Department of Chemistry
725 21st Street, NW
Corcoran Hall, Room 107
Washington, DC 20052

Phone: (202) 994-6121
Fax: (202) 994-5873

Cynthia Dowd

Cynthia Dowd

Title — Assistant Professor

Address — 725 21st Street, NW Corcoran 107
Washington, DC 20052

Office — Samson 303 (office)
Corcoran 303 (lab)

Phone — (202) 994-8405 (office)
(202) 994-9268 (lab)

E-mail —

Areas of Expertise —

Organic Synthesis, Medicinal Chemistry, Anti-Infective Drug Design, and the development of inhibitors for important biological processes

Current Research

The development of resistance to current antibiotic therapies and the use of microorganisms in biological warfare have shown the weaknesses in our antibiotic and antiviral drugs.  Now, more than ever, a need for novel therapies exists. A major limitation in the development of novel anti-infectives is the identification of an appropriate biochemical target.  Our research program focuses on the development of inhibitors for specific targets implicated in the survival of certain bacteria/viruses.  We are focused on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, causing TB, and HIV and HTLV, causing AIDS and breast cancer, respectively.  Our work uses structure-guided ligand design, organic synthesis, and evaluation of these small molecules against the purified target and the intact microorganism.


From left: Katey Bruno, Gail Clements, Eugene Uh, Emily Jackson, Cynthia Dowd


BA, Chemistry, University of Virginia, 1993
PhD, Medicinal Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1994-1999
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Pennsylvania, 1999-2001
Researcher/Research Fellow, NIAID/NIH, 2001-2007


Curriculum vita



1. Guendel, I.; Carpio, L.; Easley, R.; Van Duyne, R.; Coley, W.; Agbottah, E.; Dowd, C.; Kashanchi, F.; Kehn-Hall, K. 9-aminoacridine Inhibition of HIV-1 Tat Dependent Transcription, Virology Journal, 2009, 6, 114.

2. Kim, P.; Kang, S.; Boshoff, H.I.; Jiricek, J.; Collins, M.; Singh, R.; Manjunatha, U.H.; Niyomrattanakit, P.; Zhang, L.; Goodwin, M.; Dick, T.; Keller, T.H.; Dowd, C.S.*; Barry, III, C.E.* Structure-Activity Relationships of Antitubercular Nitroimidazoles. II. Determinants of aerobic activity and quantitative structure-activity relationships, J. Med. Chem. 2009, 52, 1329-1344.

3. Kim, P.; Zhang, L.; Manjunatha, U.H.; Singh, R.; Patel, S.; Jiricek, J.; Keller, T.H.; Boshoff, H.I.; Barry, III, C.E.; Dowd, C.S.* Structure-activity relationships of antitubercular nitroimidazoles. I. Structural features associated with aerobic and anaerobic activities of 4- and 5-nitroimidazoles, J. Med. Chem. 2009, 52, 1317-1328.

4. Singh, R.; Manjunatha, U.; Boshoff, H.I.M.; Ha, Y.H.; Niyomrattanakit, P.; Ledwidge, R.; Dowd, C.S.; Lee, I.Y.; Kim, P.; Zhang, L.; Kang, S.; Keller, T.H.; Jiricek, J.; Barry, III, C.E. PA-824 Kills Nonreplicating Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Intracellular NO Release, Science, 2008, 322, 1392-1395.

5. Boshoff, H.I.M.; Xu, X.; Tahlan, K.; Dowd, C.S.; Pethe, K.; Camacho, L.R.; Park, T.-H.; Yun, C.-S.; Schnappinger, D.; Ehrt, S.; Williams, K.; Barry, III, C.E. Biosynthesis and recycling of nicotimamide cofactors in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: an essential role for NAD in non-replicating bacilli, J. Biol. Chem. 2008, 283, 19329-19341.

6. Li, X.; Manjunatha, U.H.; Goodwin, M.B.; Knox, J.E.; Lipinski, C.; Keller, T.H.; Barry, III, C.E.; Dowd, C.S.* Synthesis and antitubercular activity of 7-(R)- and 7-(S)-methyl-2-nitro-6-(S)-(4-(trifluoromethoxy)benzyloxy)-6,7-dihydro-5H-imidazo[2,1-b][1,3]oxazines, analogues of PA-824, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2008, 18, 2256-2262.


H.I. Boshoff and C.S. Dowd. Chemical Genetics: an evolving toolbox for target identification and lead optimization, In Applications of functional genomics and systems biology to the development of anti-infectives, H.I. Boshoff and C.E. Barry III, Eds.; Progress in Drug Research Series, Birkhäuser Publishing Ltd.; Cambridge, MA, 2007.

L.B. Kier and C.S. Dowd, editors and principal authors. The Chemistry of Drugs for Nurse Anesthetists, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Park Ridge, IL, 2004.

I.M. Chaiken; S.-J. Wu; C. Plugariu; W. Zhang; C. Li; C.S. Dowd. Convergence of Recombinant Mutagenesis and Kinetics Interaction Analysis for Revealing Receptor Recognition Mechanisms and Designing Receptor Ligands, In Thermodynamics of Drug-Receptor Interactions, R. Raffa, Ed.; John Wiley & Sons; New York, 2001.

Classes Taught

Chem 6251 Advanced Organic Chemistry

Chem 2152 Organic Chemistry II

For additional documents, please refer to course materials on Blackboard.