Current Lab Members


Dr. Christopher Arnatt, Principle Investigator

Postdoc: National Institute of Standards and Technology, NRC fellowship           

PhD: Medicinal Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University

BS: Chemistry, Hampden-Sydney College

Christopher graduated summa cum laude from Hampden-Sydney College in 2009 with a B.S. in chemistry with honors. While there, he cultivated his love for research which led him to earn a PhD in medicinal chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013. His graduate research focused on two main areas: compounds for prostate cancer treatment and bivalent chemical probes targeting neurological HIV/AIDS. Christopher was able to expand his research to include more biology and computational modeling which allowed him to be involved in multiple facets of the projects. After graduating in 2013 he received a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Science and Technology to work on fluorescent probes targeting induced pluripotent stem cells.

Christopher then moved from the east coast to St. Louis, Missouri where he joined the Department of Chemistry at Saint Louis University as an Assistant Professor in 2015.

arnattck at

Dr. Shi Chen, Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD: Biomedical Sciences, Oakland University                                                 

MA: Chemistry, Wanye State University                            

MS: Organic Chemsitry, Mississippi State University

Shi continued as a postdoc in the same research group working for Prof. Kerrigan after he received Ph.D. in Oakland University. His research focused on asymmetric synthesis of β-lactones or β-lactams through ketene involved [2+2] cycloaddition, and application of the methods to natural product synthesis. In 2016, he decided to gain more experience in medicinal chemistry and joined our group as a postdoc. He is currently working on synthesis of fluorescent probes for induced pluripotent stem cells.

shichen at


Chelsea DeLeon, Graduate Student

BS: Biochemistry and BS Psychology, Saint Louis University

Chelsea was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She received a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Bachelor of Science in psychology jointly from Saint Louis University in May 2015. As an undergraduate student, she worked in the lab of Dr. Ryan McCulla studying computational modeling of organocatalysis. Additionally, under the guidance of Dr. Michael Anch’s she worked on developing parkinsonian rat models that mimic the etiology of Parkinson’s disease. She is currently a first year graduate student synthesizing analogues that contain a proposed pharmacophore from homology modeling of the G-protein estrogen receptor. 

cdeleon2 at


Austin O'Dea, Graduate Student

BS Chemistry, Michigan Tech University

Austin graduated from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in May of 2015. He worked with Dr. Marina Tanasova attempting to synthesize a amino acid based cancer therapy, to prevent DNA replication. As well as cancer therapy synthesis Austin worked to develop a new Fluorescent probe for the fructose pumps on cells. Currently Austin is a first year graduate student studying the interactions of TET 1 with small molecules in order to develop a better stem cell for cancer therapies.

odeaat at

Kristin Skubic, Graduate Student

BS Chemistry, Marian University of Wisconsin

From St. Louis, Missouri, Kristin graduated from Marian University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in May of 2015. During her undergraduate years, she worked with Dr. Sarah Garvey in focusing on techniques that could be used to extract dyes from wastewater utilizing ionic liquids. She is currently a first year graduate student synthesizing naphthalimide derivatives as an anti-cancer therapeutic drug.

kskubic2 at

McKenna Wilhelm, Undergraduate Researcher

Sophia Joseph, Undergraduate Researcher

Meghan McHugh, Undergraduate Researcher


Past Lab Members

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Patrick Sweeney, currently attending medical school in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Kevin Skerak
  • Justyn Craig