Stephen Martin, PhD

A native of New Mexico, Stephen Martin received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of New Mexico, whereupon he went to Princeton University, where he received his PhD degree. After postdoctoral years at the University of Munich and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 1974, where he currently holds the M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry. His research interests lie broadly in organic and bioorganic chemistry and chemical biology. He is especially renowned for his work in the synthesis of biologically-active heterocyclic natural products and for studies of energetics and structure in protein-ligand interactions. He has recently collaborated on the design and synthesis of small molecules that may be used as molecular probes to study biological function and as potential leads to treat cancer and neurodegenerative and neurological disorders. He has received numerous awards, including the NIH Career Development Award; an American Cyanamid Academic Award; the Alexander von Humboldt Prize; an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award; a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Award; a Wyeth Research Award; and, most recently, the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry Senior Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he serves as an editor of Tetrahedron and as chairman of the Executive Board of Editors for Tetrahedron Publications. He has published over 310 scientific papers in primary journals, reviews, and articles, and he has authored a number of patent applications. He is co-author of the popular undergraduate laboratory book, Experimental Organic Chemistry: A Miniscale and Microscale Approach. On the all too rare occasions he is not engaged in professional activities, he enjoys music, travel, fly fishing, photography, and being with his wife and daughter.

James Sahn will be collaborating on the project. Dr. Sahn received his PhD from North Carolina State University, whereupon he joined Stephen Martin’s group at the University of Texas at Austin as a postdoctoral fellow. He is currently a research scientist in the Department of Chemistry. His research interests include organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, neurodegenerative disease biology, and brain health. He currently directs a variety of collaborative projects focused on understanding the role of the membrane protein Sig2R/PGRMC1 in disorders of the central nervous system. His team has developed small molecule chemical tools for studying Sig2R/PGRMC1 and elucidating its involvement in neuron function. They have thus recently discovered drug leads for neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic brain injury. He is listed as a co-inventor on six patent applications. He is passionate about cooking, yoga, and spending time with his wife and boys.