Pharmacognosy Program Faculty

Adeboye Adejare PhD
Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

a [dot] adejar [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.8944


My group is interested in the areas of design and synthesis of small organic molecules to probe neurodegeneration. We are also interested in in vitro models of drug absorption and ability to cross blood brain barrier; drug targeting;...
Nathan Baird PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

n [dot] baird [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215-596-7396


New paradigms in RNA biology are rapidly emerging from reports of pervasive transcription and RNA structure across genomes.  Furthermore, decades of research demonstrate that RNA regulates many processes central to human health and disease....
Catherine Bentzley PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry

c [dot] bentzl [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215-596-8581


The rapid and enormous expansion in the biotechnology revolution has caused increased interest in determining exact molecular weights of biological systems. Mass spectrometry offers a quick and convenient method for determining accurate...
Edward R. Birnbaum PhD
Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

e [dot] birnba [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215-596-8839


Lanthanide spectroscopy The incomplete 4f subshells of the lanthanide ions Ce3+ to Yb3+ result in a variety of magnetic and spectroscopic properties that are of interest from both a theoretical and practical perspective. For example, gadolinium (...
Michael Bruist PhD
Associate Professor of Biochemistry

m [dot] bruist [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.8530


The research in my laboratory investigates various aspects of the chemistry of DNA and its interaction with proteins. The IHF-DNA Complex Integration host factor (IHF) is a bacterial protein that bends DNA so that sites that are separated along...
Ara DerMarderosian PhD
Professor Emeritus of Biology and Pharmacognosy

a [dot] dermar [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.8915


My research interests include pharmacognosy, medicinal chemistry, and nutraceuticals. We focus on hallucinogenic botanicals: medicinal and poisonous plants and their phytochemistry and pharmacology; marine pharmaceuticals; drugs of abuse; and...
Elisabetta Fasella, PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

e [dot] fasell [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.7514


My research interests are in the area of bioorganic chemistry. We are currently working on two projects. The first project involves the synthesis of mimics of the cofactor of phenylalanine ammonia lyase and their evaluation as catalysts for the...
Peter J. Harvison PhD
The Leonard & Madlyn Abramson Chair in Pharmacology Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology Research Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

p [dot] harvis [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.8979


My research interests are primarily concerned with the effects of metabolism on the biological activity of chemicals (including drugs) to which humans and other mammals may be exposed. Although metabolism usually results in the formation of nontoxic...
Yumee Koo PhD
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

y [dot] koo [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.7546


I am interested in the study of the mechanisms of macromolecular interactions, including protein-lipid and protein-inhibitor interactions. Efforts are focused on the characterization of proteins using biochemical and spectrometric techniques and the...
Zhijun Li PhD
Professor of Bioinformatics Research Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Biotechnology

z [dot] li [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.7539


My current research efforts focus on utilizing computational and bioinformatics methods to gain insight into protein sequence, structure and function relationships and to explore their application in molecular modeling, drug design and protein...
Madhu Mahalingam PhD

Assistant Chair, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

m [dot] mahali [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.7549


I am interested in the development and adoption of methodologies in chemistry instruction that enable students to become engaged learners, shifting the focus from faculty instruction to student learning. The goal is to improve students understanding...
James McKee PhD

Director, Graduate Programs in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmacognosy

Professor of Chemistry

j [dot] mckee [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.8847


Currently, my research is focused in two areas, (1) preparation and antibiotic activity of sulfonanilides and sulfones; and (2) the use of the trihalomethyl group to prepare heterocyclic compounds. Sulfonanilides and sulfones were amongst the...
Preston Moore PhD

Director, West Center for Computational Chemistry and Drug Design

Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

p [dot] moore [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.7537


My research focuses on the development and use of condensed phase, molecular simulation methods to investigate chemical problems. An understanding of the fundamental physical laws governing the interactions between atoms and molecules can be used to...
Elisabeth Morlino, PhD
Elisabeth Morlino PhD

Assistant Chair, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Associate Professor of Chemistry

e [dot] morlin [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215-596-7469

Bela Peethambaran PhD

Associate Professor of Biology

b [dot] peethambaran [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.8923


Our research integrates several disciplines such as molecular biology, cell biology, biotechnology and pharmacognosy to investigate the different genes that regulate biosynthesis of natural products in plants. We are also isolating, identifying...
Vojislava Pophristic PhD

Chair, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

v [dot] pophri [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215-596-8551


Our group develops and uses computational tools to study structures and dynamics of chemical entities that mimic 3D motifs found in biomolecules. The group also works on computational design of oligomers for therapeutic applications.  ...
John R. Porter
John R. Porter PhD

Director, Graduate Program in Biological Sciences

Professor of Biology Research Professor of Pharmacognosy

j [dot] porter [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.8917


We work at the interface among cell biology, biotechnology and natural products biology/chemistry. We are actively pursuing alternate sources for known medicinal compounds, discovery of novel medicinal compounds, and application of natural products...
Frederick T. Schaefer PhD

Interim Director of Forensic Science Program

Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

f [dot] schaef [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.8842


Modification of solvent dynamics by dissolved polymer in solutions has been documented. This phenomenon has implication for analytical techniques where polymer properties are derived from solution properties via the assumption that the solvent is a...
Julian Snow PhD

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Biochemistry

j [dot] snow [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215-596-8839


Relationships between protein structure and function have long been studied with a variety of techniques. Scanning calorimetry (DSC) and its newer cousin, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), are capable of yielding a wealth of thermodynamic...
John W. Tomsho, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

j [dot] tomsho [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.7395


The development of new agents for the study and treatment of diseases is being pursued utilizing tools from the fields of chemistry and biology.  The research in my group is currently focused on the development of small molecules and peptides...
Zhihong Wang
Zhihong Wang, PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

z [dot] wang [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215-596-7082


Protein phosphorylation, catalyzed by kinases, is the most universal mechanism of regulating protein function and transmitting signals throughout the cell. Aberrant activation of kinases causes dysfunction of cell signaling and regulatory pathways,...
Rodney J Wigent PhD
Research Professor of Pharmaceutics Professor of Chemistry

r [dot] wigent [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215-596-7545


Expertise: Graduate Education, University Administration, Research Administration, Thermodynamics, Chemical Kinetics, Pharmaceutics (Drug Delivery), Electrolyte Solutions, Effect of Water on Drug Excipients and Biological Systems Trained as a...
Randy J. Zauhar MS, PhD

Director, Graduate Program in Bioinformatics

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Associate Professor of Bioinformatics Research Associate Professor of Biophysics

r [dot] zauhar [at] usciences [dot] edu | 215.596.8691


Shape signatures is a novel technique for computer-aided drug design developed over the last few years by USP associate professor of biochemistry Randy Zauhar and collaborators. It is a system for compactly representing the shape of drug...