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The Kodadek Lab

Photo of Thomas Kodadek Thomas Kodadek, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Faculty Page
Curriculum Vitae
Photo of Debra (Deb) Cizewski

Debra (Deb) Cizewski
Administrative Assistant

It has been my pleasure to support Dr. Kodadek and his lab for the past nine years.  I would say the best part is helping to submit grants and the excitement of finding out they are being funded.  I enjoy spending time with my family, boating, golfing and the Florida lifestyle.

Lab Members


Hongchan An, Ph.D.
Reasearch Associate

2008 B.S.-Seoul National University
2014 Ph.D.-Seoul National University

I received Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Seoul National University (Seoul, South Korea) in 2008. From the same university, I received my Ph.D. in Pharmacy with total syntheses of natural products and medicinal chemistry works using derivatives of natural products under the supervision of prof. Young-Ger Suh. After two years of postdoc at the Research Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences at Seoul National University, I moved to Jupiter, FL to join Kodadek lab. Currently I am working on the project to develop efficient tools for selective DUB ligands. In my spare time, I enjoy watching baseball and soccer.

Employee Photo

Madeline Balzarini
Graduate Student 

2017 B.S.-Carnegie Mellon University  

My research focuses on the design, synthesis, and screening of DNA encoded chemical libraries.  I’m designing new libraries to probe chemical space that has not previously been explored with DNA encoded libraries.  Additionally, I’m working to develop new screening methods that we will use to discover biologically active molecules.   


Paige Dickson
Graduate Student

2015 B.S.-Northeastern University
I am interested in applying chemical probes towards the interrogation of novel proteasome biology for disease intervention. Currently, I am using ligands discovered through one-bead one-compound high throughput screening to explore the function of proteasomal ubiquitin receptor Rpn13 and its associated deubiquitinase Uch37. These two proteins have been implicated in some cancer cells' increased proliferation, and we find targeting these proteasome subunits with chemical ligands selectively induces toxicity in multiple myeloma tissue culture models. I am also interested in developing novel screening methods to identify functionally relevant ligands of Uch37 to better probe its role in ubiquitin-mediated degradation and other cellular processes. In my free time I’m usually outdoors or moonlighting as an amateur food critic. 



John Ndungu, Ph.D.
Reserach Assistant III

1997 B.Sc- University of Nairobi, Kenya
2004 Ph.D- University of Arizona
2007 Postdoctoral scholar- University of California, Berkeley

I am currently spearheading the development of DNA compatible chemistries for solid phase synthesis of structurally diverse chemical motifs. Among the reactions I have developed are a Wittig reaction to generate diverse acrylamides and a Picket Spengler reaction that affords a 1- or 1,3-substituted tetrahydroisoquinolines.

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Nick Paciaroni, Ph.D.
Research Associate

2013 B.S. in Chemistry-Clemson University
2018 Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry-University of Florida


My current project is focused on developing new reaction methods for the synthesis of complex and/or conformationally constrained small molecule monomers. Following synthesis, these complex monomers will be incorporated into DNA-encoded libraries which will populate our target-based screens with more drug-like ligands. Another project I am working on is synthesizing covalent warhead-ligand conjugates to elucidate the mechanism of action of ligand binding to Rpn13.

Photo of Ron Portez Ron Poretz, Ph.D.
Visiting Investigator
Photo of Scott Simanski

Scott Simanski
Research Assistant III

2000 B.S.-University of Florida Microbiology and Cell Sciences Minor in Chemistry

I spend a lot of my time ensuring that everyone in the lab has everything they need to do their research -- from maintaining equipment to keeping everyone safe -- I keep our lab running smoothly.  I also work closely with the Grad Students, Post-Docs and Research Assistants on various aspects of their research.  Most of my recent research has involved using our RPN13 probe molecule KDT-11 in trying to understand the role of RPN13 and UCH37 in Multiple Myeloma and other Cancers.   In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family taking full advantage of all that sunny South Florida has to offer. 



Photo of Irena

Irena Suponitsky-Kroyter
Research Assistant II

M.Sc.-University of Tel-Aviv, Ramat-Aviv, Israel

I am a graduate of Master's degree in Cell Biology, and I am currently working on a variety of projects, mostly concentrating on the synthesis of DNA-encoded combinatorial libraries and their screening against several promising targets. I am also working on modifying and improving our screening protocols, as well as establishing new approaches to this process. When I am not in the lab or spending time with my family, I enjoy Martial Arts as my hobby.