Jennifer Golden

Position title: Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemistry


Phone: 608.263.7287

7123 Rennebohm Hall
Madison, WI 53706

Research Website
Golden Group
Jennifer Golden


  • Associate Director, Medicinal Chemistry Center


  • B.S. 1996, Eastern Illinois University
  • Ph.D. 2002, University of Kansas
  • Postdoctoral Research 2004, Stanford University



The Golden research laboratory is a synthetic medicinal chemistry group. We develop synthetic methodology to generate new chemical architecture and explore its associated pharmacology to benefit health concerns for which few or no therapeutics exist. Current projects focus on chemical methodology development and the optimization of anti-infective agents such as antiviral and anti-parasitic lead compounds in cell and animal models. We work closely with expert collaborators who assess our compounds against various biological targets, and through structural manipulation of our chemical scaffolds, we refine properties to achieve a desired activity profile. Several projects are underway, and a few are represented below.

Project 1: Exploration of a novel quinazolinone rearrangement

We discovered that alpha-chloromethylquinazolinones, when treated with acyclic diamines, rearrange to form amidines. We explored the scope of this reaction as it relates to the electronics governing the susceptibility of the quinazolinone core to rearrange under multiple conditions. We further adapted the transformation to include the conversion of extended BOC-protected amino acids to the desired amidines through an efficient, telescoped sequence that integrates at least five chemical transformations in one pot!

Project 2: Development of anti-alphaviral agents with in vivo efficacy

Alphaviruses, RNA viruses spread most commonly by infected mosquitoes, can cause significant disease in animals and humans ranging from fever, rash, persistent arthritis, encephalitis and death. Though several of these agents are classified as bioterrorism threats, there are no FDA approved vaccines or drugs available for any alphavirus infection. Our laboratory has developed several compound classes that show efficacy against select alphaviruses in cells and in mice.

Project 3: Development of broad spectrum antiparasitic compounds

Our group has discovered three distinct structural classes that show broad spectrum inhibition of parasites related to malaria, African sleeping sickness and leishmaniasis. We have defined preliminary structure-activity relationships around each class and are now prepared to derive improved inhibitors for more advanced in vivo studies.