Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Carston Wagner, Ph.D.

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    Medicinal Chemistry
    Professor and Endowed Chair in Medicinal Chemistry
  • Director of the Chemical Biology Initiative
  • BS - 1981
    University of North Carolina
  • PhD- 1987
    Duke University
  • PostDoc, NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry- 1987-1991
    Pennsylvania State University
  • 2-141 Cancer & Cardiovascular Research Building
  • University of Minnesota
    College of Pharmacy
    Department of Medicinal Chemistry
    2231 Sixth Street SE #2-141
    Minneapolis, MN 55455

About Carston Wagner, Ph.D.

In general the use of anticancer drugs is associated with a variety of toxic side-effects. To tackle this important problem, our laboratory is devoted to the development of approaches that will deliver anticancers drug, proteins and nucleic acids to cancer tissues and not normal tissues. This challenge is being met by exploiting discoveries from our laboratory in prodrug design and nanobiotechnology. The experimental approach taken by our laboratory is highly multidisciplinary, relying on the tools of synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, enzymology, molecular biology, biochemical pharmacology, X-ray crystallography, molecular modeling and spectroscopy to address our goal.


Nucleosides with Antiviral and Anticancer Activity, U.S. Patent #6,475,985, issued 11/05/02.

Small Molecules for Inhibition of Function and Drug Delivery to Leukocytes, U. S. Patent, #6,881,747 B2; issued 4/19/05.

Nucleoside Phosphoramidates and Nucleoside Phosphoramidases, U. S. Patent, #7217523; issued 5/15/07.

Protein Nanorings, U. S. Patent (pending).


Dreyfus Undergraduate Research Scholar (1980)

NSF Student Fellow to NATO Advanced Study Institute (1986)

N.I.H. National Research Service Award (1987 – 1990)

N.I.H. First Award (1993)

Teacher of the Semester, Pharm.D. II, (Fall 1999)

3M University Relations Award, (2002)

Published Works

Li, Qing, So, Christopher, Fegan Adrian, Sarikaya, Mehmet, and Vallera, Daniel A., and Wagner, Carston R.“Chemically Self-Assembled Antibody Nanorings (CSANs): Design and Characterization of an Anti-CD3 IgM Biomimetic:”, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 132, 17247–17257 (2010).

Ghosh, Brahma, Benyumov, Alexey O., Ghosh, Phalguni, Avdulov, Svetlana, Jia, Yan, Dahlberg, Peter S., Peterson, Mark, Smith, Karen, Polunovsky, Vitaly A., Bitterman, Peter B., and Wagner, Carston R., “"Non-Toxic Chemical Interdiction of the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition by Targeting Cap-dependent Translation", ACS Chemical Biology, 4, 367-377 (2009).

Chou, Tsui-Fen, So, Christopher, Carlson, Jonathan T. C., White, Brian R., Sarikaya, Mehmet, and Wagner, Carston, "Enzyme Nanorings", ACS Nano, 2, 2519-2525 (2008). (Highlighted paper)

Chou, Tsui-fen, Baraniak, Janina, Kaczmarek, Renata, Zhou, Xin, Cheng, Jilin, Ghosh, Brahma, and Wagner, Carston R., “Phosphoramidate Pronucleotides: A Comparison of the Phosphoramidase Substrate Specificity of Human and E. coli Histidine Triad Nucleotide Binding Proteins (Hint1)”, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 4, 2, 208-217 (2007).

Kim, Jisook, Griesegraber, George, W., Chou, Tsui-fen., and Wagner, Carston R., "Direct Measurement of Nucleoside Monophosphate Delivery from a Phosphoramidate Pronucleotide by Stable Isotope Labeling and LC-ESI-MS/MS,' Molecular Pharmaceutics 1, 102-11 (2004).

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  • Last modified on March 23, 2015