I attended the University of Chicago for undergraduate school and graduated with honors in chemistry under the direction of Professor N.C. Yang.  I went on to complete my graduate studies in biological chemistry under the direction of Professor Stephen Benkovic at Penn State, where I studied structure-function relationships in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) using site-directed mutagenesis and enzyme kinetics (steady state and pre-steady state).  I also worked on screening methods for catalytic antibodies in bacteria.  After my graduate studies, I did a NIH-sponsored post-doctoral fellowship with Professor Alfred Gilman at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where I characterized mutant and wild-type G-proteins using x-ray crystallography, kinetics, and signal transduction methods.  I also worked on the first published crystal structures for the bg heterodimer and the G-protein heterotrimer as a collaborative effort with Stephen Sprang’s lab.  I joined Pfizer in 1999 as a senior research scientist, where I focused on high throughput screening and pre-clinical drug discovery.  I was later promoted to senior principal scientist.  During my tenure at Pfizer, I led over 60 HTS campaigns and contributed to the identification of over 20 leads, two candidate compounds that reached clinical trials, and two approved drugs (Xeljanz & Geodon).  In 2009, I returned to UT Southwestern as an Associate Professor in the Biochemistry Department and the Director of the High Throughput Screening Core Facility.  My group is focused on the discovery and the early stage, pre-clinical development of new small molecule therapeutics and supporting the identification and characterization of novel biological targets and pathways for therapeutic intervention in a variety of diseases.  In this regard, we work closely with principal investigators at UT Southwestern on turning new insights in biology and the pathology of disease into pre-clinical drug and target discovery programs.

HTS Core Website:


University of Chicago (1987), Chemistry
Graduate School
Pennsylvania State University (1994), Chemistry

Research Interest

  • bioinformatics
  • cheminformatics
  • data analysis and management
  • High Throughput Screening
  • pre-clinical drug discovery


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • Pfizer Discovery Recognition Award
  • Homer C. Braddock Graduate Fellowship
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Paul Berg Award in Molecular Biology
  • Pela Fay Braucher Graduate Fellowship