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.

Support Staff
Amber Williams, Administrative Associate 


  • 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

  • Knewtson, K. E.; Perera, C.; Hymel, D.; Gao, Z.; Lee, M. M.; Peterson, B. R. “Antibody-Drug Conjugate that Exhibits Synergistic Cytotoxicity with an Endosome Disruptive Peptide” ACS Omega, 2019, 7, 12955-12968.
  • Punchi Hewage, A. N. D.; Yao, H.; Nammalwar, B.; Gnanasekaran, K. K.; Lovell, S.; Bunce, R. A.; Eshelman, K.; Phaniraj, S. M.; Lee, M. M.; Peterson, B. R.; Battaile, K. P.; Reitz, A. B.; Rivera, M. “Small molecule inhibitors of the BfrB-Bfd interaction decrease Pseudomonas aeruginosa fitness and potentiate fluoroquinolone activity” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141 (20), 8171-8184.
  • Knewtson, K. E.; Rane, D.; Peterson, B. R. “Targeting Fluorescent Sensors to Endoplasmic Reticulum Membranes Enables Detection of Peroxynitrite During Cellular Phagocytosis” ACS Chem. Biol. 2018, 13 (9), 2595-2602.
  • Lee M. M.; Gao, Z.; Peterson, B. R. “Synthesis of a Fluorescent Analogue of Paclitaxel that Selectively Binds Microtubules and Sensitively Detects P-Glycoprotein” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 36, 6927-6931.
  • Meinig, J. M.; Fu, L.; Peterson, B. R. “Synthesis of Fluorophores that Target Small Molecules to the Endoplasmic Reticulum of Living Mammalian Cells” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2015, 54 (33), 9696-9699.
  • Hymel, D.; Woydziak, Z. R; Peterson, B. R. “Detection of Protein-Protein Interactions by Proximity-Driven SNAr Reactions of Lysine-Linked Fluorophores” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 5241-5244.