Kelly Teske

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
 Western Michigan University

Year of Graduation: 2015
Research Lab: Prof. Alexander Arnold
Major Area of Focus: Organic
Minor Area of Focus: Biochemistry

Previously Attended

Illinois State University, 2006-2010, B.S., Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2010-2015, Ph.D, Chemistry

Why I like Chemistry

I like chemistry because of the challenges it presents. There is always something new to learn and discover.

Why I chose the Chemistry and Biochemistry Program at UW-Milwaukee

I chose to do chemistry at UW-Milwaukee because I was impressed with the medicinal chemistry and drug discovery research done by many of the synthetic organic groups.

Favorite things to do in Milwaukee

Going to Bradford Beach and playing volleyball

Research Goals

Thesis Title: “Part 1. The Development of Non-Secosteroidal Vitamin D Receptor Modulators and Part 2. The Development of a Universal GTPase Assay”

Research Description:  Part 1. VDR is a therapeutically relevant drug target for the treatments of osteoporosis, psoriasis, cancer, and autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and sarcoidosis. The application of rational design and high throughput screening helped develop hit compounds into novel inhibitors for VDR-coregulator interactions. The techniques used included different biochemical and cell-based assays for nuclear receptors, multi-step and parallel synthesis, and analysis such as NMR and LCMS. Molecular modeling was used to identify new analogs based on docking as well as calculations of preclinical properties.

Part 2. Developed a universal kinase and GTPase Assay kit in collaboration with AviMed Pharmaceuticals LLC. This included the synthesis of assay components, development, miniaturization, and quality control.


Teske, K. A.; Dash, R. C.; Morel, S. R.; Chau, L. Q.; Wechsler-Reya, R. J.; Hadden, M. K. Development of Posaconazole- Based Analogues as Hedgehog Signaling Pathway Inhibitors.Euro. J. Med. Chem. 2019, 163, 320-332.

Teske, K. A.; Bogart, J. W.; Arnold, L. A.. Novel VDR antagonist based on the GW9742 scaffold. Biorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2017, 28, 351-354.

Teske, K. A.; Rai, G.; Nandhikonda, P.; Sidhu, Preetpal S. S.; Feleke, B.; Simeonov, A; Yasgar, A.; Jadjav, A.; Maloney, D.; Arnold, L. A., A Parallel Chemistry Approach to Identify Novel Nuclear Receptor Ligands Based on GW0742 Scaffold. ACS Combinatorial Science, 2017, 19, 646-656.

Wang, Y.; Fan, H.; Balakrishnan, K.; Lin, Z.; Cao, S.; Chen, W.; Fan, Y.; Guthrie, Q.; Sun, H.; Teske, K. A.; Gandhi, V.; Arnold, L. A.; Peng, Peng, X., Hydrogen Peroxide Activated Quinone Methide Precursors with Enhanced DNA Cross-Linking Capability and Cytotoxicity Towards Cancer Cells. Euro. J. Med. Chem. 2017, 133, 197-207.

Teske, K. A.; Hadden, M. K., Methyllysine Binding Domains: Structural Insight and Small Molecule Probe Development. Euro. J. Med. Chem. 2017, 136, 14-35.