2013-2014 - University of North Carolina Eschelman School of Pharmacy, Research Assistant Professor
2008-2013 - University of North Carolina, Postdoctoral Associate
2007-2008 - West Virginia State University, Assistant Professor
2006-2007 - Franklin and Marshall College, Visiting Assistant Professor
2005 - Ph.D. Emory University, Chemistry
2001 - B.S. University of Richmond, Chemistry
2001 - B.S. University of Richmond, Biology
I am interested in the field of chemical biology. This field applies chemical knowledge to studying and to solving biological issues. My research is focused on the synthesis and the development of light-responsive molecules that manipulate cellular systems. Light-dependence of chemical processes allow for control of when and where the biological system is influenced. This is useful for controlling where chemotherapeutic drugs assert their effect, which has the potential for reducing harmful side effects by preventing anticancer agents from interacting with healthy cells. Currently, I am researching compounds that release drugs when illuminated with light that is capable of penetrating skin. In addition, controlling the initiation of a biochemical process is useful for studying cellular processes because it affords researchers control of the start of a reaction in a system as complex as cell. For example, I am interested in compounds that can target oxidative damage to different organelles within cells. Oxidative damage is initiated with light after the compound localizes to an organelle of interest. Control of when and where oxidative damage occurs in cells is useful for studying the process of cellular aging.
Shell, T. A.; Shell, J. R.; Rodgers, Z. L.; Lawrence, D. S. "Tunable Optomolecular Control of Visible- and Near IR-Responsive Bioactive Compounds" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2014, 53, 875.
Shell, T. A.; Lawrence, D. S. "A new trick (hydroxyl radical generation) for an old vitamin (B12)" J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 2148.
I feel that research is a rewarding and educational experience for undergraduate students. Therefore, I am interested involving students in my research. My research students will learn about chemical biology, an exciting field that is rapidly expanding at graduate institutions. Research projects will utilize organic synthesis as well as biological assays to assess the effectiveness of the compounds.
Research by my previous students at West Virginia State University has been presented at local meetings and a national meeting. In addition, it resulted in an undergraduate student co-authored publication.