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University of Colorado Cancer Center

University of Colorado Cancer Center, A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Michael F. Wempe, PhD




Drug Design and Development
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
School of Medicine Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Students must have completed 2 years of college including Organic Chemistry.
Number of openings: 1
Program objective:
The program objective is to learn and perform fundamental translational research techniques.
Program description:
Dr. Wempe is a Physical/Synthetic Organic Chemist (PhD) with Chemical and Pharmaceutical work experience. His laboratory uses chemical synthesis (organic and bio-organic) to produce known and novel compounds which are subsequently screened (in vitro and in vivo) for biological activity. His laboratory also conducts fundamental research in drug development (metabolism, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity).

Research activities include:

  1. Medicinal Chemistry - rational drug design and Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) elucidation; 
  2. computational chemistry;
  3. drug metabolism and pre-clinical safety assessment;
  4. developing novel technology to improve oral bioavailability of small molecules; and v) bio-analytical pharmacokinetic (BAPK) method development and analysis. 
There are a variety of research activities occurring within his laboratory; two major efforts include the development of LAT1 selective inhibitors for use in cancer research and therapy, and another involves the development of URAT transporter inhibitors in the development of novel cardiovascular agents. Dr. Wempe is the Director of the Medicinal Chemistry Core facility at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.