BS Hamilton College, 1983
PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988
Scientist, Polaroid Corporation, 1988-1991
Assistant to Associate Professor of Chemistry, Hong Kong University of Science of Technology, 1991-2000
Associate Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 2000-2007
Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 2007-present
Honors and Awards:
Hamilton College Alumni Achievement Medal, 2005
Cook Faculty Research Award, VT Chemistry, 2006
Honorary Professor of the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Science, 2004-present
Medicinal Chemistry. Our interests in Medicinal Chemistry encompass three areas. First, we have prepared species-selective inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) targeting the malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae). Such compounds could be deployed on insecticide treated nets to prevent malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Second, we have used click-chemistry based discovery methods to identify BACE1 (beta-secretase) inhibitors; such compounds could be to useful to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Finally, we have prepared novel triple reuptake inhibitors to treat SSRI-resistant depression. Our work in these areas is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the International Vector Control Consortium (Liverpool, UK); previous support was gratefully received from the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative (Gates Foundation/FNIH); AstraZeneca; the Alzheimers' and Related Disease Research Award Fund; the Georgetown-Virginia Tech Consortium for Drug Discovery; and the Research Division of Virginia Tech.
Enantioselective Synthetic Methods. Organolithium and organomagnesium reagents are ubiquitous in organic synthesis. We are interested in developing new stereoselective reactions of group 1 and 2 organometallics and enolates, and in using computation and kinetic methods spectroscopy to determine structures and reaction pathways. Of particular interest to us are benzodiazepine enolates and metalated nitriles. A key feature of these intermediates is stereolability; thus the challenge is to generate them in enantiopure form and react them before they racemize. Our work in this area is supported by the National Science Foundation. Previous support was gratefully received from the Petroleum Research Fund of the ACS, and the Jeffress Memorial Trust.