Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D.

Hendrik Luesch

Debbie and Sylvia DeSantis Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development; Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Medicinal Chemistry

OFFICE: Medical Science Building, P3-12

EMAIL: luesch@cop.ufl.edu

PHONE: 352-273-7738

CV: Link to CV



  • Diplom in Chemistry, University of Siegen, Germany, 1997
  • Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2002
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, 2002-05


Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., a professor of medicinal chemistry, received his Diplom in Chemistry at the University of Siegen (Germany) in 1997. He attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa to study marine natural products chemistry and obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the supervision of Professor Richard E. Moore in 2002. He then undertook three years of postdoctoral studies as an Irving S. Sigal Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla working with Professor Peter G. Schultz in the area of functional genomics and chemical biology. In 2005 he joined the faculty of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Florida as an assistant professor and was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2010 and to full professor in 2015. He combines his interest in marine natural products chemistry with genomics and proteomics approaches for the discovery and characterization of potential drugs and molecular drug targets.


American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

Institutional Affiliations
Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development (CNPD3)
UF Health Cancer Center
Evelyn F. & William L. McKnight Brain Institute
Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease (CTRND)
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL)
Institute for Cell & Tissue Science and Engineering (ICTSE)


Dr. Luesch’s multidisciplinary research program at the interface of chemistry and biology combines classical natural products chemistry with high-throughput screening and chemical genomics. It involves most aspects of drug discovery ranging from the collection of promising marine organisms, bioassay development, NMR spectroscopic structure determination, total synthesis, mechanism-of-action studies, and pharmacology, up to the preclinical and clinical development of candidate molecules. His lab is producing a small but increasing pipeline of bioactive compounds that are at various developmental stages. He also uses functional genomics approaches to identify and characterize genes associated with disease processes, especially cancer.

For more detailed information about his lab and ongoing research, click here:



Cai, W.; Ratnayake, R.; Gerber, M. H.; Chen, Q.-Y; Yu, Y.; Derendorf, H.; Trevino, J. G.; Luesch, H. “Development of Apratoxin S10 (Apra S10) as an Anti-pancreatic Cancer Agent and Its Preliminary Evaluation in an Orthotopic Patient-derived Xenograft (PDX) Model” Invest. New Drugs 2018, in press.

Al-Awadhi, F. H.; Bowen, G.; Rezaei, M. A.; Kwan, J. C.; Li, C.; Ye, T.; Paul, V. J.; Luesch, H. “Discovery, Synthesis, Pharmacological Profiling and Biological Characterization of Brintonamides A-E, Novel Dual Protease and GPCR Modulators from a Marine Cyanobacterium” J. Med. Chem. 2018, 61, 6364–6378.

Al-Awadhi, F. A.; Paul, V. J.; Luesch, H. “Structural Diversity and Anticancer Activity of Marine-Derived Elastase Inhibitors: Key Features and Mechanisms Mediating the Antimetastatic Effects in Invasive Breast Cancer” ChemBioChem 2018, 19, 815–825.

Kallifidas, D.; Jiang, G.; Ding, Y.; Luesch, H. “Rational Engineering of Streptomyces albus J1074 for the Overexpression of Secondary Metabolite Gene Clusters” Microb. Cell Fact. 2018, 17, 25.

Chen, Q.-Y.; Chaturvedi, P. R.; Luesch, H. “Process Development and Scale-up Total Synthesis of Largazole, a Potent Class I Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor” Org. Process Res. Dev. 2018, 22, 190–199.

Cai, W.; Chen, Q.-Y.; Dang, L. H.; Luesch, H. “Apratoxin S10, a Dual Inhibitor of Angiogenesis and Cancer Cell Growth To Treat Highly Vascularized Tumors” ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2017, 18, 1007–1012.

Bousquet, M. S.; Ma, J. J.; Ratnayake, R.; Havre, P. A.; Yao, J.; Dang, N. H.; Paul, V. J.; Carney, T. J.; Dang, L. H.; Luesch, H. “Multidimensional Screening Platform for Simultaneously Targeting Oncogenic KRAS and Hypoxia-Inducible Factors Pathways in Colorectal Cancer” ACS Chem. Biol. 2016, 11, 1322−1331.

Luo, D.; Chen, Q.-Y.; Luesch, H. “Total Synthesis of the Potent Marine-Derived Elastase Inhibitor Lyngbyastatin 7 and in Vitro Biological Evaluation in Model Systems for Pulmonary Diseases” J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 532−544.

Salvador-Reyes, L. A.; Luesch, H. “Biological Targets and Mechanisms of Action of Natural Products from Marine Cyanobacteria” Nat. Prod. Rep. 2015, 32, 478−503.

Chen, Q.-Y.; Liu, Y.; Cai, W.; Luesch, H. “Improved Total Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Potent Apratoxin S4 Based Anticancer Agents with Differential Stability and Further Enhanced Activity” J. Med. Chem. 2014, 57, 3011‒3029.

Wang, R.; Mason, D. E.; Choe, K. P.; Lewin, A. S.; Peters, E. C.; Luesch, H. “In Vitro and in Vivo Characterization of a Tunable Dual-Reactivity Probe of the Nrf2-ARE Pathway” ACS Chem. Biol. 2013, 8, 1764‒1774.

Salvador, L. A.; Taori, K.; Biggs, J. S.; Jakoncic, J.; Ostrov, D. A.; Paul, V. J.; Luesch, H. “Potent Elastase Inhibitors from Cyanobacteria: Structural Basis and Mechanisms Mediating Cytoprotective and Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Bronchial Epithelial Cells” J. Med. Chem. 2013, 56, 1276‒1290.

Hong, J.; Luesch, H. “Largazole: From Discovery to Broad-Spectrum Therapy” Nat. Prod. Rep. 2012, 29, 449‒456.

Chen, Q.-Y.; Liu, Y.; Luesch, H. “Systematic Chemical Mutagenesis Identifies a Potent Novel Apratoxin A/E Hybrid with Improved in Vivo Antitumor Activity” ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2011, 81, 220‒229.

Kwan, J. C.; Ratnayake, R.; Abboud, K. A.; Paul, V. J.; Luesch, H. “Grassypeptolides A–C, Cytotoxic Bis-thiazoline Containing Marine Cyclodepsipeptides” J. Org. Chem. 2010, 75, 8012–8023.

Liu, Y.; Salvador, L. A.; Byeon, S.; Ying, Y.; Kwan, J. C.; Law, B. K.; Hong, J.; Luesch, H. “Anticolon Cancer Activity of Largazole, a Marine-Derived Tunable Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor” J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 2010, 335, 351–361.

Kwan, J. C.; Eksioglu, E. A.; Liu, C.; Paul, V. J.; Luesch, H. “Grassystatins A–C from Marine Cyanobacteria, Potent Cathepsin E Inhibitors That Reduce Antigen Presentation” J. Med. Chem. 2009, 52, 5732–5747.

Liu, Y.; Law, B. K.; Luesch, H. “Apratoxin A Reversibly Inhibits the Secretory Pathway by Preventing Cotranslational Translocation” Mol. Pharmacol. 2009, 76, 91–104.

Ying, Y.; Taori, K.; Kim, H.; Hong, J.; Luesch, H. “Total Synthesis and Molecular Target of Largazole, a Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 8455–8459.

Taori, K.; Paul, V. J.; Luesch, H. “Structure and Activity of Largazole, a Potent Antiproliferative Agent from the Floridian Marine Cyanobacterium Symploca sp.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 1806–1807.

Liu, Y.; Kern, J. T.; Walker, J. R.; Johnson, J. A.; Schultz, P. G.; Luesch, H. “A Genomic Screen for Activators of the Antioxidant Response Element” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2007, 104, 5205–5210.

Luesch, H.; Chanda, S. K.; Raya, R. M.; DeJesus, P. D.; Orth, A. P.; Walker, J. R.; Izpisúa Belmonte, J. C.; Schultz, P. G. “A Functional Genomics Approach to the Mode of Action of Apratoxin A” Nat. Chem. Biol. 2006, 2, 158–167.

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Luesch Publications

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