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 Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern, where her research focuses on biochemistry and drug discovery in parasitic protozoa. 


University of California-Davis (1981), Biochemistry
Graduate School
University of California-Sfran (1988), Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Research Interest

  • Drug design in protozoan parasites
  • Pyrimidine metabolism in trypanosome and malaria parasites
  • Regulation and function of polyamine biosynthesis in African trypanosomes


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Identification of Trypanosoma brucei AdoMetDC inhibitors using a high-throughput mass spectrometry-based assay.
Volkov OA, Cosner CC, Brockway AJ, Kramer M, Booker M, Zhong S, Ketcherside A, Wei S, Longgood J, McCoy MK, Richardson TE, Wring SA, Peel M, Klinger JD, Posner BA, De Brabander JK, Phillips MA ACS Infect Dis 2017 Mar
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
Structure-Guided Lead Optimization of Triazolopyrimidine-Ring Substituents Identifies Potent Plasmodium falciparum Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibitors with Clinical Candidate Potential.
Coteron JM, Marco M, Esquivias J, Deng X, White KL, White J, Koltun M, El Mazouni F, Kokkonda S, Katneni K, Bhamidipati R, Shackleford DM, Angulo-Barturen I, Ferrer SB, Jime´nez-Di´az MB, Gamo FJ, Goldsmith EJ, Charman WN, Bathurst I, Floyd D, Matthews D, Burrows JN, Rathod PK, Charman SA, Phillips MA Journal of medicinal chemistry 2011 Jul 5540-61
Allosteric regulation of an essential trypanosome polyamine biosynthetic enzyme by a catalytically dead homolog.
Willert EK, Fitzpatrick R, Phillips MA Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2007 May 104 20 8275-80

Honors & Awards

  • Medicines for Malaria Venture
    Project of the Year (2010)
  • NIH Merit Award
  • 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