Cancer Chemical Biology Faculty

Jennifer BinningJennifer Binning, PhD – Assistant Member

The Binning lab uses biochemistry and structural biology to study how oncoviruses such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV) hijack host ubiquitin machinery to support viral replication and drive tumorigenesis. By exploring the link between human disease states and dysregulation of ubiquitin pathways, we aim to identify new pathogenic mechanisms that will guide the development of diagnostics and therapeutics.

Derek Duckett

Derek Duckett, PhD - Senior Member

Research in the Duckett lab is focused on identifying novel anti-cancer targets , developing small molecule probes against these targets and interrogating how their altered signaling drives tumor progression, metastasis and therapy resistance.


Ji HaitaoHaitao (Mark) Ji, PhD - Associate Member

The Ji lab research focuses on the design and synthesis of small molecules that can modulate cancer-related cellular signaling pathways with an emphasis on protein-protein interactions and target specificity.

Research Themes: Rational Drug Design and Synthesis, Protein–Protein Interaction Inhibition and Regulation, Medicinal Chemistry, Signaling Pathways

Lab website


John KoomenJohn M. Koomen, PhD – Associate Member

The Koomen Lab uses mass spectrometry-based techniques to better understand cancer biology, evaluate hypotheses derived from basic science experiments in human tumors, and contribute to the development of novel strategies for patient assessment and treatment.


Nicholas LawrenceNicholas James Lawrence, PhD - Associate Member

Dr. Lawrence's group efforts are focused on the synthesis of new anticancer agents. The goal of the laboratory is to design and develop synthetic methodology to provide small organic molecules to act as selective anticancer agents against a range of molecular targets.


Justin Lopchuk Justin M. Lopchuk, PhD - Assistant Member

Our research program is grounded in synthetic organic chemistry with a specific focus on the development of new reactions, the design of new reagents, and the total synthesis of natural products with anti-cancer activity.


Vince LucaVince C. Luca, PhD - Assistant Member

The Luca Lab studies the "molecular language" of cell-to-cell communication using cutting edge approaches in structural, cellular and synthetic biology. Our goal is to visualize how cells send and receive information at the atomic level, and to harness this insight to guide the engineering of next-generation cancer therapeutics.

Lab website


Andrii MonastyrskyiAndrii Monastyrskyi, PhD – Assistant Member

The Monastyrskyi laboratory uses the tools of synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and chemical biology to develop small molecules for studying and modulating therapeutically relevant cancer targets.

Lab website


Uwe RixUwe Rix, PhD – Associate Member

I am interested in targeted drugs, drug-protein interaction networks and drug synergy, particularly in the context of lung cancer, melanoma and their microenvironments. I am pursuing a multi-layered chemical biology/systems pharmacology strategy by screening for unexpected drug activity and identifying the molecular mechanisms of action through e.g. combining chemical proteomics and phosphoproteomics.


Ernst SchobrunnErnst Schonbrunn, PhD - Associate Member

Research from the Schönbrunn laboratory focuses on the elucidation of the structure-activity relationship of medicinally important proteins. We use protein crystallography combined with methods in biochemistry, molecular biology and medicinal chemistry to explore proteins at the atomic level. Our aim is to identify "weak sites" in those proteins that can be targeted by new inhibitors with potential as future drugs.

Lab website