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Webster Santos

  • Cliff and Agnes Lilly Faculty Fellow of Drug Discovery
Webster Santos
203 Davidson Hall

Research Interests

We are a chemistry lab who apply organic synthesis in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Central to our work is synthetic methods development and discovery of molecules that improve human health. Currently, our work is aimed at the following:

  • Development of methods that install boron or silicon into carbon stereoselectively
  • Development of medium-sized branched peptides to target RNA structures associated with HIV
  • Drug discovery, specifically sphingosine kinase and S1P transporters as drug targets, and mitochondrial uncouplers
  1. Dai, Y.; Peralta, A.N.; Wynn, J.E.; Chringma, S.; Jayaraman, B.; Li, H.; Verma, A.; Frankel, A.D.; Le Grice, S.F.; Santos, W.L. Discovery of a Branched Peptide that Recognizes the Rev Response Element (RRE) RNA and Blocks HIV-1 Replication. J. Med. Chem., 2018 61, 9611-9620
  2. Childress, E. S.; Alexopoulos, S. J.; Hoehn, K. L.; Santos, W. L. Small Molecule Mitochondrial Uncouplers and Their Therapeutic Potential. J. Med. Chem201861, 4641-4655.
  3. Childress, E.; Kharel, Y.; Brown, A.; Bevan, D.R.; Lynch, K.R.; Santos, W.L. Transforming Sphingosine Kinase 1 Inhibitors into Dual and Sphingosine Kinase 2 Selective Inhibitors: Design, Synthesis, and In Vivo Activity. J. Med. Chem. 201760, 3933-3957.
  4.  Verma, A.; Snead, R.F.; Dai, Y.; Slebodnick, C.; Yang, Y.; Yu, H.; Yao, F.; Santos, W.L. Substrate-assisted, Transition Metal-free Diboration of Alkynamides with Mixed Diboron: Regio- and Stereoselective Access to trans 1,2-Vinyldiboronates. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed201756, 5111-5115.
  5.  Fritzemeier, R.; Gates, A.; Guo, X.; Lin, Z.; Santos, W.L. Transition metal-free trans hydroboration of alkynoic acid derivatives: Experimental and theoretical studies. J. Org. Chem. 201883, 10436−10444.
  • Co-Founder, Flux Therapeutics, LLC., 2018
  • Editorial Board, Medicinal Research Reviews, 2017
  • Co-Founder, Continuum Biosciences, Inc., 2017
  • Editorial Advisor Board, Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 2015–present
  • Cliff and Agnes Lilly Faculty Fellow of Drug Discovery, 2015, 2017
  • Innovators Award, Virginia Tech, 2014
  • John C. Schug Research Award, 2014
  • ACS Young Academic Investigator, 2012
  • Molecular Biosystems Emerging Investigator, 2011
  • Co-founder, SphynKx Therapeutics, 2010
  • Chemical Communications Emerging Investigator, 2010
  • Blackwood Junior Faculty Fellow of Life Sciences, 2010–2014
  • Molecular BioSystems Emerging Investigator, 2009
  • Ruth Kirstein NRSA Fellow, 2003–2006
  • B.S. University of Virginia, 1997
  • Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2002
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 2002–2006