Robert W Huigens, III

Robert W Huigens, III, Ph.D.

Associate Professor And Graduate Coordinator

Department: Medicinal Chemistry
Business Phone: (352) 273-7718
Business Email: rwhuigens@ufl.edu

About Robert W Huigens, III

Robert Huigens received his bachelors in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2003) and Ph.D. in Chemistry at North Carolina State University (2009). Dr. Huigens then became an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in Professor Paul Hergenrother’s lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2013, Dr. Huigens began his independent career as an assistant professor at the University of Florida in the Medicinal Chemistry Department and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2020. Professor Huigens directs an energetic and collaborative research lab inspired by natural products and utilizes a combination of organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, microbiology and molecular biology to discover new compounds to treat disease and explore biological processes.

Research Profile

The Huigens lab is on a mission to discover new molecules that can treat human disease and study important biological processes. The majority of our work involves chemical synthesis; however, we have a productive microbiology team in our lab developing new assays and studying biofilms using RNA-seq technology. In addition, we are always excited to work with others motivated by drug discovery and chemical biology! Students and postdocs in our group receive training at the interface of chemistry and biology using a combination of synthetic organic chemistry (including complex molecule synthesis), medicinal chemistry and microbiology approaches.

The research in Dr. Huigens’ lab has been primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health (R-35; Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award, National Institute of General Medical Sciences), the American Cancer Society (Research Scholar Grant) and the University of Florida (start-up funds, multiple seed fund awards). In addition, the Huigens lab has also been involved in collaborative projects supported by the National Institutes of Health (NCI) and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Inc.

In addition, Dr. Huigens’ research has been recognized through multiple Young Investigator Awards from the American Chemical Society, including: (1) Division of Medicinal Chemistry (in recognition for the discovery & development halogenated phenazine biofilm-eradicating agents, 2015), and (2) Division of Organic Chemistry (utilizing indole alkaloids as starting points for ring distortion synthesis and the identification of re-engineered derivatives with activities relevant to cancer, malaria and opioid addiction therapies, 2019). Dr. Huigens was also the recipient of a young investigator award from the Center for Biofilm Engineering (Montana State University) for the group’s medicinal chemistry efforts regarding novel bacterial biofilm-eradicating agents.

Publications

2019 Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology
2010 Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
2009 International biodeterioration & biodegradation
2008 Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology

Grants

Aug 2019 – Jul 2020
Impeding Transcriptions of the Toxic RNAs of Myotonic Dystrophy
STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK RES FOU · Principal Investigator
Sep 2018 – Aug 2019
Impeding Transcriptions of the Toxic RNAs of Myotonic Dystrophy
STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK RES FOU · Principal Investigator
Aug 2018 ACTIVE
Indole Alkaloids and Phenazine Antibiotics: New Platforms for Drug Discovery
NATL INST OF HLTH NIGMS · Principal Investigator
Jul 2018 ACTIVE
Alkaloid Ring Distortion: A Platform for New Cancer Therapies
AMER CANCER SOC · Principal Investigator
Sep 2016 – Aug 2017
Rho Chi AFPE Fellowship
AMER FOU FOR PHARM EDU · Mentor
Jun 2016 – May 2019
Nitroxoline Small Molecules as Cures for Persistent Bact
UF DSR OPPORTUNITY FUND · Principal Investigator
Jan 2016 ACTIVE
Studies on thymidylate synthase as a tumor-promoting oncogene for development of new allosteric inhibitors for cancer treatment
NATL INST OF HLTH NCI · Project Manager
Jun 2014 – May 2016
Development of Potent 2,4-Dibromophenazine Antibacterial
UF DSR OPPORTUNITY FUND · Principal Investigator

Patents

Issued January 2018
Phenazine Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents
#9,856,225
Published January 2018
Phenazine Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents
#US-2018-0312473-A1
Published March 2018
Halogenated Quinoline Derivatives at the 2-Position with Potent Antibacterial and Biofilm Eradication Activities
#US-2018-0265475-A1

Education

American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow
2009-2013 · University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D.
2009 · North Carolina State University
B.A.
2003 · University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Contact Details

Phones:
Business:
(352) 273-7718
Emails:
Business:
rwhuigens@ufl.edu

Huigens Lab 2018

Huigens Lab 2015

Huigens Lab 2014