Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Dianqing Sun, Ph.D.
Dianqing Sun

Associate Professor

Research in Dianqing Sun's laboratory focuses on the design and synthesis of novel small molecule and natural product based anti-infective and anti-cancer agents. The chemical approaches include classical organic synthesis, parallel and high-throughput chemistry, solid-phase organic synthesis, followed by traditional medicinal chemistry optimization of the emerging lead compounds.


  • Master, Organic Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China
  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, The University of Memphis, TN, USA
  • Postdoctoral Fellow with Richard Lee, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, TN, USA

Classes and Courses

  • Course Coordinator and Instructor, Integrated Therapeutics I (PHPP 515)
  • Instructor, Integrated Therapeutics II-IV (PHPP 516-518)
  • Course Coordinator and instructor, Discovery and Development of Blockbuster Drugs (PHPS 562)
  • Instructor, Drug Action I (PHPS540)

Selected Presentations and/or Publications

  • Prior AM, Sun D, Scope and optimization of the double Knorr cyclization: Synthesis of novel symmetrical and unsymmetrical tricyclic 1,8-diazaanthraquinones, Synthesis, 2018, 50(4), 859-871.
  • Tsutsumi LS, Elmore JM, Dang UT, Wallace MJ, Marreddy R, Lee RB, Tan GT, Hurdle JG, Lee RE, Sun D, Solid-phase synthesis and antibacterial activity of cyclohexapeptide wollamide B analogs, ACS Comb. Sci., 2018, 20(3), 172-185.
  • Prior AM, Yu X, Park EJ, Kondratyuk TP, Lin Y, Pezzuto JM, Sun D, Structure-activity relationships and docking studies of synthetic 2- arylindole derivatives determined with aromatase and quinone reductase 1, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2017, 27(24), 5393-5399.
  • Tsutsumi LS, Tan GT, Sun D, Solid-phase synthesis of cyclic hexapeptides wollamides A, B and desotamide B, Tetrahedron Lett., 2017, 58(27), 2675-2680.
  • Yu X, Zhang M, Annamalai T, Bansod P, Narula G, Tse-Dinh YC, Sun D, Synthesis, evaluation, and CoMFA study of fluoroquinophenoxazine derivatives as bacterial topoisomerase IA inhibitors, Eur. J. Med. Chem., 2017, 125, 515-527.
  • Lin H, Bruhn DF, Maddox MM, Singh AP, Lee RE, Sun D, Synthesis and antibacterial evaluation of macrocyclic diarylheptanoid derivatives, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2016, 26(16), 4070-4076.
  • Tsutsumi LS, Gündisch D, Sun D, Carbazole scaffold in medicinal chemistry and natural products: a review from 2010-2015, Curr. Top. Med. Chem., 2016,16(11), 1290-313.
  • Miklossy G, Youn UJ, Yue P, Zhang M, Chen CH, Hilliard TS, Paladino D, Li Y, Choi J, Sarkaria JN, Kawakami JK, Wongwiwatthananukit S, Chen Y, Sun D, Chang LC, Turkson J., Hirsutinolide Series Inhibit Stat3 Activity, Alter GCN1, MAP1B, Hsp105, G6PD, Vimentin, TrxR1, and Importin α-2 Expression, and Induce Antitumor Effects against Human Glioma, J. Med. Chem., 2015, 58(19),7734-7748.
  • Youn UJ, Sripisut T, Park EJ, Kondratyuk TP, Fatima N, Simmons CJ, Wall MM, Sun D, Pezzuto JM, Chang LC, Determination of the absolute configuration of chaetoviridins and other bioactive azaphilones from the endophytic fungus Chaetomium globosum, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2015, 25(21), 4719-4723.
  • Feng L, Maddox MM, Alam MZ, Tsutsumi LS, Narula G, Bruhn DF, Wu X, Sandhaus S, Lee RB, Simmons CJ, Tse-Dinh YC, Hurdle JG, Lee RE, Sun D, Synthesis, structure-activity relationship studies, and antibacterial evaluation of 4-chromanones and chalcones, as well as olympicin A and derivatives, J. Med. Chem., 2014, 57(20), 8398-8420.
  • Chai X, Youn UJ, Sun D, Dai J, Williams P, Kondratyuk TP, Borris RP, Davies J, Villanueva IG, Pezzuto JM, Chang LC., Herbicidins congeners, undecose nucleosides from an organic extract of Streptomyces sp. L-9-10, J. Nat. Prod., 2014, 77(2), 227-233.
  • Lee RE, Hurdle JG, Liu J, Bruhn DF, Matt T, Scherman MS, Vaddady PK, Zheng Z, Qi J, Akbergenov R, Das S, Madhura DB, Rathi C, Trivedi A, Villellas C, Lee RB, Rakesh, Waidyarachchi SL, Sun D, McNeil MR, Ainsa JA, Boshoff HI, Gonzalez-Juarrero M, Meibohm B, Böttger EC, Lenaerts AJ., Spectinamides: a new class of semisynthetic anti-tuberculosis agents that overcome native drug efflux, Nat. Med., 2014, 20(2), 152-158.
  • Park EJ, Shen L, Sun D, Pezzuto JM., Inhibitory effect of a callophycin A derivative on iNOS expression via inhibition of Akt in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated raw 264.7 cells, J. Nat. Prod., 2014, 77(3), 527-535.
  • Wu X, Alam MZ, Feng L, Tsutsumi LS, Sun D, Hurdle JG., Prospects for flavonoid and related phytochemicals as nature-inspired treatments for Clostridium difficile infection, J. Appl. Microbiol., 2014, 116(1), 23-31.
  • Tsutsumi LS, Owusu YB, Hurdle JG, Sun D., Progress in the discovery of treatments for C. difficile infection: a clinical and medicinal chemistry review, Curr. Top. Med. Chem., 2014, 14(1), 152-175.
  • Lin H, Annamalai T, Bansod P, Tse-Dinh YC, Sun D., Synthesis and antibacterial evaluation of anziaic acid and analogues as topoisomerase I inhibitors, MedChemComm, 2013, 4(12), 1613-1618.
  • Lin H, Sun D., Recent synthetic developments and applications of the Ullmann reaction. A review, Org. Prep. Proced. Int. (OPPI), 2013, 45(5), 341-394.
  • Yu X, Sun D., Macrocyclic drugs and synthetic methodologies toward macrocycles, Molecules, 2013, 18(6), 6230-6268.
  • Shen L, Maddox MM, Adhikari S, Bruhn DF, Kumar M, Lee RE, Hurdle JG, Lee RE, Sun D., Syntheses and evaluation of macrocyclic engelhardione analogs as antitubercular and antibacterial agents, J. Antibiot., 2013, 66(6), 319-325.
  • Yu X, Park EJ, Kondratyuk TP, Pezzuto JM, Sun D., Synthesis of 2-arylindole derivatives and evaluation as nitric oxide synthase and NFκB inhibitors, Org. Biomol. Chem., 2012, 10(44), 8835-8847.
  • Pieroni M, Girmay S, Sun D, Sahu R, Tekwani BL, Tan GT., Synthesis and structure–activity relationships of lansine analogs as antileishmanial agents, ChemMedChem, 2012, 7(11), 1895-1900.
  • Sun D, Hurdle JG, Lee R, Lee R, Cushman M, Pezzuto JM., Evaluation of flavonoid and resveratrol chemical libraries reveals abyssinone II as a promising antibacterial lead, ChemMedChem, 2012, 7(9), 1541-1545.
  • Shen L, Simmons CJ, Sun D., Microwave-assisted synthesis of macrocycles via intramolecular and/or bimolecular Ullmann coupling, Tetrahedron Lett., 2012, 53(32), 4173-4178.
  • Shen L, Park EJ, Kondratyuk TP, Guendisch D, Marler L, Pezzuto JM, Wright AD, Sun D., Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of callophycin A and analogues as potential chemopreventive and anticancer agents. Bioorg. Med. Chem., 2011, 19(21), 6182-6195.
  • Shen L, Sun D., Total synthesis and structural revision of engelhardione, Tetrahedron Lett., 2011, 52(35), 4570-4574.
  • Brown JR, North EJ, Hurdle JG, Morisseau C, Scarborough JS, Sun D., Korduláková J, Scherman MS, Jones V, Grzegorzewicz A, Crew RM, Jackson M, McNeil MR, Lee RE., The structure activity relationship of urea derivatives as anti-tuberculosis agents, Bioorg. Med. Chem., 2011, 19(18), 5585-5595.
  • Sivendran S, Jones V, Sun D, Wang Y, Grzegorzewicz AE, Scherman MS, Napper AD, McCammon JA, Lee RE, Diamond SL, McNeil M., Identification of triazinoindol-benzimidazolones as nanomolar inhibitors of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis enzyme TDP-6-deoxy-D-xylo-4-hexopyranosid-4-ulose 3,5-epimerase (RmlC), Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2010, 18(2), 896-908.


  • INBRE Pilot Grant
  • Co-Investigator, R01 (NCI/NIH) and R21 (NIAID/NIH)
  • Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) R15, NIAID/NIH
  • IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), NCRR/NIH
  • Leahi Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF)
  • George F. Straub Trust of Hawai'i Community Foundation (HCF)
  • UH Cancer Center Pilot Study Award
  • UH Hilo Seed Grant

Awards and Honors

  • Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities Award, UH Hilo, 2017
  • AACR Minority-Serving Institution Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Award, 2016
  • Gordon Research Conference on New Antibacterial Discovery & Development Predominantly Undergraduate Institution Fund Award, 2014
  • Faculty Travel Grant, ACS Division of Organic Chemistry, 2012
  • Excellence in Teaching Award for Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2011
  • Gordon Research Conference on Combinatorial Chemistry Graduate Fellowship Award, 2005