Kim Janda, PhD

Ely R. Callaway, Jr. Professor of Chemistry
Director, Worm Institute For Research & Medicine (wirm)
Skaggs Scholar, The Skaggs Institute For Chemical Biology
Department of Chemistry
California Campus

Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Department of Immunology and Microbial Science
The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology
Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

Merging of Chemistry and Biology

Our work encompasses the following areas: the development of methods for the detection of and protection against chemical/biological warfare agents, the preparation of combinatorial chemical libraries, the design/synthesis and evaluation of catalytic antibodies and enzyme inhibitors, solid-phase organic synthesis, antibody/peptide phage display libraries, the application of immunopharmacotherapy in the treatment of drug addiction and cancer, methods of prevention and treatment of obesity, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies towards neglected tropical diseases, and investigation and development of molecules that block quorum sensing in bacteria.


Ph.D. (Organic & Medicinal Chemistry), The University of Arizona, 1984
M.S. (Organic Chemistry), The University of Arizona, 1983
B.S. (Clinical Chemistry), University of South Florida, 1980

Professional Experience

-2017 Professor (Joint Appointment), Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), Scripps Research

Awards & Professional Activities

Distinguished Seminar Lectureship Speaker, University of Minnesota, Dept. of Med. Chem., 2015
Xingda Lecturer, Peking University, College of Chemistry, China, 2015
PATH to Recovery Honoree, Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing, 2015
Raymond N. Castle Plenary lecturer, University of South Florida, 2012
Arran Thomas Amadeo Streppa Memorial Lecturer, Sealy Center for Vaccine Development Symposium, 2012
Molecule of the Week, ACS 2010
Harvey W. McFadden, Jr. M.D. Lecture, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2010
Harold A. Iddles Lecture, University of New Hampshire, Durham, 2010
Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2009
Discover magazine's "Top 100 Science Stories of 2006" for Obesity Vaccine work, 2006
Office of Life Sciences Distinguished Lecture, National University of Singapore, 2006
Elected Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2003
Biomolecular Student Lecture, Emory University, 2003
GSO Speaker, University of North Carolina, 2003
Keynote Speaker, Graduate Student Symposium, University of Michigan, 2003
Sigma-Aldrich Lecture, Milwaukee Section ACS, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2002
Rayson Huang Visiting Lecturer, University of Hong Kong, Honk Kong, China, 2002
Shire BioChem Lecture, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Canada, 2002
Outstanding Alumnus in Chemistry, University of South Florida, 2001
J. Clarence Karcher Lecture, University of Oklahoma, 2000
Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, 1999
Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, 1993-1995
NIH FIRST Award, 1990-1995
Fellow, American Institute of Chemists, 1986-present
Carl S. Marvel Fellowship,University of Arizona, 1984
American Chemical Society, 1981-present
Magna Cum Laude; Phi Beta Kappa, University of South Florida, 1980
Scholar Athlete of the Year, University of South Florida, 1979-1980

Editorial Boards

Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry (Advisory Board)
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, Associate Editor, 2008 - present
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Chemical Reviews
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Tetrahedron Publications, Executive Board of Editors, 2008-present
The Botulinum Journal
Scientific Advisory Boards
Materia, Inc.
Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE), EP1 Physical Sciences

Selected References

All Publications

1. Tramontano, A., Janda, K.D., Lerner, R.A. Catalytic antibodies, Science 234, 1566 (1986).

2. Janda, K.D., Benkovic, S.J., Lerner, R.A. Catalytic antibodies with lipase activity and R and S substrate selectivity, Science 244, 437 (1989).

3. Nielsen, J., Brenner, S., Janda, K.D. Synthetic methods for the implementation of encoded combinatorial chemistry, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 115, 9812 (1993).

4. Han, H., Wolfe, M.M., Brenner, S., Janda, K.D. Liquid-phase combinatorial synthesis, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 92, 6419 (1995).

5. Wirsching, P., Ashley, J.A., Lo, C.-H.L., Janda, K.D., Lerner, R.A. Reactive immunization, Science 270, 1775 (1995).

6. Carrera, M.R.A., Ashley, J.A., Parsons, L.H., Wirsching, P., Koob, G.F., Janda, K.D. Suppression of psychoactive effects of cocaine by active immunization, Nature 378, 727 (1995).

7. Li, T., Janda, K.D., Lerner, R.A. Cationic cyclopropanation by antibody catalysis, Nature 379, 326 (1996).

8. Janda, K.D., Lo, L.-C., Lo, C.-H.L., Sim, M.-M., Wang, R., Wong, C.-H., Lerner, R.A. Chemical selection for catalysis in combinatorial antibody libraries, Science 275, 945 (1997).

9. Toy, P.H., Janda, K.D. New supports for solid-phase organic synthesis: Development of polystyrene resins containing tetrahydrofuran derived cross-linkers, Tetrahedron Letters 40, 6329 (1999).

10. Carrera, M.R.A., Ashley, J.A., Zhou, B., Wirsching, P., Koob, G.F., Janda, K.D. Cocaine vaccines: Antibody protection against relapse in a rat model, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 6202 (2000).

11. Wentworth, A.D., Jones, L.H., Wentworth, P. Jr., Janda, K.D., Lerner, R.A. Antibodies have the intrinsic capacity to destroy antigens, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 10930 (2000).

12. Simeonov, A., Matsushita, M., Juban, E.A., Thompson, E.H.Z., Hoffman, T.Z., Beuscher IV, A.E., Taylor, M.J., Wirsching, P., Rettig, W., McCusker, J.K., Stevens, R.C., Millar, D.P., Schultz, P.G., Lerner, R.A., Janda, K.D. Blue-fluorescent antibodies, Science 290, 307 (2000).

13. Gao, C., Mao, S., Kaufmann, G., Wirsching, P., Lerner, R.A., Janda, K.D. A method for the generation of combinatorial antibody libraries using pIX phage display, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 12612 (2002).

14. Matsushita, M., Yoshida, K., Yamamoto, N., Wirsching, P., Lerner, R.A., Janda, K.D. High-throughput screening by using a blue-fluorescent antibody sensor, Angew. Chemie, Int. Ed. 42, 5984 (2003).

15. Meijler, M.M., Hom, L.G., Kaufmann, G.F., McKenzie, K.M., Sun, C., Moss, J.A., Matsushita, M., Janda, K.D. Synthesis and biological validation of a ubiquitous quorum sensing molecule, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 43, 2106 (2004).

16. Felding-Habermann, B., Lerner, R.A., Lillo, A., Zhuang, S., Weber, M.R., Arrues, S., Gao, C., Mao, S., Saven, A., Janda, K.D. Combinatorial antibody libraries from cancer patients yield ligand mimetic Arg-Gly-Asp-containing immunoglobulins that inhibit breast cancer metastasis, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 17210 (2004).

17. Kaufmann, G.F., Sartorio, R., Lee, S.-H., Rogers, C.J., Meijler, M.M., Moss, J.A., Clapham, B., Brogan, A.P., Dickerson, T.J., Janda, K.D. Revisiting quorum sensing: Discovery of additional chemical and biological functions for 3-oxo-N—acylhomoserine lactones, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102, 309 (2005).

18. Matsushita, M., Meijler, M.M., Wirsching, P., Lerner, R.A., Janda, K.D. A blue fluorescent antibody-cofactor sensor for mercury, Org. Lett. 7, 4943 (2005).

19. Kaufmann, G.F., Sartorio, R., Lee, S.-H., Mee, J.M., Altobell, III, L.J., Kujawa, D.P., Jeffries, E., Clapham, B., Meijller, M.M., Janda, K.D. Antibody interference with N-acyl homoserine lactone-mediated bacterial quorum sensing, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 2802 (2006).

20. Xu, Y., Shi, J., Yamamoto, N., Moss, J.A., Vogt, P.K., Janda, K.D. A credit-card llibrary approach for disrupting protein-protein interactions, Bioorg. Med. Chem. 14, 2660 (2006).

21. Kim, Y., Lillo, A.M., Steiniger, S.C.J., Liu, Y., Ballatore, C., Anichini, A., Mortarini, R., Kaufmann, G.F., Zhou, B., Felding-Habermann, B., Janda, K.D. Targeting heat shock proteins on cancer cells: Selection, characterization, and cell-penetrating properties of a peptidic GRP78 ligand, Biochemistry 45, 9434 (2006).

22. Zorilla, E.P., Iwasaki, S., Moss, J.A., Chang, J., Otsuji, J., Inoue, K., Meijler, M.M., Janda, K.D. Vaccination against weight gain, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103(35), 13226 (2006).

23. Eubanks, L.M., Hixon, M.S., Jin, W., Hong, S., Clancy, C.M., Tepp, W.H., Baldwin, M.R., Malizio, C.J., Goodnough M.C., Barbieri, J.T., Johnson, E.A., Boger, D.L., Dickerson, T.J., Janda, K.D. An in-vitro and in vivo disconnect uncovered through high-throughput identification of botulinum neurotoxin A antagonists, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104 (8), 2602 (2007).

24. Park, J., Jagasia, R., Kaufmann, G.F., Mathison, J.C., Ruiz, D.I., Moss, J.A., Meijler, M.M., Ulevitch, R.J., Janda, K.D. Infection control by antibody disruption of bacterial quorum sensing signaling, Chemistry & Biology, 14, 1119 (2007).

25. Kravchenko, V.V., Kaufmann, G.F., Mathison, J.C., Scott, D.A., Katz, A.Z., Grauer, D.C., Lehmann, M., Meijler, M.M., Janda, K.D., Ulevitch, R.J. Modulation of gene expression via disruption of NF-kB signaling by a bacterial small molecule, Science, 321, 259 (2008).

26. Lowery, C.A., Park, J., Kaufmann, G.F., Janda, K.D. An unexpected switch in the modulation of AI-2-based quorum sensing discovered through synthetic 4,5-Dihydroxy- 2,3-pentanedione analogues, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 130(29), 9200 (2008).

27. Mayorov, A.V., Amara, N., Chang, J.Y., Moss, J.A., Hixon, M.S., Ruiz, D.I., Meijler, M.M., Zorilla, E.P., Janda, K.D. Catalytic antibody degradation of ghrelin increases whole-body metabolic rate and reduces refeeding in fasting mice, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 105(45), 17487 (2008).

28. Fischer, A., Nakai, Y., Eubanks, L.M., Clancy, C.M., Tepp, W.H., Pellet, S., Dickerson, T.J., Johnson, E.A., Janda, K.D., Montal, M. Bimodal modulation of the botulinum neurotoxin protein-conducting channel, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106, 1330 (2009).

29. Gloeckner, C., Garner, A., Mersha, F., Oksove, Y., Tricoche, N., Eubanks, L., Lustigman, S., Kaufmann, G., Janda, K.D. Repositioning of an old drug for the neglected tropical disease Onchocerciasis, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 107(8), 3424 (2010).

30. Eubanks, L.M., Silhar, P., Salzameda, N.T., Zakhari, J.S., Xiaochuan, F., Barbieri, J.T., Shoemaker, C.B., Hixon, M.S., Janda, K.D. Identification of a natural product antagonist against the Botulinum neurotoxin light chain protease, ACS Med. Chem. Lett., 1,  268 (2010).

31. Mayorov, A.V., Willis, B., Di Mola, A., Adler, D., Borgia, J., Jackson, O., Wang, J., Luo, Y., Tang, L., Knapp, R.J., Natarajan, C., Goodnough, M.C., Zilberberg, N., Simpson, L.L., Janda, K.D. Symptomatic relief of Botulinum Neurotoxin/A intoxication with aminopyridines: A new twist on an old molecule, ACS Chem. Biol.,  5(12), 1183 (2010).

32. Garner, A.L., Janda, K.D. cat-ELCCA: A robust method to monitor the fatty acid acyltransferase activity of Ghrelin O-Acyltransferase (GOAT), Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 49(50) 9630 (2010).

33. Denery, J.R., Nunes, A.A., Hixon, M.S., Dickerson, T.J., Janda, K.D. Metabolomics-based discovery of diagnostic biomarkers for onchcerciasis, PLoS Ngl. Trop. Dis., 4(10), e834 (2010).


Scientists Create Vaccine Against Heroin High

The Worm Institute for Research and Medicine (WIRM)

The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology

The Skaggs Institute Scientific Report

TSRI Researcher Develops New Vaccine to Treat Cocaine Addiction

Scientists at TSRI Develop a New "Kit" to Screen Mercury in Fish

Human Antibodies Against Spores Found by TSRI Researchers Suggest Powerful New Tool for Detection and Treatment of Anthrax

TSRI Research Suggests Powerful Tool for Detection and Treatment of Anthrax

Researchers Develop New type of Vaccine Against Nicotine Addiction

A Quorum Detected

Treating Cocaine Addiction with Viruses

Newly Discovered Small Molecules "Superactivate" Botox

Meeting with Jimmy Carter Energizes Research Team

Marijuana's Active Ingredient Shown to Inhibit Primary Marker of Alzheimer's Disease

Compounds Show Significant Promise Against Potential Bioweapon Toxins

New Monoclonal Antibody Destroys Methamphetamine In Vitro

Study Links Chronic Methamphetamine Abuse and Cardiovascular Disease

Team Blocks Bacterial Communication System to Prevent Deadly Staph Infections

Scientists Develop A New Strategy to Fight Obesity

Kim Janda Selected to Receive Honorary degree from the University of Helsinki

Team Reveals How An Old Drug Could Have A New Use for Treating River Blindness

Team Develops Molecular Test Providing a New Pathway for Identifying Obesity and Diabetes Drugs

Scientists Develop Novel Test that Identifies River Blindness Parasite in its Active State

Team Creates Novel Vaccine that Produces Strong Immunity Against Cocaine High