Steven Fletcher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
20 N Pine St, Room N717
Baltimore, MD 21201

410.706.6361 – phone
410.706.5017 – fax

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Research Overview

Our group is interested in the interface between chemistry and biology. In particular, our research focuses on the disruption of dysregulated protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions involved in cancer with synthetic small-molecule mimetics of protein secondary structure. Current projects include the design and synthesis of alpha-helix mimetics to inhibit the proto-oncogenic proteins Bcl-xL, Mcl-1 and c-Myc. Secondary to these goals, we are also interested in the development of novel, synthetic methodology and green chemistry, with particular emphasis on the Mitsunobu reaction and on the phenomena associated with the chemistry of electron-deficient ortho-substituted arenes.

Brief Biosketch

I conducted my second post-doctoral position at the University of Toronto, where I worked with Patrick T. Gunning primarily on the synthesis of small-molecule inhibitors of the oncogenic Stat3-Stat3 protein dimer complex. My first post-doctoral position was carried out in the labs of Andrew D. Hamilton at Yale University on the design and synthesis of farnesyltransferase (FTase) inhibitors as novel antimalarial and anticancer agents. A particular highlight of this work was the solution of several crystal structures of our inhibitors inside the enzyme active site, which helped explain the relative selectivities across the two FTase isoforms. Before moving to Yale, I achieved my Ph.D. in Organic / Medicinal Chemistry at Imperial College London (UK) with Andrew. D Miller, where I was involved in the design and synthesis of temperature- and pH-triggerable lipids for incorporation into liposomes for non-viral gene therapy. Prior to Imperial, I obtained my BA / MNatSci degree from the University of Cambridge (UK). My undergraduate research project at Cambridge was the synthesis of dendrimers for use in a dynamic combinatorial library.