William Harrell Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Chemistry | Fine School of the Sciences


  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Maryland (2011)
  • B.A., Chemistry, Virginia Tech (2003)

Professional Experience

    Assistant Professor, Chemistry
    Adjunct Professor, Chemistry
    NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Medicinal Chemist


  • Research Interests: Bioorganic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Supramolecular Chemistry, Synthetic Organic Chemistry
  • My research focuses on addressing biological problems using organic chemistry. One such project involves the synthesis of compounds that bind and transport anions across phospholipid membranes. Transmembrane transport of anions is of great biological importance, as defective anion transport has been linked to numerous diseases, most notably cystic fibrosis. The goal of this project is to develop receptors that can bind and transport anions across phospholipid membranes to function as potential therapeutics for cystic fibrosis and other anion transport diseases.


  • Harrell, W. A., Jr.; Vieira, R. C.; Ensel, S. M.; Montgomery, V.; Guernieri, R.; Webb, R. P.; Eccard, V.; Campbell, Y.; Roxas-Duncan, V. I.; Cardellina, J. H., II; Smith, L. A. A matrix-focused structure-activity and binding site flexibility study of quinolinol inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2017, 27, 675-678.
  • Yalamanchili, C.; Manda, V. K.; Chittiboyina, A. G.; Guernieri, R. L.; Harrell, W. A., Jr.; Webb, R. P.; Smith, L. A.; Khan, I. A. Utilizing Ayurvedic literature for the identification of novel phytochemical inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin A. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2017, 197, 211-217.
  • Andrews, N. J.; Haynes, C. J. E.; Light, M. E.; Moore, S. J.; Tong, C. C.; Davis, J. T.; Harrell, W. A., Jr.; Gale, P. A. Structurally simple lipid bilayer transport agents for chloride and bicarbonate. Chem. Sci. 2011, 2, 256-260.
  • Busschaert, N.; Gale, P. A.; Haynes, C. J. E.; Light, M. E.; Moore, S. J.; Tong, C. C.; Davis, J. T.; Harrell, W. A., Jr. Tripodal transmembrane transporters for bicarbonate. Chem. Commun. 2010, 46, 6252-6254.
  • Harrell, W. A., Jr.; Bergmeyer, M. L.*; Zavalij, P. Y.; Davis, J. T. Ceramide-mediated transport of chloride and bicarbonate across phospholipid membranes. Chem. Commun. 2010, 46, 3950–3952.
  • Ma, L.; Harrell, W. A., Jr.; Davis, J. T. Stabilizing guanosine-sterol ion channels with a carbamate to urea modification in the linker. Org. Lett. 2009, 11, 1599-1602.
  • Kaucher, M. S.; Harrell, W. A., Jr.; Davis, J. T. A unimolecular G-quadruplex that functions as synthetic transmembrane Na+ Transporter. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 38-39.
  • Harrell, W. A., Jr.; Davis, J. T. Self-Assembly: Guanine Nucleobases. In Encyclopedia of Supramolecular Chemistry. [Online]; Atwood, J. L.; Steed, J. W., Eds.; Marcel Dekker: New York, 2006.
  • Kaucher, M. S.; Harrell, W. A., Jr.; Davis, J. T. The G-quartet in supramolecular chemistry and nanoscience. In Quadruplex Nucleic Acids, Neidle, S.; Balasubramanian, S., Eds.; Royal Society of Chemistry: Cambridge, U.K., 2006; pp 253-296.

* indicates undergraduate student author


  • CHEM 210 – Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 210L – Organic Chemistry I Lab
  • CHEM 211 – Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 211L – Organic Chemistry II Lab
  • CHEM 340 – Medicinal and Drug Chemistry
  • CHEM 365 – Independent Laboratory Research in Chemistry
  • SCI 100 – School of the Sciences New Student Seminar
  • SCI 105 – Careers in Healthcare Professions

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