Alison Axtman

Research Assistant Professor (UNC) - Principal Investigator (SGC)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(216) 470-7201

Alison Axtman is a synthetic medicinal chemist with more than 10 years of research experience working at the interface of chemical and biology. Alison earned her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas, and carried out her post-doctoral training in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. Alison’s research has focused on the synthesis of small molecules that selectively modulate proteins implicated in disease-propagating pathways. As a member of the GSK Chemical Biology department, she led a program to understand the molecular basis of immune modulation by a class of natural products and developed analogs with improved drug properties. Alison is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry Department in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. At the SGC-UNC, she leads the design of novel chemical probes for understudied protein kinases that will be openly shared with collaborators to facilitate target discovery in human disease-relevant assays. When she’s not in the lab, Alison can be most often found at the gym preparing for the next CrossFit or GRID competition with her teammates.



Function through bio-inspired, synthesis-informed design: step-economical syntheses of designed kinase inhibitors
Wender, P. A.; Axtman, A. D.; Golden, J. E.; Kee, J.-M.; Sirois, L. E.; Quiroz, R. V.; Stevens, M. C.
Chem. Front. . 2014 1166-1171. doi:


Combined inhibition of Wee1 and Hsp90 activates intrinsic apoptosis in cancer cells
Iwai, A.; Bourboulia, D.; Mollapour, M.; Jensen-Taubman, S.; Lee, S.; Donnelly, A. C.; Yoshida, S.; Miyajima, N.; Tsutsumi, S.; Smith, A. K.; Sun, D.; Wu, X.; Blagg, B. S.; Trepel, J. B.; Stetler-Stevenson, W. G.; Neckers, L.
Cell Cycle. 2012 3649-55. doi:


A novel C-terminal HSP90 inhibitor KU135 induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in melanoma cells
amadi, A. K.; Zhang, X.; Mukerji, R.; Donnelly, A. C.; Blagg, B. S.; Cohen, M. S.
Cancer Lett. 2011 158-67. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2011.07.031

Development and characterization of a novel C-terminal inhibitor of Hsp90 in androgen dependent and independent prostate cancer cells
Eskew, J. D.; Sadikot, T.; Morales, P.; Duren, A.; Dunwiddie, I.; Swink, M.; Zhang, X.; Hembruff, S.; Donnelly, A.; Rajewski, R. A.; Blagg, B. S.; Manjarrez, J. R.; Matts, R. L.; Holzbeierlein, J. M.; Vielhauer, G. A.
BMC Cancer . 2011 11:468.. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-468

Engineering an antibiotic to fight cancer: Optimization of the novobiocin scaffold to produce anti-proliferative agents
Zhao, H; Donnelly, A. C.; Kusuma, B. R.; Brandt, G. E. L.; Brown, D.; Rajewski, R. A.; Vielhauer, G.; Holzbeierlein, J.; Blagg, B. S. J.
Med. Chem.. 2011 3839-3853. doi:10.1021/jm200148p

A systematic protocol for the characterization of Hsp90 modulators
Matts, R. L.; Brandt, G. E.; Lu, Y.; Dixit, A.; Mollapour, M.; Wang, S.; Donnelly, A. C.; Neckers, L.; Verkhivker, G.; Blagg, B. S.
Med. Chem. Lett. . 2011 684-92. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2010.10.029


Cytotoxic sugar analogues of an optimized novobiocin scaffold
Donnelly, A. C.; Zhao, H.; Kusuma, B. R.; Blagg, B. S. J.
Chem. Comm. . 2010 165-170. doi:

Swe1/Wee1-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of Hsp90 regulates distinct facets of chaperone function
Mollapour, M.; Tsutsumi, S.; Donnelly, A. C.; Beebe, K.; Tokita, M. J.; Lee, M.-J.; Lee, S.; Morra, G.; Bourboulia, D.; Scroggins, B. T.; Colombo, G.; Blagg, B. S.; Panaretou, B.; Stetler-Stevenson, W. G.; Trepel, J. B.; Piper, P. W.; Prodromou, C.; Pearl, L. H.; Neckers, L.
Cell. 2010 333-43. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2010.01.005

Characterization of a novel novobiocin analogue as a putative C-terminal inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 in prostate cancer cells
Matthews, S. B.; Vielhauer, G. A.; Manthe, C. A.; Chaguturu, V. K.; Szabla, K.; Matts, R. L.; Donnelly, A. C.; Blagg, B. S.; Holzbeierlein, J. M.
Prostate. 2010 27-36. doi:10.1002/pros.21035


KU135, a novel novobiocin-derived C-terminal inhibitor of Hsp90, exerts potent antiproliferative effects in human leukemic cells
Shelton, S. N.; Shawgo, M. E.; Comer, S. B.; Lu, Y.; Donnelly, A. C.; Szabla, K.; Tanol, M.; Vielhauer, G. A.; Rajewski, R. A.; Matts, R. L.; Blagg, B. S.; Robertson, J. D.
Mol Pharmacol.. 2009 1314-22. doi:10.1124/mol.109.058545

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