The University of Massachusetts Amherst
 
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Rachid Skouta

Assistant Professor

Research areas include medicinal chemistry and drug development.

Current Research

Designing small molecules with specific predicted properties offers great potential in chemistry biology and medicine. Our research objective is to improve the understanding, at the molecular level, of the function of potential drug targets. To do so, we design, synthesize and investigate compounds with specific predicted properties and better drug-like properties, via structure-activity-relationships (SAR) study, that target receptors transporters and enzymes involved in neurodegenerative, cancer and infection disease models. We are also assessing the antioxidant, anticancer and antimicrobial properties of plant extracts toward the identification of potent natural products with better pharmaceutical properties.

Our research interests and activities span many traditional and emerging disciplines of chemistry and biology with noteworthy focuses on the use of computational chemistry, medicinal chemistry and SAR studies complemented with protein chemistry as well as molecular biology to solve biological problems.

Academic Background

  • M.Sc., Institut de Pharmacologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 2003
  • Ph.D., McGill University, 2008
  • Postdoctoral Training, Columbia University, 2008-2013
Skouta R, Morán-Santibañez K, Valenzuela CA, Vasquez AH, Fenelon K. Assessing the Antioxidant Properties of Larrea tridentata Extract as a Potential Molecular Therapy against Oxidative Stress. Molecules. 2018 Jul 23;23(7). pii: E1826. doi: 10.3390/molecules23071826.
Rodriguez F, Iniguez E, Pena Contreras G, Ahmed H, Costa TEMM, Skouta R, Maldonado RA. Development of Thiophene Compounds as Potent Chemotherapies for the Treatment of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Caused by Leishmania major. Molecules. 2018 Jul 4;23(7). pii: E1626. doi: 10.3390/molecules23071626.
Shimada K, Skouta R, Kaplan A, Yang WS, Hayano M, Dixon SJ, Brown LM, Valenzuela CA, Wolpaw AJ, Stockwell BR. Global survey of cell death mechanisms reveals metabolic regulation of ferroptosis. Nat Chem Biol. 2016 Jul;12(7):497-503. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2079. Epub 2016 May 9.
Linkermann A, Skouta R, Himmerkus N, Mulay SR, Dewitz C, De Zen F, Prokai A, Zuchtriegel G, Krombach F, Welz PS, Weinlich R, Vanden Berghe T, Vandenabeele P, Pasparakis M, Bleich M, Weinberg JM, Reichel CA, Bräsen JH, Kunzendorf U, Anders HJ, Stockwell BR, Green DR, Krautwald S. Synchronized renal tubular cell death involves ferroptosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Nov 25;111(47):16836-41. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1415518111. Epub 2014 Nov 10.
Skouta R, Dixon SJ, Wang J, Dunn DE, Orman M, Shimada K, Rosenberg PA, Lo DC, Weinberg JM, Linkermann A, Stockwell BR. Ferrostatins inhibit oxidative lipid damage and cell death in diverse disease models. J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Mar 26;136(12):4551-6. doi: 10.1021/ja411006a. Epub 2014 Mar 14.
 
Contact Info

Department of Biology
444 Morrill IV South
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

(413) 577-4167
rskouta@umass.edu

Web: https://www.umass.edu/humres/hiring-staff-and-faculty-0