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© 2021-2024 Marine Pharmacology


The marine pharmacology/pharmaceutical pipeline website was initiated by A. M.S. Mayer in 1998 with the purpose of consolidating information on both the preclinical marine pharmacology and the clinical marine pharmaceutical pipeline. Although initially started as a page on the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) website, it was later transferred to Midwestern University (MWU) in 2005 where the website has remained until recently. The website is currently listed in the International Union of Pharmacological Societies (IUPHAR) as a global reference for marine-derived pharmaceuticals. The new website ( has been designed to allow easier and more frequent updates as of 2021, thus highlighting the continuous progress in this area of marine pharmacology research since the review published by A.M.S. Mayer, K.B. Glaser, C. Cuevas, R.S. Jacobs, W. Kem, R.D. Little, J. M McIntosh, D.J. Newman, B.C. Potts and D. E. Shuster, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 31:255-265, 2010 which has been cited over 878 times (Google Scholar).

The new marine website is currently being curated by the team shown below. We anticipate that our team will expand so as to include colleagues from all continents, where both preclinical and clinical marine pharmacology and pharmaceutical research is currently ongoing.

Team Administrators


Dr. A.M.S. Mayer received his Ph.D. from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina studying immunovirology in 1980. After the completion of postdoctoral studies in marine pharmacology with Professor Robert S. Jacobs (The Pharmacologist 59 (4), 2017) at the Department of Pharmacology, University of California, Santa Barbara in 1985-1988, he joined Midwestern University in Chicago in 1993, and was appointed full professor in 2000. He has served as President of Great Lakes Chapter of ASPET (2011-2013), Editor-in-Chief of MARINE DRUGS (2014-2018) and is currently a member of ASPET and the Natural Products Section of IUPHAR.  His research interests include the immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology of marine natural products and writing comprehensive preclinical marine pharmacology annual reviews since 1998.


Dr. M. Pierce received her Ph.D. from Creighton University in 2015 under the supervision of Professor Garrett A. Soukup. After the completion of postdoctoral studies in marine pharmacology with Professor Thomas F. Murray at the Department of Pharmacology, Creighton University, Omaha, NE in 2015-2019, Marsha joined Midwestern University, College of Graduate studies as an Assistant Professor in 2019. She is currently a member of ASPET and SfN. Her research interests include nervous system pharmacology of marine natural products for neuroscience drug discovery. She has collaborated with Dr. William Gerwick, Professor at UC San Diego Center for Compound Resources, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on a number of articles (biosketch) including examining brevetoxin as a potential treatment for post-stroke recovery in a murine photothrombotic stroke model

Scientific Advisors

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Dr. A. Francesch has a degree in Chemical Sciences from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) where he obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry under the direction of Prof. Dr. Angel R. de Lera in 1995 in the total synthesis of vitamin A derivatives. He did a postdoctoral stay under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Antonio Echavarren at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM).
In 1997, he joined PharmaMar, S.A. He currently heads the Chemical Processes Department, in the R&D area, which is responsible for the synthesis of new chemical entities of marine origin as therapeutic agents against cancer. He has been involved in the process of obtaining authorization to start clinical trials by the FDA and/or EMA for eight new molecules, as well as in the approval of three drugs: Yondelis®, Aplidin® and ZepzelcaTM. He is co-author of more than 45 scientific publications and more than 25 international patent applications.


Dr. K. B. Glaser received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1987 studying Marine Pharmacology in the lab of Professor Robert S. Jacobs.  After completing postdoctoral studies in the labs of Professor Philip Needleman and Professor Edward Dennis, he joined Wyeth-Ayerst Labs in 1989.  At Wyeth-Ayerst Keith worked on and managed Discovery teams targeting Rheumatoid Arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.  In 1995 he joined Abbott and was a Sr. Group Leader in Oncology where his research focused on receptor tyrosine kinases and chromatin remodeling until 2010 when he joined Discovery Strategic Portfolio Management at Abbott.  He is currently the Director of Discovery Portfolio Management and an Associate Research Fellow at AbbVie.  Keith has served on the editorial boards of Biochemical Pharmacology, European Journal of Pharmacology and The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.  He has served as the Deputy Editor for The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and as an Associate Editor for Marine Drugs.

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Dr. L. Meijer studied in Lille and obtained Doctorate degrees from the Universities of Lille (Doctorat de 3e cycle, 1978, Prof Maurice DURCHON) and Paris VI (Doctorat d’Etat, 1983, Dr Pierre GUERRIER). After his thesis in Lille, he went for a post-doctoral training at the Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Laboratory, Pacific Grove, California (Prof David EPEL) in 1978-’79. He was appointed by the CNRS in October 1979. He went on sabbatical in 1985-’86 at the University of Washington, Department of Biochemistry, in Seattle (Prof Edwin KREBS, Nobel Laureate in 1992, and Dr Bennett SHAPIRO). He was appointed as Visiting Professor for 3 years (2001-2004) at the Rockefeller University in New York (Dr Paul GREENGARD, Nobel Laureate in 2000). As a CNRS Research Director he was heading a team of 21 co-workers (‘Protein Phosphorylation & Human Disease’ group), at the ‘Station Biologique de Roscoff’, till June 2011, when he founded a first biotech start-up, ManRos Therapeutics. Retired from the CNRS, he is now Chair and Chief Scientific Officer of Perha Pharmaceuticals, a small biotech company focused on the development of kinase inhibitors targeting cognitive disorders associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Down syndrome (DS), as well prevention of Hearing Loss (HL) induced by ototoxic products or acoustic trauma. Aged 70, he is author of more than 365 scientific articles (H factor: 85) and co-inventor in 48 patents. He was the main editor of 6 books and has received numerous honours. He has participated to >210 conferences, and organized 7 conferences. He has directed 13 post-doctoral researchers, 26 doctoral students and 34 Master 2 students.


Dr. D. J. Newman received his D.Phil. in 1968 from the University of Sussex (UK) from studies on the microbial chemistry of sulphate-reducing marine microbes under Professor J. R. Postgate, FRS. Prior to this he had trained as an analytical chemist (ARIC, 1960) and a synthetic organic chemist (MSc. L’pool, 1963), then joined the Postgate group in late 1966 after some years in industry. He did post-doctoral work at the University of Georgia under the late Prof. H. D. Peck, Jr., continuing work on ferredoxin from marine microbes. In 1970, he joined the then SK&F and worked predominately in antibiotic discovery as a microbial chemist. From 1985 to 1991 he spent time at SeaPharm (head of microbiology) and Lederle labs (as a lead microbiologist) and in 1991 he joined the NCI’s Natural Products Branch (NPB) with responsibility for microbes and marine organism collections. In 2005 following Dr. Gordon Cragg’s retirement at the end of 2004, he was acting Chief NPB until appointed Chief in 2006. He retired in January 2015 after spending 24 years at NCI. He is currently an NIH Special Volunteer working with the NPB and still publishes extensively. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Biology (UK) and holds emeritus memberships in ACS, ASM, SIMB and the ASP.


Dr. M. Jaspars received his Ph.D. in 1992 from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and his ScD from the University of Cambridge in 2018. Marcel Jaspars’ main expertise is in the discovery, characterisation, utilisation and biosynthesis of marine natural products, training with Professor Phil Crews at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1993-1995). Marcel has frequent contact with people operating at all stages of the marine biodiscovery pipeline, from the collection and identification of the organisms to their testing in whole animal models. Marcel is professor of organic chemistry at the University of Aberdeen, UK, and founded the interdisciplinary Marine Biodiscovery in 2010, a US $4 M investment to focus on marine resources for novel pharmaceuticals, and to investigate fundamental questions in chemical ecology and biosynthesis. The Centre contains facilities for chemistry, chromatography, spectroscopy, molecular genetics and microbiology. Some of Marcel’s work on biosynthesis has been spun out as a start -up company to discover medicines for complex diseases ( Marcel has been active at national and international levels to develop the science, its applications/industrial uptake and associated policy involved in marine biodiscovery and biotechnology. He provides scientific advice to the UK, EU and UN for global policy processes on ocean conservation via reports, papers and taking part in discussion meetings. More recently he has been involved in providing a definition of digital sequence information, a topic being discussed under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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Dr. C. Jimenez received his Ph.D. in 1988 from the University of Santiago de Compostela, (Spain) on bioactive natural products from South American plants under the supervision of Professors Ricardo Riguera and Luis Castedo. He completed two postdoctoral fellowships: on marine natural products with Prof. Phil Crews at Univ. of California in Santa Cruz (UCSC) (1988-90), and on monoclonal antibodies with Dr. Alfonso Tramontano, at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation Research Institute La Jolla, California (1990-91). He joined as Assistant Professor at the Univ. of Santiago (1991), and became Associate Professor at the University of A Coruña (UDC) (1993-2009). Since 2010, he is Full Professor at the Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Sciences of the UDC. His research program focuses on natural product chemistry (isolation, elucidation and synthesis), medicinal chemistry, siderophores from fish pathogenic bacteria, and new NMR methodologies. He has co-authored more than 125 publications, five book chapters, a book on NMR structure elucidation of natural products, four patents and co-supervised 17 PhD Thesis, with h index of 30 ( He holds memberships in ACS and RSEQ (Royal Society of Spanish Chemistry), where he has served as President of the Specialized Group of Natural Products (2015-19). Currently, he is Associate Editor for Marine Drugs and Review Editor for “Frontiers in Marine Science” and “Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology”.

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Dr. H. Luesch received his Diplom in Chemistry at the University of Siegen (Germany) in 1997. He studied marine natural products chemistry at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and obtained his Ph.D. with Professor Richard E. Moore in 2002.  He undertook three years of postdoctoral studies as an Irving S. Sigal Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute with Professor Peter G. Schultz in functional genomics and chemical biology. Since 2005 he has been faculty at the University of Florida (UF) and is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.  He holds the endowed Debbie and Sylvia DeSantis Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development and leads a multidisciplinary marine natural products program that integrates innovative screening, isolation, synthesis, pharmacology, mechanism of action and early development studies. He is also UF’s founding Director of the Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development (CNPD3), where he established a platform that also incorporates upstream genome mining and synthetic biology.  During his research, he discovered the microtubule-destabilizer dolastatin 10 from a marine cyanobacterium, pinpointing the source of this important compound. Dolastatin 10 served as the starting point for MMAE and MMAF, which are the cytotoxic payloads for several marketed antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Other noteworthy discoveries include gatorbulin-1 (microtubule destabilizer), apratoxins (Sec61 inhibitors), and largazole (class I HDAC inhibitor). He published over 170 papers, has received the UF Technology Innovator Award for several years and the UF 2021 Innovation of the Year for the discovery and characterization of gatorbulins, targeting a novel tubulin pharmacological site.


Dr. O. Taglialatela-Scafati received his Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Naples Federico II (Italy) for studies on bioactive compounds from marine sponge under the supervision of the late Professor Ernesto Fattorusso. He became Assistant Professor at the same University in 1999 and, after a research fellowship period spent at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada), in the labs of prof. Raymond J. Anderson, he was promoted Associated Professor of Organic Chemistry in 2004. Since 2016, he is Full Professor of Pharmaceutical Biology at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II. His scientific interests include metabolomic profile, isolation, stereostructural characterization, and modification of secondary metabolities from marine invertebrates and terrestrial plants, to be used as leads in drug discovery or as tools to investigate biology. He is co-author of about 230 publications, two patents and three scientific books, including the two-volumes "Handbook of Marine Natural Products" (Springer), co-edited with E. Fattorusso and W. H. Gerwick. Currently, he is the Editor-in-Chief of Fitoterapia (Elsevier) and member of the Editorial Board of other scientific journals, including Marine Drugs, for which he served as Editor in Chief from 2018 to 2022.

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Dr. J. Yang received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2001 from the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Shanghai, China under the supervision of Prof. Boliang Li. Jinbo Yang is Professor, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ocean University of China, Director, Innovation Center for Marine Drug Screening and Evaluation, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, and Chief Scientist, Qingdao Marine Biomedical Research Institute, P.R. China (  Professor Yang’s main expertise and research interests are in cancer biology, cancer immunology, high-throughput drug screening and molecular pharmacology, focusing on the regulation mechanism of key signal transduction molecules such as JAK-STATs, NF-kB, KRAS and their relationship with tumors, key molecules of tumor drug resistance, molecular mechanism, target discovery and drug development of metabolic diseases, obesity and fatty liver development; as well as the application of multi-omics technology in the target discovery of marine natural products and its application in the study of the mechanism of action. Professor Yang serves in the following Professional Societies and Associations: Deputy Director of the Marine Pharmaceutical Pharmacology Professional Committee of the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association; Deputy Director of Marine Medicine Professional Committee of Qingdao Pharmaceutical Association and is Editorial Board Member of Chinese Journal of Biochemical Medicine.

Website Design Team


Victoria Sears is the Administrative Coordinator in the Department of Pharmacology, College of Graduate Studies,  Midwestern University. She began with the University in 1990 and has worked alongside Dr. Mayer on this website almost since its inception. She enjoys her position with the team and loves learning about the marine-derived drugs. 

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Alex Wu is a current PharmD candidate at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy. Prior to pharmacy school, he received his Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from Michigan State University in 2017. Alex currently works at Northwestern Medicine as Chief Pharmacy Intern in Drug Information and joined Dr. Mayer’s team in the summer of 2020, where he is involved in the marine pharmaceutical pipeline website design and updates. His professional interests include health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) and market access. After pharmacy school, Alex plans on furthering his education by pursing fellowship in the pharmaceutical industry.


Karolina Jekielek recieved her PharmD from Midwestern University College of Pharmacy in 2022, after completing her prerequisites at Loyola University Chicago. She is currently practicing in the retail setting, and is involved in the marine pharmaceutical pipeline updates. 


Henry Le received his PharmD from Midwestern University College of Pharmacy in 2021, after completing his prerequisites at Illinois Institute of Technology. He joined Dr. Mayer’s team in the spring of 2019 and is currently involved in the progress of the marine pharmaceutical pipeline website design. He currently works as a pharmacist in the long-term care setting, where he provides pharmacy-related and education services to healthcare professionals and residents associated with assisted/skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes.


Maryam Butt is a current fourth year student at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University and received a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from Loyola University Chicago in 2020. She is working as a research assistant in Dr. Pierce’s lab on a Marine Natural Products in Neuroscience drug discovery project and helping maintain the marine pharmaceutical pipeline website design.


Maria Reji is a current fourth-year student pharmacist at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy. She joined Dr. Mayer's team in Fall 2021 where she is involved in marine pharmaceutical pipeline website design and ENDNOTE bibliographic database management. Her professional interests include oncology, infectious diseases and rare diseases. Upon completion of pharmacy school, Maria plans to pursue a fellowship in pharmaceutical industry.


Sujin Seo is a third year medical student at Midwestern University, after receiving degrees in Chemistry and Classical studies from the University of Arizona. She is a research assistant in Dr. Pierce’s lab working on a drug discovery project involving marine natural products and is helping maintain the marine pharmaceutical pipeline website design.

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Katelyn (Katie) Howe is a third-year student pharmacist at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy. Before beginning pharmacy school, she completed her prerequisites at Benedictine University in 2020. She joined Dr. Mayer's lab in the Fall of 2021 where she works as a laboratory assistant on a project involving cyanobacteria lipopolysaccharide and human microglial cells as well as maintaining the marine pharmaceutical pipeline website. Her professional interests include infectious diseases and critical care. After graduating from pharmacy school she hopes to continue her education through a residency.

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Sara Awad is a second-year student pharmacist at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy. Prior to pharmacy school, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Benedictine University in 2022. She joined Dr. Mayer’s team in Fall 2022 where she is working on ENDNOTE bibliographic database management. Additionally, expanding her role to maintain the marine pharmaceutical pipeline website. She enjoys new experiences and learning valuable skills that she can apply throughout her educational career.

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Arjun Sharma is a first-year medical student at Midwestern University. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry at Northeastern University in 2020, and joined Dr. Pierce's lab in Fall 2023. He is currently helping to maintain the marine pharmaceutical pipeline website design.


Frank Indelli is a first-year medical student at Midwestern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. Frank received his Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at Loras College and joined Dr. Pierce’s lab in the Spring of 2024. He is currently helping to maintain and update the marine pharmaceutical pipeline website.

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Luisa Rodriguez is a first year medical student at Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. She received a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Midwestern University in 2022 and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Florida Gulf Coast University in 2020. She is currently helping maintain the marine pharmaceutical pipeline website.

© 2021-2024 Marine Pharmacology
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