Robert W Huigens, III

Robert W Huigens, III Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator for Medicinal Chemistry

Department: Medicinal Chemistry
Business Phone: (352) 273-7718
Business Email:

About Robert W Huigens, III

Robert Huigens received his bachelors in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2003. He then pursued graduate studies in Chemistry at North Carolina State University under the direction of Professor Christian Melander. After earning his Ph.D. in 2009, he went on to become an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the guidance of Professor Paul Hergenrother. In 2013, Dr. Huigens joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department at the University of Florida as an assistant professor. His research interests include organic synthesis, drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, antibacterial agents and personalized cancer therapeutics. Recently, Dr. Huigens was the recipient of two Young Investigator Awards from the American Chemical Society (Division of Medicinal Chemistry) and the Center for Biofilm Engineering (Montana State University) for his group’s discovery of novel bacterial biofilm-eradicating agents.

Research Profile

The overarching goal of the Huigens lab is to push back the boundaries of drug discovery using new and innovative strategies to tackle unmet challenges associated with complex molecule synthesis, drug-resistant bacteria and cancer. Students and postdocs in our group receive training at the interface of chemistry and biology using a combination of synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology and microbiology approaches. We currently have three major areas of research: Discovery of Antibacterial & Biofilm-Eradicating Agents, Ring Distortion of Complex Natural Products and Thymidylate Synthase Inhibitors as Anticancer Agents.



September 2018 – August 2019
Impeding Transcriptions of the Toxic RNAs of Myotonic Dystrophy
STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK RES FOU · Principal Investigator
August 2018ACTIVE
Indole Alkaloids and Phenazine Antibiotics: New Platforms for Drug Discovery
NATL INST OF HLTH NIGMS · Principal Investigator
July 2018ACTIVE
Alkaloid Ring Distortion: A Platform for New Cancer Therapies
AMER CANCER SOC · Principal Investigator
August 2017 – August 2018
Impeding transcription of the toxic RNAs of myotonic dystrophy (MDA516314)
September 2016 – August 2017
Rho Chi AFPE Fellowship
June 2016 – May 2019
Nitroxoline Small Molecules as Cures for Persistent Bacterial Infections
UF DSR OPPORTUNITY FUND · Principal Investigator
January 2016ACTIVE
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


Published March 2018
Halogenated Quinoline Derivatives at the 2-Position with Potent Antibacterial and Biofilm Eradication Activities
Published January 2018
Phenazine Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents
Issued January 2018
Phenazine Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents


American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
North Carolina State University
University of North Carolina at Greensboro