William M. Wuest 


Assistant Professor

B.S. (2003) University of Notre Dame

Ph.D. (2008) University of Pennsylvania

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (2008-2011), Harvard Medical School

Beury Hall Rm. 448


Department of Chemistry

Beury Hall 130
1901 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

office: 215-204-7167
fax: 215-204-1532








Research Interests


The Wuest group is an interdisciplinary team of researchers that leverages techniques in synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology to better understand the chemical biology of bacterial biofilms. Biofilms are self-produced matrices of extracellular polymeric substances, which include extracellular DNA, proteins, sugars, and lipids that serve as the first line of defense for bacteria. They are ubiquitous in nature, burdening both industry (biofouling/biocorrosion) and society (antibiotic resistance, indwelling devices). Taking inspiration from Nature, we have identified a variety of structures that specifically perturb unique processes in biofilm development. More excitingly, some of these motifs posses species-specific activity opening the door for the development of “narrow-spectrum” therapies, an emerging area of research spurred on by the human microbiome project. Our group is well positioned to explore this growing field and will continue to discover exciting new incites concerning the chemical biology of biofilms.


Selected Publications

Jennings, M.C.; Ator, L.E.; Paniak, T.J.; Minbiole, K.P.C.*; Wuest, W.M.* “Biofilm Eradicating Properties of Quaternary Ammonium Amphiphiles: Simple mimics of Antimicrobial Peptides.” ChemBioChem 2014, In press.


Ator, L.E.; Jennings, M.C.; McGettigan, A.R.; Paul, J.J.; Wuest, W.M.*; Minbiole, K.P.C.* “Beyond paraquats: Dialkyl 3,3’- and 3,4’-bipyridinium amphiphiles as antibacterial agents.” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2014, 24, 3706.


Kinzie, C.R.; Steele, A.D.; Pasciolla, S.M.; Wuest, W.M.* “Synthesis of cyclic dimeric methyl morpholinoside – a common synthetic precursor to cyclic dinucleotide analogs.” Tet. Lett. 2014, 55, 4966.

Using Technology to Create an Active, Collaborative Learning Environment: Even in Organic Chemistry! Wuest, W.M.*; Wuest, L.M* Proc. of the 2014 Lilly Conf. on College and Univ. Teaching and Learning 2014, 44.


Fletcher, M.H.; Jennings, M.C.; Wuest, W.M.* “Draining the moat: Disrupting bacterial biofilms with natural products.” Tetrahedron 2014, 70, 6373.

Razavi, A.; Wuest, W.M.*; Voelz, V.A.* “Computational Screening and Selection of Cyclic Hairpin Mimics by Molecular Simulation and Kinetic Network Models” J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2014, 54, 1425.


Hallside, M.S.; Brzozowski, R.S.; Wuest, W.M.*; Phillips, A.J.* “A Concise Synthesis of Carolacton” Org. Lett. 2014, 16, 1148.


Black, J.; Jennings, M. C.; Azarewicz, J.; Paniak, T.; Grenier, M.; Wuest, W.M.*; Minbiole, K. P. C.* “TMEDA-derived Biscationic Amphiphiles: An Economical Preparation of Potent Antibacterial Agents” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2014, 24, 99.