Karl Werbovetz

Karl Werbovetz

Karl Werbovetz, PhD

Unit / Department / Division
Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
Email Address
Phone Number

Professional Interests

Professional Interests

Parasitic diseases have a devastating effect on public health in developing areas of the world. Research in Karl Werbovetz’s group focuses on the discovery and development of new drug candidates against the protozoan parasitic diseases leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, and malaria, with most of our recent efforts concentrating on visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human African trypanosomiasis (HAT).


  • 1993, PhD, University of Virginia, Chemistry
  • 1988, BS, State University of New York at Binghamton, Chemistry


  • Distinguished Teaching Award, 2005


  • 2,5-Diaryl Selenophene Compounds, Aza 2,5-Diaryl Thiophene Compounds, and their Prodrugs as Antiprotozoal Agents (2007, October). WO 2009/051796 A3.
  • Teraryl Components as Antiparasitic Agents (2007, January). US 7964619.
  • 5,5'-Bis-(4-amidinophenyl)-2,2'-bifuran Derivatives and Related Compounds as Antiprotozoal Agents and Prodrugs Thereof (2006, May). 06114189.1.
  • Cationic Substituted Benzofurans as Antimicrobial Agents (2004, December). WO 2005/055935 A3.
  • Reversed Amidines and Methods of Using for Treating, Preventing, or Inhibiting Leishmaniasis (2001, November). WO 02/036588 A3.
  • Controlling Protozoan Infections using Syringomycin-family Lipodepsipeptides (1999, April). US 6310037.

Journal Articles

Abdelhameed A, Feng M, Joice AC, Zywot EM, Jin Y, La Rosa C, Liao X, Meeds HL, Kim Y, Li J, McElroy CA, Wang MZ, Werbovetz KA. Synthesis and Antileishmanial Evaluation of Arylimidamide-Azole Hybrids Containing a Phenoxyalkyl Linker. ACS Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 9;7(7):1901-1922. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00855. Epub 2021 Feb 4. PMID: 33538576.

Abdelhameed A, Liao X, McElroy CA, Joice AC, Rakotondraibe L, Li J, Slebodnick C, Guo P, Wilson WD, Werbovetz KA. Synthesis and antileishmanial evaluation of thiazole orange analogs. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2020 Jan 1;30(1):126725. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2019.126725. Epub 2019 Oct 4. PMID: 31732409.

Nguyen AK, Yang KH, Bryant K, Li J, Joice AC, Werbovetz KA, Narayan RJ. Microneedle-Based Delivery of Amphotericin B for Treatment of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. Biomed Microdevices. 2019 Jan 7;21(1):8. doi: 10.1007/s10544-018-0355-8. PMID: 30617619.

Joice AC, Yang S, Farahat AA, Meeds H, Feng M, Li J, Boykin DW, Wang MZ, Werbovetz KA. Antileishmanial Efficacy and Pharmacokinetics of DB766-Azole Combinations. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Dec 21;62(1):e01129-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01129-17. PMID: 29061761; PMCID: PMC5740383.

Pandharkar T, Zhu X, Mathur R, Jiang J, Schmittgen TD, Shaha C, Werbovetz KA. Correction for Pandharkar et al., "Studies on the Antileishmanial Mechanism of Action of the Arylimidamide DB766: Azole Interactions and Role of CYP5122A1". Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Dec 21;62(1):e01124-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01124-17. Erratum for: Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Aug;58(8):4682-9. PMID: 29269427; PMCID: PMC5740369.

Zhu X, Farahat AA, Mattamana M, Joice A, Pandharkar T, Holt E, Banerjee M, Gragg JL, Hu L, Kumar A, Yang S, Wang MZ, Boykin DW, Werbovetz KA. Synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of mono-arylimidamides as antileishmanial agents. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2016 May 15;26(10):2551-2556. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2016.03.082. Epub 2016 Mar 25. PMID: 27048943; PMCID: PMC4841789.

Naman CB, Gromovsky AD, Vela CM, Fletcher JN, Gupta G, Varikuti S, Zhu X, Zywot EM, Chai H, Werbovetz KA, Satoskar AR, Kinghorn AD. Antileishmanial and Cytotoxic Activity of Some Highly Oxidized Abietane Diterpenoids from the Bald Cypress, Taxodium distichum. J Nat Prod. 2016 Mar 25;79(3):598-606. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b01131. Epub 2016 Feb 23. PMID: 26905523; PMCID: PMC4831050.

Van Horn KS, Zhu X, Pandharkar T, Yang S, Vesely B, Vanaerschot M, Dujardin JC, Rijal S, Kyle DE, Wang MZ, Werbovetz KA, Manetsch R. Correction to Antileishmanial Activity of a Series of N(2),N(4)-Disubstituted Quinazoline-2,4-diamines. J Med Chem. 2016 Jan 28;59(2):775. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00981. Epub 2016 Jan 12. PMID: 26754204.

Zhu X, Van Horn KS, Barber MM, Yang S, Wang MZ, Manetsch R, Werbovetz KA. SAR refinement of antileishmanial N(2),N(4)-disubstituted quinazoline-2,4-diamines. Bioorg Med Chem. 2015 Aug 15;23(16):5182-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2015.02.020. Epub 2015 Feb 18. PMID: 25749014; PMCID: PMC4536136.

Pandharkar T, Zhu X, Mathur R, Jiang J, Schmittgen TD, Shaha C, Werbovetz KA. Studies on the antileishmanial mechanism of action of the arylimidamide DB766: azole interactions and role of CYP5122A1. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Aug;58(8):4682-9. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02405-14. Epub 2014 Jun 2. Erratum in: Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Dec 21;62(1): PMID: 24890590; PMCID: PMC4135980.