Deidre Johns

Assistant Professor - Medicinal Chemistry

Dryden Hall

Dryden Hall 213

450 SW 30th Street

450 SW 30th Street
Corvallis, OR 97331

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Affiliated with: 
Veterinary Medicine
OSU Main Campus
Research/Career Interests: 

My research is in the area of synthetic organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry. I explore a variety of synthetic organic methodologies to make small molecules that can advance the discovery of new medicines. Our molecules are inspired by natural products and fragment molecules. Of particular interest is the study of small molecule interactions with proteins that are potential therapeutic targets. Our molecules also serve as tools for our collaborators to better understand the role these target proteins play in disease. Compounds are designed using modern medicinal chemistry techniques such as structure based drug design (SBDD) and fragment based drug design (FBDD).  

AniA project: We are collaborating with the Sikora laboratory, also at OSU, to discover inhibitors of AniA for the treatment of gonorrhea. The WHO estimated 106 million new cases occur annually among adults between 15-49 years of age. Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) strains resistant to the last effective treatment option, third-generation cephalosporins, are emerging and clinical treatment failures have been documented. The Sikora laboratory studies NG and has found that AniA plays a critical role in pathogenesis. We used the crystal structure of AniA to design potential inhibitors, which we are currently synthesizing. The Sikora lab developed an assay for AniA that they will use to evaluate the compounds we synthesize.

Fragment Library: We are synthesizing a fragment library to inspire new avenues of research. The fragment library will be augmented by our efforts in natural product synthesis. Natural products often contain bioactive core structures with interesting topology.

Education and Professional Training: 

  • American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado State University, (2003-2007)
  • Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Colorado at Boulder (1998-2003)
  • B.S. Chemistry, University of California San Diego (1992-1996)

Professional Awards: 

  • American Cancer Society, Broadway on Beachside Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • University of Colorado, John S. Meek Graduate Teaching Award
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Achievement Award
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Pipeline Initiative Award

Selected Publications: 

  • Beight, D. W., Burkholder, T. P., Clayton, J. R., Eggen, M., Henry, K. J., Johns, D. M., Parthasarathy, S., Pei, H., Rempala, M. E., Sawyer, J. S. AKT Inhibitors. PCT Int. Appl. 137pp. WO 2011 050016.
  • “Improved Total Synthesis of the potent HDAC inhibitor FK228 (FR-901228)” Greshock, T. J.; Johns, D. M.; Noguchi, Y.; Williams, R. M. Org. Lett. 2008, 10, 613-616.
  • “Synthetic Studies on Quinine: Quinuclidine Construction via a Ketone Enolate Regio- and Diastereoselective Pd-mediated Allylic Alkylation” Johns, D. M.; Mori, M.; Williams, R. M.  Org. Lett. 2006, 8, 4051-4054.
  • “An Improved Synthesis of Optically Pure 4-Boc-5,6-Diphenylmorpholin-2-one and 4-Cbz-5,6-Diphenylmorpholin-2-one” Dastlik, K. A.; Sundermeier, U.; Johns, D. M.; Chen, Y.; Williams, R. M. Synlett, 2005, 4, 693-696.
  • “Remote Asymmetric Induction in an Intramolecular Ionic Diels-Alder Reaction:  Application to the Total Synthesis of (+)-Dihydrocompactin” Sammakia, T.; Johns, D. M.; Kim, G.; Berliner, M. A. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 6504-6505.
  • “Dosimeter and Method for Using the Same.” Benjamin P. Warner and Deidre M. Johns, U.S. Patent Number 6,582,657, June 24, 2003.  *Licensed to Radiation Litmus Paper, LLC.
My Publications

I currently have no publications listed within this site.