School of Medicine
Jonathan B. Chaires, Ph.D., is a professor of medicine and senior scientist at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
Chaires’ research focuses on understanding the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms behind tumor development and targeting therapies at the molecular level to disrupt and reverse the development of cancers. He was designer and co-developer of a new class of antibiotics for use as anticancer agents, one of which is highly selective against melanoma cell lines and is promising for future clinical applications.
Chaires is also inventor of two tools that may be of critical importance for future drug development and clinical diagnosis. The first, the competition dialysis method, is a screening tool that can quickly detect and define key molecular targets for potential new drugs. The second, a test for the study of plasma proteins, may be the basis for new clinical tools for early detection of disease.
Chaires’ work has ongoing support from the National Cancer Institute. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors and is a past chair of the NIH Bioengineering Research Partnership Review Panel. He is the holder of two patents and has one patent pending. He has published more than 135 peer-reviewed papers in high-impact journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Biochemistry, Journal of the American Chemistry Society, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and Nucleic Acids Research. He has published three books, the most recent of which (entitled "DNA Binders and Related Subjects") is the first book to emerge from the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
Prior to joining the U of L faculty, Chaires was a professor in the department of biochemistry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson campus) with a joint appointment in the department of chemistry at the University of Mississippi (Oxford campus). He has been a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry.
Chaires earned his Ph.D. in biophysics at the University of Connecticut and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University. His bachelor of arts degree in biology is from the University of California at Santa Cruz.