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Faculty Profile

Gregory CunyGregory Cuny

Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Assistant Department Chair
Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences

University of Houston College of Pharmacy
Health 2, Room 7036
4349 Martin Luther King Boulevard
Houston, TX 77204-5039

Contact: - 713-743-1274 - Fax: 713-743-1884


The research interest of our laboratory is in the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry. One goal of our research is to design and optimize in vivo pharmacology probes to elucidate novel therapeutic strategies for treating diseases. We use approaches in organic synthesis, molecular modeling/docking and structure-based design to guide these optimization efforts. A second goal is to incorporate conformational restricted natural products and non-derivative synthesis into our research program.

  • Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
  • B.S. in Chemistry, Grove City College, Grove City, Penn.
  • Nikhar, S.; Siokas, I.; Schlicher, L.; Lee, S.; Gyrd-Hansen, M.; Degterev, A.; Cuny, G.D. Design of pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidin-7-one inhibitors of receptor interacting protein kinase-2 (RIPK2) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD) cell signaling. Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2021, 215, 113252.
  • Cuny, G.D.; Degterev, A. RIPK protein kinase family: Atypical lives of typical kinases. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2021, 109, 96 - 105.
  • Lee, S.; Ku, A.F.; Vippila, M.R.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, M.; Wang, X.; Hedstrom, L.; Cuny, G.D. Mycophenolic anilides as broad specificity inosine-5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) inhibitors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2020, 30, 127543.
  • Suebsuwong, C.; Dai, B.; Pinkas, D.M.; Duddupudi, A.L.; Li, L.; Bufton, J.C.; Schlicher, L.; Gyrd-Hansen, M.; Hu, M.; Bullock, A.N.; Degterev, A.; Cuny, G.D. Receptor-interacting protein kinase 2 (RIPK2) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD) cell signaling inhibitors based on a 3,5-diphenyl-2-aminopyridine scaffold. Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2020, 200, 112417.
  • Duddupudi, A.L.; Pankaj, P.; Vo, H.; Welsh, C.L.; Doerksen, R.J.; Cuny, G.D. Hypervalent iodine mediated oxidative cyclization of acrylamide N-carbamates to 5,5-disubstituted oxazolidine-2,4-diones. J. Org. Chem. 2020, 85, 7549-7557.
  • Ali, G.; Cuny, G.D. Synthesis of the tetracyclic framework of polycyclic spiro lignan natural products. ACS Omega 2020, 5, 9007 - 9012.
  • Pawlowic, M.C.; Somepalli, M.; Sateriale, A.; Herbert, G.T.; Gibson, A.; Cuny, G.D.; Hedstrom, H.; Striepen, B. Genetic ablation of purine salvage in Cryptosporidium parvum reveals nucleotide uptake from the host cell. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2019, 116, 21160 - 21165.
  • Ali, G.; Cuny, G.D. An efficient synthesis of an 8-phenoxy aporphine derivative utilizing mono-ligated palladium ortho-phenol arylation. Tetrahedron 2019, 75, 4318 - 4324.
  • Hrdinka, M.; Schlicher, L.; Dai, B.; Pinkas, D.M.; Bufton, J.C.; Picaud, S.; Ward, J.A.; Rogers, C.; Suebsuwong, C.; Nikhar, S.; Cuny, G.D.; Huber, K.V.M.; Filippakopoulos, P.; Bullock, A.N.; Degterev, A.; Gyrd-Hansen, M. Small molecule inhibitors reveal an indispensable scaffolding role of RIPK2 in NOD2 signaling. EMBO J. 2018, 37(17), e99372.
  • Chacko, S.; Boshoff, H.I.M.; Singh, V.; Ferraris, M.D.; Gollapalli, D.R.; Zhang, M.; Lawson, A.P.; Joachimiak, A.; Rizz, M.; Mizrahi, V.; Cuny, G.D.; Hedstrom, L. Expanding benzoxazole based inosine 5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) inhibitor structure-activity as potential anti-tuberculosis agents. J. Med. Chem. 2018, 61, 4739-4756.
  • Suebsuwong, C.; Pinkas, D.M.; Ray, S.S.; Bufton, J.C.; Dai, B.; Bullock, A.N.; Degterev, A.; Cuny, G.D. Activation loop targeting strategy for design of receptor-interacting protein kinase 2 (RIPK2) inhibitors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2018, 28, 577-583.
  • Ku, A.F.; Cuny, G.D. Discovery of 7-hydroxyaporphines as conformational restricted ligands for beta-1 and beta-2 adrenergic receptors. MedChemComm. 2018, 9, 353 - 356.
  • Ku, A.F.; Cuny, G.D. Access to 6a-alkyl aporphines: Synthesis of (±)-N-methylguattescidine. J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 10062 - 10070.
  • Vippila, M.R.; Nikhar, S.; Gracia, A.P.; Cuny, G.D. Divergent approach for the synthesis of gombamide A and derivatives. Org. Lett. 2016, 18, 4726 - 4729.
  • Ku A.F.; Cuny, G.D. Synthetic Studies of 7-Oxygenated Aporphine Alkaloids: Preparation of (-)-Oliveroline, (-)-Nornuciferidine and Derivatives. Org. Lett. 2015, 17, 1134 - 1137.