Meet the Researcher: James Fuchs, PhD



James Fuchs, PhD

Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy

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What is your area of study?

My area of research is synthetic medicinal chemistry. My group blends organic chemistry techniques and medicinal chemistry principles to tackle biological problems.

How long have you been at Ohio State?

I have been here a little over five years. I moved to Ohio State in July of 2007, from San Diego, California.

What is your focus of research?

We design and create new molecules in an attempt to treat various diseases. We are currently working on projects related to cancer, leishmaniasis (a parasitic disease), and HIV.

How does your research impact the general public?

The long term goal of our research is to make new drugs that have the potential to improve public health. We work every day to improve our compounds in order to someday make that a reality.

Why are you passionate about this area of study?

I have always been fascinated with chemistry. My father was a high school chemistry teacher, and as a child I would sometimes get to build with molecular modeling kits. Later, as a student, I looked for an application for the chemistry skills that I had developed. Medicinal chemistry has provided me with the perfect chance to continue to build molecules and apply that knowledge to what I consider a worthy cause. I’m also passionate about teaching and love to talk to students about the work that we do.

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What do you love about Ohio State?

Ohio State is an amazing place to do scientific research. For me personally, having the ability to interact with researchers in the College of Pharmacy, the medical school, and other colleges around campus has been very valuable. This has led to many exciting collaborative projects that help to drive the research and have made me a better scientist.

What do you love about Columbus?

Columbus is a great place to live and to raise children. It provides all the comforts of a big city, without some of the headaches that you experience living in larger cities. Everything is very accessible here and the people are typically very friendly. I also grew up in Ohio, so Columbus just kind of feels like home.

Apart from your research, what are some of your other passions in life?

I live for sports and am a big baseball and football fan. Even though I’m not really built for it and I am not fast, I like to run. I’ve completed three half marathons and a handful of other races this year with members of my family. It’s a great stress reliever and helps to get me outside. Most of my free time, however, is spent with my wife and two young daughters. There is always enough going on to keep me busy.

Help fund the research!

To help fund the research of James Fuchs, PhD, visit and donate to the Medicinal Chemistry Research/Education Fund, No. 307472 in honor of Dr. Fuchs.

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The April 2018 date will be announced in late December 2017.

The annual College of Pharmacy Research Day showcases innovative research happening in the College of Pharmacy.
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