Blake R. Peterson

Blake Peterson headshot

Blake R. Peterson

Professor & Chair
Unit / Department / Division
Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
606 Riffe Building
Email Address
Phone Number

Professional Interests

Professional Interests

Organic / Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology

The Peterson laboratory synthesizes chemical tools for studies of biological systems. We investigate diverse biological targets, and we extensively employ fluorescence-based and imaging-based methods to evaluate the effects of small molecules on isolated proteins, living cells, and model organisms. Working in the fields of organic / medicinal chemistry and chemical biology, our recent research efforts have been focused on the discovery of new types of anticancer agents, identification of their biomolecular targets, and the synthesis of probes of molecular mechanisms of action.


  • B.S. Chemistry, University of Nevada, Reno, 1990
  • Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, 1994
  • Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University 1995-1998


  • Named the John W. Wolfe Chair in Cancer Research, 2020
  • Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2013
  • Regents Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, The University of Kansas, 2008-2019
  • Named an Eminent Scholar by the Kansas Bioscience Authority, 2008
  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar, 2004
  • American Cancer Society Research Scholar, 2003

Journal Articles

Caruso G, Benatti C, Musso N, Fresta CG, Fidilio A, Spampinato G, Brunello N, Bucolo C, Drago F, Lunte SM, Peterson BR, Tascedda F, Caraci F. Carnosine Protects Macrophages against the Toxicity of Aβ1-42 Oligomers by Decreasing Oxidative Stress. Biomedicines. 2021 Apr 26;9(5):477. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9050477. PMID: 33926064; PMCID: PMC8146816.

Pahattuge TN , Jackson JM , Digamber R , Wijerathne H , Brown V , Witek MA , Perera C , Givens RS , Peterson BR , Soper SA . Visible photorelease of liquid biopsy markers following microfluidic affinity-enrichment. Chem Commun (Camb). 2020 Apr 14;56(29):4098-4101. doi: 10.1039/c9cc09598e. Epub 2020 Mar 12. PMID: 32163053; PMCID: PMC7469076.

De Coen R, Nuhn L, Perera C, Arista-Romero M, Risseeuw MDP, Freyn A, Nachbagauer R, Albertazzi L, Van Calenbergh S, Spiegel DA, Peterson BR, De Geest BG. Synthetic Rhamnose Glycopolymer Cell-Surface Receptor for Endogenous Antibody Recruitment. Biomacromolecules. 2020 Feb 10;21(2):793-802. doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.9b01483. Epub 2020 Jan 8. PMID: 31829561.

Benomar S, Lansdon P, Bender AM, Peterson BR, Chandler JR, Ackley BD. The C. elegans CHP1 homolog, pbo-1, functions in innate immunity by regulating the pH of the intestinal lumen. PLoS Pathog. 2020 Jan 9;16(1):e1008134. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008134. PMID: 31917826; PMCID: PMC6952083.

Rane D, Carlson EJ, Yin Y, Peterson BR. Fluorescent detection of peroxynitrite during antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis. Methods Enzymol. 2020;640:1-35. doi: 10.1016/bs.mie.2020.04.001. Epub 2020 May 18. PMID: 32560793; PMCID: PMC7473247.

Knewtson KE, Perera C, Hymel D, Gao Z, Lee MM, Peterson BR. Antibody-Drug Conjugate that Exhibits Synergistic Cytotoxicity with an Endosome-Disruptive Peptide. ACS Omega. 2019 Jul 31;4(7):12955-12968. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.9b01585. PMID: 31460422; PMCID: PMC6690568.

Punchi Hewage AND, Yao H, Nammalwar B, Gnanasekaran KK, Lovell S, Bunce RA, Eshelman K, Phaniraj SM, Lee MM, Peterson BR, Battaile KP, Reitz AB, Rivera M. Small Molecule Inhibitors of the BfrB-Bfd Interaction Decrease Pseudomonas aeruginosa Fitness and Potentiate Fluoroquinolone Activity. J Am Chem Soc. 2019 May 22;141(20):8171-8184. doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b00394. Epub 2019 May 9. PMID: 31038945; PMCID: PMC6535718.