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Vanessa Phelan, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Mailing Address:

University of Colorado
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Mail Stop C238
12850 E. Montview Blvd. V20-3130
Aurora, CO 80045

Office Location:

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (V20)
Third Floor
Room 3130


Voice: 303-724-3291
Lab: 303-724-9055
Fax: 303-724-7266


Research Interest:

Microbiome; Natural Products; Specialized Metabolites; Mass Spectrometry; Metabolomics; Metabolic Exchange; Opportunistic Pathogens; Cystic Fibrosis

In the Phelan lab, we apply modern mass spectrometry based tools in combination with traditional chemical, molecular and biochemical approaches to investigate the role of small molecules in the host associated polymicrobial communities (microbiome). It is our goal to characterize the chemical communication between microbial constituents, investigate the role of microbial metabolites in host-microbe interactions and determine how microbial communities may affect efficacy of treatment. Our current focus is unraveling the roles of microbial specialized metabolites in the development and persistence of complex pulmonary infections of cystic fibrosis patients.

Education and Training:

  • B.S. – University at Albany, SUNY; Albany, NY – Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Ph.D. – Vanderbilt University; Nashville, TN – Chemistry
  • Postdoctoral Fellow – University of California, San Diego; La Jolla, CA – Skaggs School of Pharmacy
  • Assistant Project Scientist – University of California, San Diego; La Jolla, CA – Skaggs School of Pharmacy

Recent Publications