School Director, Associate Professor
School of Biological Sciences
Natural and Health Sciences
Ross Hall, Room 2480c
501 20th Street, Greeley, CO 80639
- Ph.D.: Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences, St. Louis University Medical School (1997-2001)
- B.A.: Chemistry, University of Missouri, St. Louis (1994-1997)
This is the content region for Professional/Academic Experience.
Research/Areas of Interest
Much of the world population is socially and economically burdened as a result of
mosquito-borne diseases. According to the CDC, in 2010 216 million cases of malaria
were reported and over 650,000 people died as a result of this parasitic disease which
disproportionally affects children and pregnant women. Unfortunately drug resistance
has been observed against all currently used antimalarials including the last weapon
in the world's drug arsenal, artemisinin combination therapy (ACT)—so unless novel
drug targets are identified the impact of this devastating disease will rise. Flaviviruses
are also transmitted by mosquitoes and we focus on a number of diseases caused by
this family of viruses including yellow fever, Dengue Fever and West Nile. With more
than a third of the world population at risk of infection by Dengue virus, the endemic
nature of West Nile in the US and the serious morbidity and mortality that flaviviruses
cause each year, it is devastating that there are currently no therapeutics clinically
available for the treatment of any flavivirus disease.
In the lab, we combine molecular biological, pharmacological and computational modeling
approaches to address problems linking protein structure with small molecule activity—that
is to say we identify novel inhibitors that could one day be developed into drugs
and used to treat these diseases. We focus on kinases and the flaviviral capping enzyme
as novel targets for dug design and—and I am happy to say we are making progress.
I am currently recruiting a graduate student to work with the group—so please contact
me if our work is of interest.
Peer-reviewed research publications
(nameindicates a UNC graduate student as a co-author, name indicates a UNC undergraduate student as a co-author, * indicates corresponding author)
- Stahla-Beek HJ, April DG, Saeedi BJ, Hannah AM, Keenan SM*, Geiss BJ. Identification of a novel antiviral inhibitor of the flavivirus guanylyltransferase
enzyme. J Virol. 2012 86(16):8730-9
- Geiss BJ, Stahla-Beek HJ, Hannah AM, Gari HH, Henderson BR, Saeedi BJ, Keenan SM*. A high-throughput screening assay for the identification of flavivirus NS5 capping
enzyme GTP-binding inhibitors: implications for antiviral drug development. J Biomol
Screen. 2011 Sep;16(8):852-61.
- Jirage D, Keenan SM, Waters NC. Exploring novel targets for antimalarial drug discovery: plasmodial protein
kinases. Infect Disord Drug Targets. 2010 Jun;10(3):134-46. Review.
- Peng Y, Zhang Q, Arora S, Keenan SM, Kortagere S, Wannemacher KM, Howells, RD and Welsh WJ. Novel delta opioid receptor
agonists exhibit differential stimulation of signaling pathways. Bioorganic and Medicinal
Chemistry. 17(17): 6442-50, 2009
- Geyer JA, Keenan SM, Woodard CL, Thompson PA , Gerena L, Nichols DA, Gutteridge CE, and Waters NC. Selective Inhibition of Pfmrk,
a Plasmodium falciparum CDK, by Antimalarial 1,3-Diaryl-2-Propenones. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. 19(7):
- Geiss BJ, Stahla H,Hannah MJ, Gari HH and Keenan SM*. Focus on Flaviviruses: Current and Future Drug Targets. Future Medicinal Chemistry.
Invited Review. 2 (1): 327-344, 2009
- Arora S, Wang XI, Keenan SM, Andaya C, Zhang Q, Peng Y, and Welsh WJ. Novel tubulin polymerization inhibitor
with potent antimitotic activity. Cancer Research, .69(5): 1910-5, 2009
- Geiss BJ, Thompson AA, Thompson AJ, Sons RL, Gari, HH, Keenan SM and Peersen OB. Analysis of flavivirus NS5 methyltransferase cap binding. Journal
of Molecular Biology. 385(5): 1643-54, 2009
- Book chapters
- Jirage D, Keenan SM and Waters NC. Targeting the malaria kinome; discovering kinase inhibitors as novel
anti-malarial agents. In Antiparasitic and Antibacterial Drug Discovery: From Molecular
Targets to Drug Candidates (Drug Discovery in Infectious Diseases) Editor: Dr. Paul
M. Selzer, Publisher: Wiley, 2009 (ISBN-13: 978-3527323272)
- Submission of Provisional Patent: Brian J Geiss, Susan M.Keenan and Stahla-Beek, HJ Identification of a Novel Antiviral Inhibitor of the Flavivirus Guanylyltransferase
- Compositions and Methods for the Discovery of Novel Na, K-ATPase Inhibitors for the
Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases and Conditions (November 2002) William J. Welsh,
Susan M. Keenan, Robert K. DeLisle and William J. Ball Jr.
- Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of a Series of Novel Combrestatinin A-4
Analogues with Potent Cytotoxicity and Anti-Tubulin Polymerization Activities: Implications
for Cancer Chemotherapy (Patent Pending) William J. Welsh, Susan M. Keenan, Youyi Peng, Xin Wang, Qiang Zhang
- Activated Cdc42-associated kinase (ACK) as therapeutic target for Ras-induced. Alam
Nur-E-Kamal, Ailing Zhang, William J. Welsh, Susan M. Keenan, Xin Wang
- Discovery of Novel Delta-Opioid Receptor Selective Compounds as Clinically Significant
Therapeutic Agents. William J. Welsh, Susan M. Keenan, Youyi Peng, Xin, Qiang Zhang