Hurley

ISABEL ALVES, Ph.D. 2005

Currently: Associate Scientist /  Professor, University of Bordeaux

Title: Signal transduction studies of G-protein coupled receptors using plasmon waveguide resonance spectroscopy

Research Director: Dr. Victor Hruby

ANA ARAUJO, Ph.D. 2005

Currently: Research Associate, University of Sao Paulo

Research Director: Dr. Michael Brown

MINYING CAI, Ph.D. 2005

Currently: Research Professor, University of Arizona

Title: Exploring the stereostructural requirements of peptide ligands for the melanocortin receptors and molecular mechanism study of GPCR based drugs

Research Director: Dr. Victor Hruby

GILMAR SALGADO, Ph.D. 2004

Currently: Assistant Professor, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2

Title: Structure and dynamics of retinal in rhodopsin elucidated by deuterium solid state NMR

Research Director: Dr. Michael Brown

LAURA BASANTES, Ph.D. 2022

 

 

Title: DYRK1a Kinase Structural and Biochemical Studies

Research Director: Dr. William Montfort

ZEKUN LIU, Ph.D. 2022

 

 

Title: Peptide Drug Design and the Investigation of Biased Signaling for Melanocortin Receptor System

Research Director: Dr. Victor Hruby

HOLLY SOFKA, Ph.D. 2022

 

 

Title: Base-Activated Lysine Probes and their Utility in Mosquito Larvae Midguts

Research Director: Dr. John Jewett

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Inquiries should be addressed to:

Lori Boyd
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
520-621-4348
lboyd@arizona.edu

Additional contact information:

William Montfort, Director
Biological Chemistry Program
Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
520-621-1884
montfort@arizona.edu

 

Contact the Graduate Coordinator:

Phone: 1-520-621-4348
Fax: 1-520-621-8407
E-mail:  lboyd@arizona.edu