Menu UF Health Home Menu

Medicinal Chemistry

The mission of the department of Medicinal Chemistry is to conduct basic research in chemistry and biochemistry as it relates to drug discovery, to teach these principles in the professional and graduate programs, and to provide service to the scientific community.

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry is located in the College of Pharmacy, and is an integral part of the University of Florida’s Health Science Center. The department has excellent facilities for research in the major areas of Medicinal Chemistry and faculty have been highly successful in attracting extramural research support for the past several years.

Medicinal Chemistry areas of research in drug design, marine natural products and toxicology are a unique blend of the physical and biological sciences. The scope of the field is sufficiently broad to give students with many different science backgrounds a rewarding and challenging program of study. Areas of active interest include drug discovery, organic synthesis of medicinal agents, natural products chemistry, prodrugs, topical drug delivery, peptide chemistry, molecular modeling, drug metabolism and molecular toxicology.

Faculty Spotlight

Chenglong Li, Ph.D.Professor and Nicholas Bodor Professor in Drug Discovery; Graduate Coordinator for Medicinal Chemistry


Student Profile: Marci Smeltz

Meet Our Faculty

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry features many internationally recognized faculty who excel at research and teaching.

Potential Graduate Student Awards

Graduate students in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry have the opportunity to earn many graduate student awards.

Faculty Search

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the assistant or associate professor level. Candidates should have a record of a strong independent research program in drug discovery and development or demonstrate outstanding potential to build such a program. Faculty hires will also participate in professional and graduate instructional efforts of the college. Area of specialization within medicinal chemistry is open, but should complement the interests of the department and the Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development and agree with institutional strategies adopted by the University of Florida to foster interdisciplinary research in cancer, infectious diseases, neuroscience and diabetes.


UF College of Pharmacy welcomes five new faculty to campus

The University of Florida College of Pharmacy welcomed five new faculty to the college in July and August. Included in the group are UF Preeminence scholars, Chengguo (Chris) Xing, Ph.D., and Chenglong Li, Ph.D. The new faculty additions bring the total number of new faculty hires in the college to 28 since summer 2013.

Chengguo (Chris) Xing, Ph.D.

Chengguo Xing, Professor, Pharmacy/Medicinal ChemistryAccomplished researcher Chengguo (Chris) Xing, Ph.D., has been appointed a professor of medicinal chemistry and the Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair in Drug Research and Development at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. Xing joined the college in August following 13 years at the University of Minnesota. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and broadly covers the isolation, design and synthesis and identification of biologically active small molecules to help manage diseases and understand biology. As the Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair, his research at UF will focus on translational development with several indications, including novel therapies selective against multi-drug resistant malignancies, chemopreventive agents against primary carcinogenesis, and a natural dietary supplement on neurological disorders with the goal to extend them in the clinical setting. Xing obtained his Ph.D. degree from Arizona State University and completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University.

Chenglong Li, Ph.D.

Chenglong LiMedicinal chemist Chenglong Li, Ph.D., joined the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in August as the Nicholas Bodor Professor in Drug Discovery. He will also serve as the graduate coordinator in the department of medicinal chemistry. With wide ranging interests in chemistry, Li focuses his research on molecular recognition, with a strong application to structure-based computer-aided drug design. He uses computational and experimental approaches to explore the connection among molecular structure, dynamics and function. Prior to joining UF, Li was a professor at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy for 11 years. He also worked as a research associate in computational chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He graduated with a Ph.D. in biophysics and a minor in organic chemistry from Cornell University in 2000, and earned his masters and bachelor’s degrees from Beijing University in China.

Bethany Shoulders, Pharm.D.

Bethany ShouldersBethany Shoulders, Pharm.D., has joined the College of Pharmacy as a clinical assistant professor in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research. She maintains a clinical practice site at the trauma ICU at UF Health Shands Hospital. A graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2014, she completed a pharmacy practice residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and a PGY2 critical care pharmacy practice residency with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her research endeavors during residency included evaluating intraoperative continuous infusion cefazolin in a cardiac surgery population and characterizing the guideline evidence behind off-label medication use in the intensive care unit.

Christopher Campbell, Pharm.D.

Christoper Campbell, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacy, PTRThe University of Florida College of Pharmacy welcomed Christopher Campbell, Pharm.D., as a clinical assistant professor in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research in August. He joined the college following completion of a PGY1 pharmacy residency and a PGY2 pediatric pharmacy residency at Georgia Regents Medical Center and the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy in Augusta, Ga. A native of Long Island, N.Y., he received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Northeastern University in 2014. Campbell will maintain a clinical practice site at UF Health Shands Hospital in the pediatric intensive care unit and the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit. A member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group, he has presented at state and national meetings and currently serves on the University HealthSystem Consortium Pediatric Pharmacy Committee. His research interests include pediatric critical care, anticoagulation and patient safety.

Michelle Zeigler, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

Michelle ZeiglerOne of the newest members of the College of Pharmacy faculty is a familiar face to the University of Florida Medication Therapy Management Communication and Care Center, or UF MTMCCC, in Lake Nona. Michelle Zeigler, Pharm.D., Ph.D., joined the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research as a clinical assistant professor in July. She previously served as a clinical pharmacist on the UF MTMCCC team since the campus opened in August 2012, and she will continue to work with UF MTMCCC in her new faculty role. Her clinical interests include health care communication, motivational interviewing and quality measures. Zeigler is a 2011 graduate of the UF College of Pharmacy. She completed a PGY-1 pharmacy residency at the Sarasota VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic with a focus on ambulatory care in areas such as anticoagulation, diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. As a clinical pharmacist at UF MTMCCC, she worked on various prescriber outreach projects in addition to completing comprehensive medication reviews and providing adherence services. She also precepts third- and fourth-year pharmacy students. Prior to her pharmacy career, she earned a Ph.D. in plant molecular and cellular biology at UF.


read more

To see more news articles please view our news section.