Wei Shi
Wei Shi
Assistant Professor of Chemistry (Organic)


Room:FB 504


About Me

I started to work at Ball State in summer 2019. My teaching specialty is Organic Chemistry. My research interests are in the fields of Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Organic Synthesis. We aim to design and synthesize functional chemical probes derived from natural products to understand how small molecules can be used to regulate macro-biomolecules for treating human diseases. 

My College Experience

I obtained my B.Sc. degree in electrochemistry from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. Because of my interests in biology, I switched to bioorganic chemistry for my M.Sc. Studies at East China University of Sci. & Tech. in Shanghai. Shortly after that, I moved to Canada and completed my Ph.D. studies at the University of Alberta.

What I have Learned?

The biggest challenge along my chemistry journey was to identify my true career interests. After my undergraduate studies, I spent four years in analytical chemistry in industry. Although I learned a lot, I realized that it was not what I wanted to do in the long term.  Eventually, I was inspired by drug development. I then pursued my postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins, School of Medicine.

Degree History

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Postdoc) 
University of Alberta (Ph.D.) 
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Research Interests

Dr. Shi's research is in the application of organic and medicinal chemistry to explore biological and pharmaceutical potential of underexplored bioactive natural products, in particular glycoconjugates. The long-term goal of his laboratory is to design new chemical entities derived from the natural products with an improved synthetic and/or therapeutic profile for drug discovery. For more current information, please check his group website listed above.

Selected Publications
(Corresponding author denoted by *; Undergraduate denoted by §)
Zong, G.†; Hu, Z.†; O'Keefe, S.;# Tranter, D.;# Iannotti, M. J.;# Baron, L.;# Hall, B.;# Corfield, K.;# Paatero, A.; Henderson, M. J.;# Roboti, P.;# Zhou, J.; Sun, X.; Govindarajan, M.; Rohde, J.; Blanchard, N.; Simmonds, R.;* Inglese, J.;* Du, Y.;* Demangel, C.;* High, S.;* Paavilainen, V. O.;* Shi, W. Q.* “Ipomoeassin F binds Sec61α to inhibit protein translocation”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 8450–8461. (†, # Equal contribution)
Zong, G.; Sun, X.; Bhakta, R.§; Whisenhunt, L.; Hu, Z.; Wang, F.; Shi, W. Q.* “New insights into structure–activity relationship of ipomoeassin F from its bioisosteric 5-oxa/aza analogues”, Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2018144, 751–757.
Zong, G.†; Hirsch, M.†; Mondrik, C.§; Hu, Z.; Shi, W. Q.* “Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of fucose-truncated monosaccharide analogues of ipomoeassin F”, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 201727, 2752–2756. († Equal contribution)
Head, S.; Shi, W. Q.; Yang, E. J.; Nacev, B. A.; Hong, S. Y.; Pasunooti, K.; Li, R. J.; Shim, J. S.; Liu, J. O.* “Simultaneous targeting of NPC1 and VDAC1 by itraconazole leads to synergistic inhibition of mTOR signaling and angiogenesis”, ACS Chem. Biol. 2017, 22, 174–182.
Zong, G.; Whisenhunt, L.; Hu, Z.; Shi, W. Q.* “Synergistic contribution of tiglate and cinnamate to cytotoxicity of ipomoeassin F”, J. Org. Chem. 2017, 82, 4977−4985.
Zong, G.; Aljewari, H.; Hu, Z.; Shi, W. Q.* “Revealing the pharmacophore of ipomoeassin F through molecular editing”, Org. Lett. 2016, 18, 1674−1677.
Zong, G.; Barber, E.; Aljewari, H.; Zhou, J.; Hu, Z.; Du, Y.; Shi, W. Q.* “Total synthesis and biological evaluation of ipomoeassin F and its unnatural 11R-epimer” J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80, 9279−9291.
Head, S.; Shi, W.; Zhao, L.; Gorshkov, K.; Pasunooti, K.; Chen, Y.; Deng, Z,; Li, R.; Shim, J. S.; Tan, W.; Hartung, T.; Zhang, J.; Zhao, Y.; Colombini, M.; Liu, J. O.* “The antifungal drug itraconazole targets VDAC1 to modulate the AMPK/mTOR signaling axis in endothelial cells”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015, 112, E7276–7285.
Shi, W.; Nacev, B. A.; Aftab, B.; Head, S.; Rudin, C. M.; Liu, J. O.* “Itraconazole side chain analogs: structure–¬¬activity relationship studies for inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) glycosylation, and Hedgehog signaling” J. Med. Chem. 201154, 7363–7374.
Shi, W.; Marcus, S. L.; Lowary, T. L.* “Cytotoxicity and topoisomerase I/II inhibition of glycosylated 2-phenyl-indoles, 2-phenyl-benzo[b]thiophenes and 2-phenyl-benzo[b]furans” Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2011, 19, 603–612.
Shi, W.; Nacev, B. A.; Bhat, S.; Liu, J. O.* “Impact of absolute stereochemistry on the antiangiogenic and antifungal activities of itraconazole” ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2010, 1, 155–159.
Shi, W.; Coleman, R. S.; Lowary, T. L.* “Synthesis and DNA-binding affinity studies of glycosylated intercalators designed as functional mimics of the anthracycline antibiotics” Org. Biomol. Chem. 2009, 7, 3709–3722.
Shi, W.; Qian, X.;* Zhang, R.; Song, G. “Synthesis and quantitative structure–activity relationships of new 2,5-disubstituted-1,3,4-oxadiazoles” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2001, 49, 124–130.

Course Schedule
Course No. Section Times Days Location
Essentials of Bioche 360 1 0915 - 1050 MTWRF FB, room 103
Advanced Topics in C 675 2 0000 - 0000