Margaret A. Phillips was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1959. She received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis (1981) and her PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco (1988), where she was also a postdoctoral fellow in the Dept. of Biochemistry (1988-1992).

Dr. Phillips is currently a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern, where her research focuses on biochemistry and drug discovery in parasitic protozoa. 


Graduate School
University of California (1988)

Research Interest

  • Drug design in protozoan parasites
  • Pyrimidine biosynthesis as a drug target in malarial parasites
  • Regulation and function of polyamine biosynthesis in African trypanosomes


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

GMP synthase is essential for viability and infectivity of Trypanosoma brucei despite a redundant purine salvage pathway.
Li Q, Leija C, Rijo-Ferreira F, Chen J, Cestari I, Stuart K, Tu BP, Phillips MA Mol. Microbiol. 2015 Jun
Fluorine modulates species selectivity in the triazolopyrimidine class of Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase inhibitors.
Deng X, Kokkonda S, El Mazouni F, White J, Burrows JN, Kaminsky W, Charman SA, Matthews D, Rathod PK, Phillips MA J. Med. Chem. 2014 May
Genetic validation of Aminoacyl tRNA synthetases as drug targets in Trypanosoma brucei.
Kalidas S, Cestari I, Monnerat S, Li Q, Regmi S, Hasle N, Labaied M, Parsons M, Stuart K, Phillips MA Eukaryotic Cell 2014 Feb
Product feedback regulation implicated in translational control of the Trypanosoma brucei S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase regulatory subunit prozyme.
Xiao Y, Nguyen S, Kim SH, Volkov OA, Tu BP, Phillips MA Mol. Microbiol. 2013 Jun 88 5 846-61
Trypanosoma brucei S-Adenosylmethionine Decarboxylase N Terminus Is Essential for Allosteric Activation by the Regulatory Subunit Prozyme.
Velez N, Brautigam CA, Phillips MA J. Biol. Chem. 2013 Feb 288 7 5232-40
Lead optimization of aryl and aralkyl amine-based triazolopyrimidine inhibitors of plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase with antimalarial activity in mice.
Gujjar R, El Mazouni F, White KL, White J, Creason S, Shackleford DM, Deng X, Charman WN, Bathurst I, Burrows J, Floyd DM, Matthews D, Buckner FS, Charman SA, Phillips MA, Rathod PK J. Med. Chem. 2011 Jun 54 11 3935-49
Regulated expression of an essential allosteric activator of polyamine biosynthesis in African trypanosomes
Willert, E.K. and Phillips, M.A. PLoS pathogens October 2008 4 (10) e1000183

Honors & Awards

  • Medicines for Malaria Venture
    Project of the Year (2010)
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Scholars Award in Molecular Parasitology
  • American Heart Association Established Investigator Award
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund, New Investigator Award in Molecular Parasitology

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene