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Mark Smith

Mark Smith, Ph.D., Head, Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center

Dr. Mark Smith joined Stanford ChEM-H in May 2013 as the Head of the Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center. He graduated with a Ph.D. from the laboratory of Prof. Richard Stoodley at the University of Manchester Institute for Science and Technology (UMIST), where his research focused on the application of Lewis acid catalyzed hetero Diels-Alder reactions to the synthesis of novel disaccharide structures. In 2000, Dr. Smith joined the research laboratory of Prof. David Crich at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Here his research focused on the generation of new reagents for the synthesis of beta-mannosides from thioglycosides. From 2002 to 2013, Dr. Smith worked as a medicinal chemist in Roche’s research facilities both in Palo Alto, CA and then Nutley, NJ, where he specialized in antiviral research.


Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center Current Members


Kaustabh Basu

Kaustabh Basu, Ph.D. student, Glenn Lab

Kaustabh Basu is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford. He completed his undergraduate studies under Prof. James Canary at New York University, with a thesis focusing on the structural diversification and functional modification of proprietary chemotherapeutic molecules. Having earned his B.S in Chemistry and History, he participated in a pre-doctoral internship at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, which drew his attention to ChEM-H and to the School of Medicine. He is currently working with Dr. Jeffrey Glenn to design novel kinase inhibitors for use as broad-spectral antivirals.


Jackie Carozza

Jackie Carozza, Ph.D. student, Li Lab

Jackie Carozza is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford. Jackie completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Cornell University in 2014 synthesizing building blocks for covalent organic framework polymers under Prof. William Dichtel. After graduating, she went to the University of Cambridge to do a one year M.Phil degree with Prof. Tuomas Knowles, where she used microfluidics tools to study the binding of amyloid and chaperone proteins. She joined Dr. Lingyin Li’s lab in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford in 2016 and works with the MCKC to develop small molecule agonists of the STING pathway for cancer immunotherapy.



James Holt-Martyn

James P. Holt-Martyn, D.Phil.

Dr. James P. Holt-Martyn joined the Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center at Stanford ChEM-H in the fall of 2018 as a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Justin Annes developing small molecule stimulators of beta-cells as a therapy for diabetes. Prior to Stanford, Dr. Holt-Martyn completed his B.S and M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Leeds and was awarded a first class honours degree in 2012. In 2018, Dr. Holt-Martyn graduated from the University of Oxford with a D.Phil. under the supervision of Professors Christopher Schofield, Christopher Pugh and Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe as a BHF-CRE Cardiovascular Medicinal Chemistry Scholar. His doctoral research consisted of drug design within the field of hypoxia. Dr. Holt-Martyn designed and developed small molecules to selectively target the Fe(II), 2-oxogluatarate (2OG) Hypoxia Inducible Factor-α (HIF-α) prolyl hydroxylases over other 2OG oxygenases for HIF stabilisation for chronic anaemia. In addition, Dr. Holt-Martyn collaborated with Dr. Geoff Higgins and Professor Christopher Schofield to design and develop a novel mitochondrial inhibitor to reduce the cellular consumption of Oxygen to enhance radiotherapy.


Tim Horton

Timothy Horton, Ph.D. student, Annes Lab

Tim Horton joined the Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center at Stanford ChEM-H in 2016 as a chemistry graduate student. He completed a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics at Ouachita Baptist University (Arkansas), where he performed undergraduate research with Marty Perry on chiral drug metabolism by P450 enzymes using computational chemistry. Via a summer internship with the HHMI at UC Berkeley, he characterized novel inhibitors of the kinase Syk under the guidance of John Kuriyan. He is currently working with Justin Annes in the Stanford School of Medicine to therapeutically target the beta-cells of the pancreas in order to treat diabetes.


Isaac Jackson

Isaac Jackson, Ph.D. student, James Lab

Isaac is an MSTP student at Stanford pursuing an MD in conjunction with a PhD in chemistry. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in chemistry, where he trained for 4 years in the lab of Prof. Peter Scott as a radiochemist. While there he worked as a production chemist synthesizing [18F]FDG for clinical PET scans and also carried out research on development of small molecule PET radiotracers and organometallic methodology. He also spent one summer working on analytical chemistry method development within the translational biomarkers department at Merck Pharmaceutical as part of the Future Talent Program. For his PhD he is working in the lab of Prof. Michelle James on developing novel PET imaging agents for the in vivo assessment of neuroinflammation in conditions such as Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. His specific focus is on in vivo assessment of the dynamic functional activation of microglia. In the future he aims to practice medicine as a pediatric oncologist, and carry out research on development of better diagnostic tools and pharmacological therapies. His overarching goal is to make good drugs, and to make sick kids feel better.


Iti Kapoor

Iti Kapoor, Ph.D

Iti Kapoor is a second year postdoc in Prof. Jaredetzky's lab in the Structural biology department in Stanford School of Medicine. In Jardetzky's lab she have been working on structure-based drug design of small molecule inhibitors of IgE-mediated allergic responses. She completed her PhD in Chemistry from UIUC in August 2018. There, she worked on biochemical and synthetic chemical approaches to studying the biosynthesis and regulation of bacterial secondary metabolites.


Robert K. Leśniak

Robert K. Leśniak, D.Phil.

Robert K. Leśniak joined the Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center at Stanford ChEM-H in 2018 as a postdoctoral fellow. Prior to coming to Stanford, he worked with Professor Chris Schofield at the University of Oxford, as a postdoctoral research associate, designing novel antibiotics for the European gram-negative antibacterial engine (ENABLE) and UK Medical Research Council (MRC). Dr Leśniak also completed his DPhil under the guidance of Professor Schofield as a BHF-CRE studentship recipient, which involved the design and implementation of small molecules targeting Fe(II), 2-oxoglutarate dependent oxygenase enzymes involved in carnitine biosynthesis and hypoxic response as a means to treat cardiovascular disease. In addition, work on small-molecule modulation of bacterial metallo-beta-lactamases to combat antibiotic resistance was also carried out. Dr Leśniak completed his undergraduate at the University of Bristol, and worked at GlaxoSmithKline, North Carolina, developing inhibitors of bromodomains and histone acetyl-transferases. He is currently working with Professor Thomas Montine at the Stanford School of Medicine on the design of neurotransmitter prodrugs.


Dylan Parsons

Dylan Parsons, Ph.D

Dr. Dylan Parsons joined the Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center at Stanford in the fall of 2019 as a postdoctoral scholar. Prior to joining Stanford, he completed his B.S. degree in Chemistry at SUNY Geneseo under the guidance of Dr. David Geiger studying zinc and lead based Metal Organic Frameworks. He then moved on to obtain his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Rochester under the supervision of Dr. Alison Frontier studying cationic cascade reactions as well as the total synthesis of natural products. He is currently working with Dr. Vinit Mahajan on the development of inhibitors for rare eye diseases.


Peter Rosston

Peter Rosston

Peter Rosston joined the Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center at Stanford ChEM-H in June 2019 as a research assistant. Peter graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Chemistry, where he worked for two years in the lab of Kevin Moeller. His research at Wash. U. focused on the total synthesis of a simplified analog of an allosteric Gq alpha inhibitor. Peter is currently working with Pehr Harbury on a project to develop lanthanide lumiphores for optical imaging, and with Ted Jardetzky on a project aimed at finding a small molecule inhibitor of IgE.