News & Events

Christian Melander Ph.D.

Posted on March 3, 2017


Date - March 3, 2017
1:00 pm


Howard J. Schaeffer Distinguished Professor
Department of Chemistry
NC State University

Title: “Marine Alkaloid Derivatives that Reverse Phenotypic and Genotypic Antibiotic Resistance”


Antibiotic resistance and the rise of antibiotic resistant pathogens are threatening the vast strides we have made over the past century in human medicine.  To combat the threatening tide of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, we have been exploring the use of small molecules based upon naturally occurring nitrogen-dense marine natural products to serve as adjuvants for antibiotic treatment regiments.  The talk will detail our efforts to develop small molecules that inhibit and disperse bacterial biofilms both in vitro and in vivo, and the application of knowledge gained through mechanistic studies to identify additional small molecules that are able to reverse both acquired and intrinsic resistance in MDR pathogens.


Christian Melander received a B.S. in Chemistry from UC Davis in 1994 where he worked under the direction of Mark Kurth developing combinatorial approaches to small molecule libraries. He subsequently received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry studying with David Horne at Columbia University where he investigated the catalytic potential of nucleic acid bases. From 1998-2001 Christian was an NIH postdoctoral scholar at Caltech under the direction of Peter Dervan studying the sequence-specific recognition of DNA with pyrrole/imidazole polyamides. Christian then directed the organic synthesis department at Xencor, Inc. in Monrovia, CA as a Lead Scientist from February of 2001 until September of 2002. He returned to academic research as a Research Associate at The Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Joel Gottesfeld in the Department of Molecular Biology from 2002-2004. At Scripps, Christian utilized pyrrole/imidazole polyamides to explore potential therapeutics for both colon cancer and Friedrich’s ataxia. In July of 2004, Christian started his independent career as an Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University in the Department of Chemistry, in August, 2010 was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure and in August of 2013 promoted to Full Professor. At NCSU, Christian’s research is focused on 1) defining small molecules that control bacterial behavior and 2) small molecule-coated nanoparticles that have antibacterial and antiviral properties. During his independent career, Christian has received the Sigma Xi faculty research award, the NCSU Entrepreneur of the Year award, the Industrial Innovation Award from the Southeastern ACS, was named a University Faculty Scholar from 2014-2018, and was awarded the Howard J. Schaeffer Distinguished Professorship in 2014.