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Paul Carlier

Professor of Chemistry
  • Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Director, UICentre, UIC’s campus-wide drug discovery enterprise

Research Interests

Medicinal Chemistry for Global Public Health. Malaria is a scourge in the developing world, affecting 200 million people and killing nearly 450,000 annually. We are taking a two-pronged strategy to reduce malaria transmission and mortality. Firstly, new antimalarial drugs are urgently needed to treat infected individuals, and we are working with Prof. Cassera (Univ. Georgia), and Dr. Totrov (Molsoft LLC) to develop a new classes of antimalarial drugs that engage new biological targets in the parasite. Secondly, we are working with Prof. Mike Klemba (Virginia Tech) to determine the biological target of mefloquine (MQ), a currently used prophylactic drug.  By identifying the target of MQ we will be positioned to discover new antimalarials that lack the neuropsychiatric side-effects of MQ. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria also pose a great threat to public health in the developed world.  We are working with researchers at Virginia Tech and in the Commonwealth of Virginia to identify new antibiotics to treat these infections.

  1. “Malaria Box-inspired discovery of N-aminoalkyl-β-carboline-3-carboxamides, a novel orally-active class of antimalarials” Jopaul Mathew, Sha Ding, Kevin Kunz, Emily E. Stacy, Joshua H. Butler, Reagan S. Haney, Emilio F. Merino, Grant J. Butschek, Zaira Rizopoulous, Max Totrov, Maria B. Cassera, Paul R. Carlier*, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2022, 13, 365-370, DOI: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.1c00663
  2. Enantiopure benzofuran-2-carboxamides of 1-aryltetrahydro-β-carbolines are potent antimalarials in vitro” Hanan Almolhim, Sha Ding, Joshua H. Butler, Emily K. Bremers, Grant J. Butschek, Carla Slebodnick, Emilio F. Merino, Max Totrov, Maria B. Cassera, Paul R. Carlier*, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2022, 13, 371-376, DOI: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.1c00697
  3. “Dimeric Tacrine(10)-hupyridone as a Multitarget-Directed Ligand to Treat Alzheimer's Disease” Zhenquan Xuan, Xinmei Gu, Sicheng Yan, Yanfei Xie, Yiying Zhou, Hui Zhang, Haibo Jin, Shengquan Hu, Marvin S. H. Mak, Dongsheng Zhou, Karl Wah Keung Tsim, Paul R. Carlier, Yifan Han*, Wei Cui*, ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2021, 12, 13, 2462–2477. DOI:
  4. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of the antimalarial MMV665831 and structural analogs”, Sha Ding, Katherine R. Fike, Michael Klemba, and Paul R. Carlier*, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 202030, 127348. DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2020.127348
  5. “Probing the B- and C-Rings of Antimalarial tetrahydro-β-carboline MMV008138 for Steric Demand, and Conformational Constraints”, Sha Ding, Maryam Ghavami, Joshua H. Butler, Emilio F. Merino, Carla Slebodnick, Maria B. Cassera, Paul R. Carlier*, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 202030, 127520. DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2020.127520
  6. “Questioning the 𝛾-gauche effect: alternative stereochemical assignment of 1,3-disubstituted-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-β-carbolines using 1H-1H coupling constants” Kristýna Cagašová, Maryam Ghavami, Zhongke Yao, and Paul R. Carlier*, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 201917, 6687-6698.
  7. “Crystal structure of the G119S mutant acetylcholinesterase of the malaria vector An. gambiae reveals the basis of insecticide resistance” Jonah Cheung*, Arshod Mahmood, Ravi Kalathur, Lixuan Liu, Paul R. Carlier, Structure 2018126, 130-136, PMID: 29276037, DOI:10.1016/j.str.2017.11.021
  8. Select β- and 𝛾-branched 1-alkylpyrazol-4-yl methylcarbamates exhibit high selectivity for inhibition of Anopheles gambiae versushuman acetylcholinesterase. Paul R. Carlier*, Qiao-Hong Chen, Astha Verma, Dawn M. Wong, James M. Mutunga, Jasmin Müller, Alex M. Shimozono, Rafique Islam, Fan Tong,Jianyong Li, Max Totrov,Jeffrey R. Bloomquist, Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 2018, 151, 32-39,
  9. Biological studies and target-engagement of the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate cytidylyltransferase (IspD)-targeting antimalarial agent (1R,3S)-MMV008138 and analogs. Maryam Ghavami, Emilio F. Merino, Zhong-Ke Yao, Rubayat Elahi, Morgan E. Simpson, Maria L. Fernandez-Murga, Joshua H. Butler, Michael A. Casasanta, Priscilla M. Krai, Maxim M. Totrov, Daniel J. Slade, Paul R. Carlier*, and Maria Belen Cassera*, ACS Infectious Diseases 20184, 549-559. PMID: 29072835, 
    DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.7b00159
  • North America Regional Editor, Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 2015–present
  • Member, International Advisory Board, Cholinergic Mechanisms Meeting, 2013 to present
  • Jimmy Viers Teaching Award, Department of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 2017
  • Scholar of the Week, June 2013, Office of the VP for Research, Virginia Tech
  • Cook Faculty Research Award, VT Chemistry, 2006
  • Hamilton College Alumni Achievement Medal, 2005
  • B.S. Hamilton College, 1983
  • Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988
  • Scientist, Polaroid Corporation, 1988–1991
  • Assistant to Associate Professor of Chemistry, Hong Kong University of Science of Technology, 1991–2000
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry, 2000–2007
  • Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 2007–present
  • Director, Virginia Tech Center for Drug Discovery
  • Executive Committe Member, Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium

Research Areas