Chris M. Ireland

Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

Asia Campus Chief Administrative Officer and Associate Vice President for Research

Chris Ireland

B.A. University of California, San Diego

Ph.D. Scripps Institution of Oceanography



Chris Ireland's Lab Page

Chris Ireland's PubMed Literature Search

Biological Chemistry Program

Marine Natural Products


Our program has focused on the discovery and development of novel anticancer agents from a variety of natural products sources. The underlying theme of this program is to integrate discovery of novel biologically-active natural products from organisms that inhabit unique ecological niches with mechanism-directed cancer biology. The rationale behind this approach is that chemical diversity stems from biological diversity and environmental pressures which select for unique genotypes.  

Also, new mechanism-based assays which target receptors or pathways that are over- or selectively expressed in cancer cells will further select for novel chemotypes with potential utility in the treatment of human cancers.   Over the last two decades this program has been successful in the discovery and characterization of over a hundred unique marine natural products with antitumor properties. We are currently pursuing more optimal ways of screening our extensive natural product library for active compounds.


  1. Dolan BP, Li L, Veltri C A, Ireland CM, Bennink JR, Yewdell JW (2011) Distinct pathways generate peptides from defective ribosomal products for CD8+ T cell immunosurveillance. J Immunol, 186:2065-2072
  2. Lu Z, Ding Y, Li X-C, Djigbenou DR, Grimberg BT, Ferreira D, Ireland CM, Van Wagoner RM (2011) 3-Bromohomofascaplysin A, a fascaplysin analogue from a Fijian Didemnum sp. ascidian. Bioorg Med Chem, 19:6604-6607
  3. Lu Z, Van Wagoner RM, Harper MK, Baker HL, Hooper JNA, Bewley CA, Ireland CM (2011) Mirabamides E-H, HIV-inhibitory depsipeptides from the sponge Stelletta clavosa. J Nat Prod, 74:185-193
  4. Pimentel-Elardo SM, Buback V, Gulder TAM, Bugni TS, Reppart J, Bringmann G, Ireland CM, Schirmeister T, Hentschel U (2011) New tetromycin derivatives with anti-trypanosomal and protease inhibitory activities. Mar Drugs, 9:1682-1697
  5. Sasaki S, Tozawa T, Van Wagoner RM, Ireland CM, Harper MK, Satoh T (2011) Strongylophorine-8, a pro-electrophilic compound from the marine sponge Petrosia (Strongylophora) corticata, provides neuroprotection through Nrf2/ARE pathway. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 415:6-10
  6. Sun H, Reinscheid UM, Whitson EL, d'Auvergne EJ, Ireland CM, Navarro-Vazquez A, Griesinger C (2011) Challenge of large-scale motion for residual dipolar coupling based analysis of configuration: The case of fibrosterol sulfate A. J Am Chem Soc, 133:14629-14636
  7. Wei X, Henriksen NM, Skalicky JJ, Harper MK, Cheatham TE, Ireland CM, Van Wagoner RM (2011) Araiosamines A-D: Tris-bromoindole cyclic guanidine alkaloids from the marine sponge Clathria (Thalysias) araiosa. J Org Chem, 76:5515-5523
  8. Coombs GS, Yu J, Canning CA, Veltri CA, Covey TM, Cheong JK, Utomo V, Banerjee N, Zhang ZH, Jadulco RC, Concepcion GP, Bugni TS, Harper MK, Mihalek I, Jones CM, Ireland CM, Virshup DM (2010) WLS-dependent secretion of WNT3A requires Ser209 acylation and vacuolar acidification. J Cell Sci 123:3357-3367
  9. Lu Z, Van Wagoner RM, Harper MK, Hooper JNA, Ireland CM (2010) Two ring-A-aromatized bile acids from the marine sponge Sollasella moretonensis. Nat Prod Commun 5:1571-1574
  10. Pimentel-Elardo SM, Kozytska S, Bugni TS, Ireland CM, Moll H, Hentschel U (2010) Anti-parasitic compounds from Streptomyces sp. Strains isolated from mediterranean sponges. Mar Drugs 8:373-380
  11. Labarbera DV, Modzelewska K, Glazar AI, Gray PD, Kaur M, Liu T, Grossman D, Harper MK, Kuwada SK, Moghal N, Ireland CM (2009) The marine alkaloid naamidine Apromotes caspase-dependent apoptosis in tumor cells. Anticancer Drugs 20:425-36
  12. Koch M, Bugni TS, Pond CD, Sondossi M, Dindi M, Piskaut P, Ireland CM, Barrows LR (2009) Antimycobacterial activity of Exocarpos latifolius is due to exocarpic acid. Planta Med 75:1326-30
  13. Whitson EL, Bugni TS, Chockalingam P, Concepcion G, Feng X, Jin G, Harper MK, Mangalindan G, Mcdonald LA, Ireland CM (2009) Fibrosterol sulfates from the Philippine sponge Lissodendoryx (Acanthodoryx) fibrosa; Sterol dimers that inhibit PKCzeta. J Org Chem 74:5902-08
  14. Marshall KM, Andjelic CD, Tasdemir D, Concepción GP, Ireland CM, Barrows LR (2009) Deoxyamphimedine, a pyridoacridine alkaloid, damages DNA via the production of reactiveoxygen species. Mar Drugs 25:196-209
  15. McCulloch MWB, Bugni TS, Concepcion GP, Coombs GS, Harper MK, Kaur S, Mangalindan GC, Mutizwa MM, Veltri CA, Virshup DM, Ireland CM (2009) Carteriosulfonicacids AC, GSK-3â inhibitors from a Carteriospongia sp. J Nat Prod 72:1651-6
  16. Barrows LR, Matainaho TK, Ireland CM, Miller S, Carter GT, Bugni T, Rai P, Gideon O, Manoka B, Piskaut P, Banka R, Kiapranis R, Noro JN, Pond CD, Andjelic CD, Koch M, Harper MK, Powan E, Pole AR, Jensen JB (2009) Making the most of Papua New Guinea's biodiversity: Establishment of an integrated set of programs that link botanical survey with pharmacological assessment in "The Land of the Unexpected. Pharm Biol 47:795-808
  17. Whitson, E.L.; Ratnayake, A.S.; Bugni, T.S.; Harper, M.K.; Ireland, C.M. (2009) Isolation, structure elucidation, and synthesis of eudistomides A and B, lipopeptides from a Fijian ascidian Eudistoma sp. J Org Chem 74:1156-62
  18. McCulloch MWB, Coombs GS, Banerjee N, Bugni TS, Cannon KM, Harper MK, Veltri CA, Virshup DM, Ireland CM (2009) Psammaplin A as a general activator of cell based signaling assays via HDAC inhibition and studies on some bromotyrosine derivatives. Bioorg Med Chem 17:2189-98
  19. Mohammed KA, Jadulco RC, Bugni TS, Harper MK, Sturdy M, Ireland CM (2008) Strongylophorines: natural product inhibitors of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 transcriptional pathway. J. Med. Chem. 51:1402-5
  20. de Guzman A, Predicala R, Bernardo E, Neilan B, Elardo S, Mangalindan G, Tasdemir D, Ireland CM (2007) Concepcion, G. Pseudovibrio denitrificans strain Z143-1, heptylprodigiosin-producing bacterium isolated from a Philippine tunicate FEMS. Microbiology Letters 277:188-96

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Last Updated: 5/24/18