< BackResearch FacultyNicos Petasis, PhD

Nicos Petasis, PhD

Division: neurophotonics, neurorx

Harold E. & Lillian M. Moulton Chair in Organic Chemistry; Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology; USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Research Interests:

The research interests of Dr. Petasis are in the areas of organic chemistry, chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, and biomedical research. The research projects in his lab range from new methods in synthetic chemistry, to the investigation of novel molecular pathways and the discovery of innovative therapeutics. For over two decades, Dr. Petasis is a leading member in many multi-disciplinary efforts aimed at the causes and treatments of inflammation, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and ophthalmic disorders. His research is aimed at creating and evaluating new molecular entities with innovative features and unique biological activity. Examples include, lipid molecules that promote the resolution of inflammation and have organ-protective actions, potent GPCR agonists with therapeutic potential, small molecule epigenetic modulators, and new molecular designs for light-activated drug release. Some of these efforts contributed to a paradigm shift in our understanding of the inflammatory process, and identified novel treatment concepts for major conditions, including aged-related macular degeneration, cystic fibrosis, periodontal disease, muscle disorders, cancer, traumatic brain injury, and stroke.


A faculty member at the Department of Chemistry and the Loker Hydrocarbon Institute of the USC Dornsife College, Dr. Petasis is a Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology and holds the Harold & Lillian Moulton Chair in Organic Chemistry. He also has joint appointments at the USC School of Pharmacy, and the Norris Comprehensive Cancer of the Keck School of Medicine. He has over 180 publications and has given over 180 invited lectures worldwide. His work has been recognized with several awards and honors, including the USC Associates Award for Creativity In Research and Scholarship, the worldwide Novartis Chemistry Lectureship, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been a member of multiple pharma and biotech scientific advisory boards.

List of Publications:

  • Glynn, S. J., Gaffney, K. J., Sainz, M. A., Louie, S. G., Petasis, N. A. (2015). Molecular characterization of the boron adducts of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib with epigallocatechin-3-gallate and related polyphenols. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 13 (13), 3887-3899. PubMed
  • Abdulnour, R. E., Dalli, J., Colby, J. K., Krishnamoorthy, N., Timmons, J. Y., Tan, S. H., Colas, R. A., Petasis, N. A., Serhan, C. N., Levy, B. D. (2014). Maresin 1 biosynthesis during platelet–neutrophil interactions is organ-protective. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111 (42), 16526-16531. PubMed
  •  Winkler, J. W., Uddin, J., Serhan, C. N., Petasis, N. A. (2013). Stereocontrolled total synthesis of the potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving lipid mediator Resolvin D3 and its aspirin-triggered 17R-epimer. Organic Letters, 15 (7), 1424-1427. PubMed
  • Serhan, C. N., Dalli, J., Karamnov, S., Choi, A., Park, C., Xu, Z., Ji, R., Zhu, M., Petasis, N. A. (2012). Macrophage proresolving mediator maresin 1 stimulates tissue regeneration and controls pain. FASEB Journal, 26 (4), 1755-1765. PubMed


  • PhD in Organic Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 1983
  • BSc in Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 1978

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