Elizabeth Ambrose, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Elizabeth Ambrose

Contact Info

ambrose@umn.edu

Office Phone 612-626-2387

Fax 612-626-6346

Office Address:
717 Delaware St SE, Room 417

Mailing Address:
University of Minnesota
College of Pharmacy
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
717 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Administrative Assistant Name
Caitlin Boley

Administrative Phone
612-624-9919

Administrative Email
boley014@umn.edu

PhD in Chemistry, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2002

Master of Science in Chemistry, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1997

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry (Minor: Mathematics), University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1996

Summary

The Ambrose laboratory’s research program focuses on CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high explosive) agent mitigation, particularly Bacillus anthracis (the causative agent of anthrax), the ricin toxin, and organophosphate nerve gases such as sarin, soman, and VX. Our goals include the design and optimization of small-molecule anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF) inhibitors, and ricin toxin A (RTA) inhibitors, to be used as emergency therapeutics in the event of bioterror attacks, and engineering enzyme active sites to rapidly and effectively hydrolyze fast-acting nerve agents. We are a full-spectrum early- to mid-stage drug discovery laboratory encompassing high-throughput and fragment screening, lead optimization, structure-based design, cell-based assays, and modeling. We have particular expertise in Biosafety Level (BSL)-2 and -3 and Select Agent safety and security protocols. Professor Ambrose also has research and teaching interests in CNS-targeted drug design and optimization, focusing on psychiatric pharmacy and neuropharmacology.

Awards & Recognition

American Chemical Society Hewlett-Packard Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 2011
Professor of the Semester, 2015, PharmD Class of 2017 (Twin Cities)
Professor of the Semester, 2015, PharmD Class of 2017 (Duluth)
Professor of the Year, 2013, PharmD Class of 2015 (Twin Cities)
Professor of the Semester, Spring 2013, PharmD Class of 2015 (Duluth)
Professor of the Year, 2012, PharmD Class of 2014 (Twin Cities)
Professor of the Semester, Spring 2012, PharmD Class of 2014 (Duluth)
Professor of the Semester, Spring 2011, PharmD Class of 2013 (Twin Cities)
Professor of the Semester, Spring 2011, PharmD Class of 2013 (Duluth)
Professor of the Year, 2010, PharmD Class of 2012 (Twin Cities)
Professor of the Semester, Spring 2010, PharmD Class of 2012 (Duluth)

Professional Associations

Fellow of the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational Research (MSI)

Research

Research Summary/Interests

  • Biological and Chemical Warfare Agent Mitigation
  • BSL-2, BSL-3 and Select Agent Research
  • Homeland Security
  • High-Throughput and Fragment Screening, Lead Optimization
  • Psychiatric Pharmacy and Neuropharmacology

Publications

1. Dosa, P.I.*; Ambrose Amin, E.A. Tactical approaches to interconverting GPCR agonists and antagonists. J. Med. Chem. 2016, 59, 810-840 PMID 26390077

2. Zhang, X.; Ambrose Amin, E.A.* Highly predictive support vector machine (SVM) models for anthrax toxin lethal factor inhibitors. J. Mol. Graph. Model. 2016, 63, 22-28 PMC4713341, PMID 26615468

3. Kurbanov, E.K,; Solberg, J.; Chiu, T.-L.; Johnson, R.L.; Hawkinson, J.; Walters, M.A.; Finzel, B.C.; Ambrose Amin, E.A.* Probing the S2’ subsite of the anthrax toxin lethal factor using novel N-alkylated hydroxamates. J. Med. Chem. 2015, 58, 8723-8733 PMID 26492514

4. Maize, K.M.; Kurbanov, E.K.; Johnson, R.L.; Ambrose Amin, E.A.; Finzel, B.C.* Ligand-induced expansion of the S1’ site in the anthrax toxin lethal factor. FEBS Letters 2015, 589, 3836-3841 PMC4688111, PMID 26578066

5. Maize, K.M.; Kurbanov, E.K.; de la Mora-Rey, T.; Geders, T.W.; Hwang, D.-J.; Walters, M.A.; Johnson, R.L.; Ambrose Amin, E.A.*, Finzel, B.C.*
Anthrax toxin lethal factor domain 3 is highly mobile and responsive to ligand binding. Acta Cryst. D 70, 2014, 2813-2822 PMC4220970, PMID 25372673

6. Maize, K. M.; Zhang, X.; Amin, E.A.*. Statistical analysis, optimization and prioritization of virtual screening parameters for zinc enzymes including the anthrax toxin lethal factor. Curr. Topics Med. Chem. 2014, 14, 2105-2114 PMC4631255, PMID 25373478

7. Ambrose Amin, E.A.* The medicinal chemistry of bioterrorism. Curr. Topics Med. Chem. 2014, 14, 2103-2104 PMC4634879, PMID 25388605

8. Kurbanov, E.; Leverentz, H.; Truhlar, D.G.; Ambrose Amin, E.A.* Analysis of the errors in the electrostatically embedded many-body expansion of the energy and the correlation energy for Zn and Cd coordination complexes with five and six ligands and use of the analysis to develop a generally successful fragmentation strategy. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2013, 9, 2617-2628 PMC3694631, PMID 23814509

9. Chiu, T.-L.; Ambrose Amin, E.A.* Development of a comprehensive, validated pharmacophore hypothesis for anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF) inhibitors using genetic algorithms, Pareto scoring, and structural biology. J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2012, 52, 1886-1897 PMC34777282, PMID 22697455

10. Chiu, T.-L.; Solberg, J.; Patil, S.; Geders, T.W.; Zhang, X.; Rangarajan, S.; Francis, R.; Finzel, B.C.; Walters, M.A.; Hook, D.J.; Ambrose Amin, E.A.* Identification of novel non-hydroxamate anthrax toxin lethal factor inhibitors by topomeric searching, docking and scoring, and in vitro screening. J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2009, 49, 2726-2734 PMC2805240, PMID 19928768

Teaching

Courses

Phar 6762: Medicinal Chemistry and Neuropharmacology MedC 5185: Principles of Biomolecular Simulation MedC 5245/Chem 5245: Introduction to Drug Design MedC 8001: General Principles of Medicinal Chemistry I MedC 8002: General Principles of Medicinal Chemistry II MedC 8753: Molecular Targets of Drug Discovery

Media

Video

Staying One Step Ahead