• B.Sc., Lebanon Valley College, 2009
  • Ph.D., University of Delaware,  2014
Areas of Interest

Research in the Martin lab will leverage techniques at the interface of chemistry and biology to better understand the enzymes that help to build bacterial cell walls. We will use the tools of organic synthesis, biochemistry, and protein crystallography to design inhibitors of specific enzymes known as glycosyltransferases, that transfer sugar groups and that are important in bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. Many antibiotics function by inhibiting bacterial cell wall biosynthesis, but bacteria are developing resistance to these and other antibiotics at increasingly rapid rates. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics has become a global health crisis that may one day lead to a “post antibiotic era” where existing antibiotics may not be capable of halting even minor infections. New inhibitors will help us to better understand how bacteria build their cell walls and how to halt bacterial growth.

Courses Taught
  • CHEM 112: General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 211: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 212: Organic Chemistry II
  • BCMB 401: Introduction to Independent Study
Independent Study Advising
  • Patrick Wood (BCMB), Determining the Crystal Structure of The Staphylococcus Aureus MurG Enzyme (2023)
  • Eliott Wright (CHEM),  Investigating the Effect of Steric Bulk of Anilines on the Synthesis of Quinolinones. (2023)
  • Kyla Babics (BCMB), Investigating the effects of the Phone A STEM Professional Assignment on STEM students’ sense of belonging, career confidence, and career awareness (2021)
  • Peter Greenwood (BCMB), Purification and Crystalization of MurG from S. aureus: Towards Characterizing the Structure of a Putative Antibiotic Target (2021)
  • Coco (Kejun) Liu (BCMB) Deciphering the ‘Logic Puzzle’ of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine: Deciphering the ‘Logic Puzzle’ of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine: Investigating Cooperative Protective Effects of Artemisinin and Hyperoside Against Oxidative Damage in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (2021)
  • Anna Schroeder (CHEM), Multi-Step Synthesis of Small Molecules as Potential Inhibitors for MurG (2021)
  • Regan Szalay, CHEM, Synthesis of Potential Small-Molecule Inhibitors for MurG, a Glycosyltransferase Involved in Bacterial Cell Wall Biosynthesis(2020)
  • Craig Deng, BCMB, Toxicity Analysis of Et-OSMI2 vs pseudomonas and E. coli(2020)
  • Matthew Mahoney, BCMB, Organic Synthesis of Potential MurG Inhibitors: A Research Tool for Investigating Cell Wall Biosynthesis in Bacteria (2020)
  • Leman Simpson, BCMB, Expression, Purification, and Crystallization of S. aureus MurG: Towards Structural Characterization of a Putative Antibiotic Target (2020)
  • Robert Hunt (BCMB), Exploring Peptidoglycan Synthesis: Assessing the Viability of NagZ as a Potential Tool for Obtaining Lipid I (2020)
  • Russell Boston, III, B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, May 2019, co-advised with P. Edmiston, “Save Our Masses from Starving: Development of a SOMS-Based Spatiotemporal Phytohormone Delivery System”
  • Ian Mundy, B.A. in Chemistry, May 2019, “All Aboard! The Identification of Inhibitor Candidates for the Bacterial Enzyme MurG via Molecular Docking Simulations”
  • Noelle Sadallah, B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, May 2019, “Facilitating Studies of Peptidoglycan Synthesis: Optimizing NagZ Production to Enable Access to Lipid”
  • Rada Zunich, B.A. in Chemistry, May 2019, “Toward Inhibitors of MurG: Identifying Fragments that Could Bind to MurG as a Starting Point for Inhibitors of Bacterial Cell Wall Biosynthesis”
  • Itkonen, H.M.; Poulose, N.; Steele, R.E.; Martin, S.E.S; Levine, Z.G.; Duveau, D.Y.; Carelli, R.; Singh, R.; Urbanucci, A.; Loda, M.; Thomas, C.; Mills, I.G.; Walker, S., “Inhibition of O-GlcNAc Transferase Renders Prostate Cancer Cells Dependent on CDK9,” Mol. Cancer Res., 2020, 18, 1512.
  • Tan, Z.-W.; Fei, G.; Paulo, J.A.; Bellaousov, S.; Martin S.E.S.; Duveau, D.Y.; Thomas C.J.; Gygi, S.P.; Boutz, P.L.; Walker, S. “O-GlcNAc regulates gene expression by controlling detained intron splicing,” Nucleic Acids Res. 2020, 48, 5656.
  • Itkonen, H.M.; Urbanucci, A.; Martin. S.E.S.; Khan, A.; Mathelier, A.; Thiede, B.; Walker, S.; Mills, I.G., “High OGT Activity is Essential for MYC-driven Proliferation of Prostate Cancer Cells,” Theranostics 2019, 9, 2183.
  • Martin, S.E.S.; Tan, Z.-W.; Itkonen, H.M.; Duveau, D.Y.; Paulo, J.A.; Janetzko, J.; Boutz, P.A.; Törk , L.; Moss, F.A.; Thomas, C.J.; Gygi, S.P.; Lazarus, M.B.; Walker, S., “Structure-based Evolution of Low Nanomolar O-GlcNAc Transferase Inhibitors,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 13542.
  • Matano, L. ; Morris, H. ; Hesser, A. ; Martin, S.E.S.; Lee, W.; Owens, T.; Laney, E.; Villet, R.; Hooper, D.; Meredith, T.; Walker, S., “An Antibiotic that Inhibits the ATPase Activity of an ABC Transporter by Binding to a Remote Extracellular Site,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 10597.

Invited Talks

 Martin, S.E.S. “Tools for Attenuating Activity of Glycosyltranferases,” Chemistry Seminar, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, October 26, 2022 (Invited Seminar)

 Martin, S.E.S. “Tools for Attenuating Activity of Glycosyltranferases,” Chemistry Seminar, Cleveland Clinic Center for Therapeutics Discovery, Cleveland, OH, July 30, 2023

Conference Presentation

Babics, K.M.; Schen, M.S.; Martin, S.E.S. “Impact of the Phone A STEM Professional Assignment on Sense of Belonging, Career Confidence, and Career Awareness Among Organic Chemistry Students,” Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, West Lafayette, IN, July 31, 2022 (Oral).

Liu K.; Mahoney-White, M.; Mundy, I; Payne, M.; Schroeder, A.; Szalay, R.; Varela Ausec, M.; Zunich, R.; Salmon, C.; Martin, S.E.S.; “Tools for Attenuating Reactivity of Glycosyltransferases,” 47th National Organic Chemistry Symposium, San Diego, CA, June 28, 2022 (Poster).

 Varela Ausec, M.; Galando, O.; Payne, M.; Wright, E.; Martin S.E.S.; “Synthesis of 7-Substituted Quinoin-2(1H)-ones from Meta-Substituted Anilines,” 48th National Organic Chemistry Symposium, South Bend, IA July 2023. (Poster)

Professional Affiliations

Committees/activities outside of the College with scholarly and professional organizations projects with students

  • Secretary of the ACS Wooster Local Section  (2022-present )
  • Member, organizing committee for Midwest chapter of Empowering Women in Organic Chemistry. Twitter: @MidWestEWOC EWOC is focused on mentorship and networking opportunities for women in organic chemistry, broadly defined.  (2021-present  )

Committees/activities within the College

NMR maintenance – Chemistry

STEM Success Initiative Advisory Board – rep for Chemistry and BCMB

Copeland Committee – Campus

  • NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School, 2014-2018
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NIH NRSA), 2016
  • Elizabeth Dyer Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Delaware, 2012