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Department of Chemistry

Ryan J. Rafferty   

Dr. Ryan J. Rafferty

Associate Professor Research Themes

Drug Design, Biomolecular Processes, and BiosensingDesign and Synthesis of Molecules and Supramolecular ArchitecturesFunctional Materials, Catalysis, and Nanochemistry

locationCBC 203 
phone785-532-6624 (office)
785-532-6668 (fax)
Lab Website Link



Associate Professor
Assistant Professor 
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Illinois at Urbana (Mentor: Prof. Paul J. Hergenrother)
Visiting Lecturer of Organic Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana
Ph.D., Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Colorado State University (Mentor: Prof Robert M. Willilams)
Visiting Lecturer of Organic Chemistry, Colorado State University
M.S., Biochemistry, University of Northern Colorado (Mentor: Prof Richard M. Hyslop)
B.S., Biology, University of Northern Colorado
B.A., Chemistry (Biochemistry Emphasis), University of Northern Colorado


Research Overview

Dr. Rafferty's research focuses in synthetic organic chemistry, drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, probing the transport of small molecules across complex cellular barriers, and the development of personalized cancer therapeutics. Students and postdoctoral fellows that join the group will receive training at the interface of chemistry and biology through the acquired skills and combinations of synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and chemical biology.

Five Selected Publications
  • Rafferty, R.J., Hicklin, R. W., Maloof, K. A., and Hergenrother, P. J. “Synthesis of Complex and Diverse Compounds via Ring Distortion of Abietic Acid.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed201453, 220-224.
  • Rafferty, R. J. and Williams, R. W. “Formal Synthesis of Hapalindole O and Efforts Towards Ambiguine A.” Heterocycles201286, 219-231.
  • Rafferty, R. J. and Williams, R. W. “Total Synthesis of Hapalindoles J and U.” J. Org. Chem. 201277, 519-524.
  • Rafferty, R. J. and Williams, R. W. “Synthetic Studies on the Ambiguine Family of Alkaloids: Construction of the ABCD Ring System.” Tet. Lett.201152(17), 2037.
  • Artman, G.; Rafferty, R. J.; Williams, R. M. “(3R,7aS)-3-(Trichloromethyl)tetrahydro-pyrrolo[1,2-c]oxazol-1(3H)-one: An Air and Moisture Stable Reagent for the Synthesis of Optically Active a-Branched Prolines.” Org. Syn200986, 262.