Dr. David Schultz


My lab’s research is focused on the biochemistry, biotechnology and bioactivity of plant chemicals. My laboratory uses a wide range of approaches from basic biochemistry and molecular biology/biotechnology through whole system physiology. My lab has expertise in natural product purification and identification, bioactivity assessment and bioengineering plant production of targeted products. The goal of my lab is to identify and test target plant chemicals for unique bioactive properties then to identify the genetic elements required for heterologous production and to use biotechnology approaches to produce these target molecules at higher levels for human use. My laboratory also works to understand the biosynthesis of unusual monoenoic fatty acids that could function as biofuels/petroleum replacement products with an ultimate goal of bioengineering unusual monoene production in oilseed crops. Our work is often highly interdisciplinary and thus we have long-term collaborative projects focused on the inhibitory role of anacardic acid on breast cancer (Dr. Carrie Klinge, UofL Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), the role(s) of spices in the Apiaceae family and dark berries in preventing lung and/or breast cancer (Dr. Ramesh Gupta, UofL Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology) and plant/pathogen interactions (Dr. Mike Perlin, UofL Biology Department).

R. Tian with the dry chemical storage collection.


2007 - present Associate Professor of Biology, University of Louisville

2001 - 2006 Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Louisville

1996 - 2001 Postdoctoral research associate, Michigan State University (Dr. John Ohlrogge’s Lab)

1992-1996 Ph.D. – Genetics, The Pennsylvania State University, (Graduate mentors: Drs. Richard Craig, June Medford and Ralph Mumma)

1990-1992 M.S. – Plant and Soil Sciences, The University of Delaware

1986-1990 B.S. (honors) Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University

Selected Publications


R. Sandman.

Aqil, F., Munagala, R., Vadhanam, M.V., Kausar, H., Jeyabalan, J., Schultz, D.J. and Gupta, R.C. 2012. Anti-proliferative activity and protection against oxidative DNA damage by punicalagin isolated from pomegranate husk. Food Res. Int. 49:345–353.

A. Diddle

Agarwal, C., Schultz, D.J., and Perlin, M.H. 2010. Two phosphodiesterases from Ustilagomaydis share structural and biochemical properties with non-fungal phosphodiesterases. Frontiers in Mycology doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2010.00127.

Schultz, D.J., Wickramasinghe, N.S., Ivanova, M.M., Isaacs, S.M., Dougherty, S.M., Fernandez, Y.I., Cunningham, A.R., Chen, C., and Klinge, C.M. 2010. Anacardic acid inhibits estrogen receptor alpha-DNA binding and reduces target gene transcription and breast cancer cell proliferation. Mol. Cancer Ther. 9(3):594-605.

Aiyer, H.A., Ravoori, S., Vadhanam, M.V., Schultz, D.J., and Gupta, R.C. 2008. Effect of dietary berries and ellagic acid on cell proliferation, estrogen-metabolizing enzymes and tumor indices in an estrogen-induced rat mammary tumor model. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Developments in Drug Discovery from Natural Products and Traditional Medicines pp. 50-55.

C. Dickerson is an udergraduate researcher and president of the Biology Undergraduate Society.

Schultz, D.J., Olsen, C., Cobbs, G., Stolowich, N., and Parrot, M. 2006. Bioactivity of anacardic acid against Leptinotarsadecemlineata (Colorado Potato Beetle) larvae. J. Agric. Food Chem. 54:7522-7529.

*Schultz, D.J., *Suh, M.C., and Ohlrogge, J.B. 2002. What limits production of unusual monoenoic fatty acids in transgenic plants? Planta 215:584-595.

Schultz, D.J., Suh, M.C., and Ohlrogge, J.B. 2000. Stearoyl-acyl carrier protein and unusual acyl-acyl carrier protein desaturase activities are differentially influenced by ferredoxin. Plant Physiol. 124 (2):681-692.

C. Higgins.

Suh, M.C., Schultz, D.J., and Ohlrogge, J.B. 1999. Isoforms of acyl carrier protein involved in seed specific fatty acid synthesis. Plant J. 17:679-688.

Schultz, D.J., Cahoon, E.B., Mumma, R.O., Shanklin, J., Craig, R., Cox-Foster, D.L., and Medford, J. I. 1996. Expression of a 9 14:0-ACP fatty acid desaturase gene is necessary for the production of 5 anacardic acids found in pest-resistant geranium (Pelargoniumhortorum). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93:8771-8775.

R. Singhal, a doctoral student,  makes use of the incubator space.

Schultz, D.J., Craig, R., Cox-Foster, D.L., Mumma, R.O., and Medford, J.I. 1994. RNA isolation from recalcitrant plant tissue. Plant Mol. Biol. Rept. 12:310-316

*Designates co-first authors