Robert Pettit is Regents' Professor and a leading figure in the development of anti-cancer drugs. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Washington State University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Wayne State University, working with Carl Djerassi. He has more than 800 peer-reviewed publications, and has written 14 books and 17 book chapters in the area of organic chemistry and anti-cancer research. He is the recipient of the Ernest Guenther Award from the American Chemical Society and was the subject of a special issue of the Journal of Natural Products. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists and the American Society of Pharmacognosy, and is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and several scientific and academic journal boards. His scientific career is the subject of the biography "Waging War on Cancer. Dr. Pettit's Lifelong Quest to Find Cures" (Friesen Press, 2015).
His specific research interests include the chemistry of natural products (peptides, nucleotides, and steroids), cancer chemotherapy (anticancer agents from arthropods, marine animals and plants), and total synthesis of natural products.
Significant advances in the treatment of human cancer and other serious medical problems are becoming increasingly more dependent upon scientists well trained in organic chemistry, biochemistry and biology. Our group is organized to provide the specialized training necessary to undertake problems concerned with the discovery of anticancer substances for the treatment of cancer. Among various activities, we are pursuing a unique program concerned with isolation, structural identification and synthesis of naturally occurring anticancer agents from marine animals, plants, and arthropods. Studies concerned with synthetic methods, and routes to certain important biosynthetic products comprise related areas of interest.
Specific Research Interests: Chemistry of natural products (peptides, nucleotides, and steroids), cancer chemotherapy (anticancer agents from arthropods, marine animals and plants), and total synthesis of natural products.