Current lab members



Research interests

Principal investigator


Adam Renslo, PhD

Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Co-director, Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC)

[email protected]


targeted prodrugs, drug delivery, iron in biology and disease, novel targets in infectious disease, neuropharmacology

Postdoctoral fellows

Parker Deal, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
[email protected]

chemical biology, chemical genetic tools for the study of ion channel function

Jun Chen, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
[email protected]

medicinal chemistry, iron(II)-activated therapeutics and ADCs

Takaya Togo, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
[email protected]
inhibiting caspase activation with small molecules; model studies of stacking interactions

Ryan Gonciarz, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
[email protected]

medicinal chemistry, targeting labile ferrous iron in bacterial infection



Matthew Klope
CCB Graduate Student
[email protected]

chemical biology, inhibiting translation repression in eukaryotic parasites

Avani Narayan
Global Health Sciences Masters Student 

antimalarial drug discovery
Linh Tram
CCB graduate student
chemical biology, developing chemical tools to study the iron interactome 



Staff scientists

Juan Tapia, MS
Staff Researcher, Cell Biology & Animal Models
[email protected]

anti-protozoal and anti-bacterial drug discovery


Priya Jaishankar, MS
Specialist, Group Leader and Lab Manager
[email protected]

medicinal chemistry, lead discovery and optimization for novel anti-invectives



Kazuko Olson
Administrative Officer
[email protected]


Former lab members


Now at

Tim Acker, PhD

Research Scientist at Eureka Therapeutics, Emeryville, CA

Brian Blank, PhD

Scientist, ORIC Pharmaceuticals, South San Francisco, CA

Mark Burlingame, PhD

UCSF Mass Spectrometry Facility

Ying-Chu Chen, PhD Scientist, AMGEN, Thousand Oaks, CA

Ingrid Chen, PhD

Assistant Professor, Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF

Jonathan Choy, PhD

Sr. Scientist at Merck, South San Francisco, CA

Shaun Fontaine, PhD

Associate Director of Chemistry, Tatara Therapeutics, San Francisco, CA

Kyle DeFrees, PhD Senior Scientist, Gate Bioscience, South San Francisco, CA

Shubankar Dutta, PhD

Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Sanford Burnham Prebys, La Jolla, CA

Xochina El Hilali, PhD Associate Consultant at IQVIA, San Francisco, CA
Elizabeth Johnson, PhD Scientist, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA
Allejandra Gallardo-Godoy, PhD Senior Researcher, University of Queensland, Australia

Brian Hearn, PhD

Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry, Olema Oncology, San Francisco, CA

Erica Lauterwasser, PhD

Scientist, BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany

Sumit Mahajan, PhD

Principle Scientific Researcher, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA

Ryan Muir, PhD Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University  
Ritwika Ray, PhD Scientist, Merck Process Chemistry, Rahway, NJ

Hiroki Shimizu PhD

Research Scientist, Daichi Sankyo, Japan

Ben Spangler, PhD

Scientist II, BioMarin, San Rafael, CA

David Turner, PhD

Research Scientist, Leidos, Frederick, MD

Poulami Talukder, PhD Scientist, Tiba Biotech LLC, Cambridge, MA

Kurt Van Horn, PhD

Research Scientist, Avista Pharma Solutions, NC

Punitha Vedantham, PhD

Organic / Medicinal Chemistry Specialist Vibrant Sciences, Burlingame, CA

Yassir Younis Adam, PhD

Medicinal Chemist at MyoKardia, South San Francisco, CA