National award-winning chemist. Highly creative problem solver with excellent research and communication skills. Professional synthetic organic chemist with additional expertise in medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, pulp & paper chemistry, natural products extraction chemistry, wastewater treatment, consumer product formulation, and technical writing.
I was Awarded one of the 2012 American Chemical Society Division of Medicinal Chemistry Predoctoral Fellowships in recognition of my research accomplishments during my graduate studies. I was a recipient of numerous other awards in graduate school, but what I am most proud of is the fact that my doctoral thesis is still embargoed from publication until a patent can be filed for a novel class of anticancer compounds that I was instrumental in developing. Two of these compounds have passed initial toxicology studies in rats, and are now in tumor xenograft studies at the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, MN.
Dr. Robert J. Kerns Laboratory
Thesis Title: Synthesis of Novel Fluoroquinolone Derivatives Toward Understanding Aspects of Function
Undergraduate research in Dr. Frantisek Turecek Laboratory
Minor in Mathematics
American Chemical Society volunteer (Chair, Networking Committee, Division of Chemical Health and Safety, Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision)
National Hemp Association volunteer (Blog writer)
1: Oppegard LM, Schwanz HA, Towle TR, Kerns RJ, Hiasa H. Fluoroquinolones stimulate the DNA cleavage activity of topoisomerase IV by promoting the binding of Mg(2+) to the second metal binding site. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Dec 23. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2015.12.019. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26723176.
2: Drlica K, Mustaev A, Towle TR, Luan G, Kerns RJ, Berger JM. Bypassing fluoroquinolone resistance with quinazolinediones: studies of drug-gyrase-DNA complexes having implications for drug design. ACS Chem Biol. 2014 Dec 19;9(12):2895-904. doi: 10.1021/cb500629k. PubMed PMID: 25310082
3: Towle T, Chang I, Kerns RJ, Bhanot P. Chemical probes of a trisubstituted pyrrole to identify its protein target(s) in Plasmodium sporozoites. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2013 Mar 15;23(6):1874-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.01.010. PubMed PMID: 23395653.
4: Turecek F, Jones JW, Towle T, Panja S, Nielsen SB, Hvelplund P, Paizs B. Hidden histidine radical rearrangements upon electron transfer to gas-phase peptide ions. Experimental evidence and theoretical analysis. J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Nov 5;130(44):14584-96. doi: 10.1021/ja8036367. PubMed PMID: 18847261.
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