9/13/17 We welcome postdoc Joe Salamoun! He comes from the Wipf group at Pitt.

9/11/17 Russell's trans silaboration of triple bonds is published in Chem. Eur. J. Fantastic work!

7/20/17 Our collaboration with the Ratajczak Lab has provided a role for Sphingosine kinase inhibitors in the egress of stem cells--oncogene.

7/12/17 Jessica's paper in using branched peptides as antimicrobials is accepted in ACS Med. Chem. Lett. Awesome job!

7/1/17 Congrats to Ashley Peralta for winning an ACS BIOL travel award.

6/22/17 Kuddos to Dr. Childress for successfully defending her dissertation. She is off to the Lindsley Lab at Vanderbilt University.

5/1/17 Congrats to Beth Childress for winning the dept of chemistry graduate research award!

4/14/17 Beth Childress's work on developing sphingosine kinase inhibitors is accepted in J. Med. Chem. Congrats!

4/5/17 Our twins (Eric Medici & Chris Sibley) passed their prelims. Woohoo!

3/14/17 Laura Wonilowicz was selected as an Amgen Scholar in UC Berkeley's Summer Research Program. Best of luck Laura!

3/6/17 Russell Fritzemeier and Ashley Gates passed their prelims. Well done!

3/2/17 Astha and Russell's work on transition metal-free diboration is published in Angew. Chemie. Congrats!

12/12/16 Congrats to the Santos lab! A seed grant to study sphingosine kinase inhibitors and multiple sclerosis was recently funded.

11/15/16 Congrats to Beth Childress for winning a student travel award from the lipids conference at SERCL.

11/9/16 Congratulations to Ashley Peralta and Yumin Dai for winning best poster at the VT Center for Drug Discovery Poster session.

10/27/16 Our latest PhD from the Santos Lab: Dr. Amanda Nelson. Congrats!!!

9/1/16 Jessica accepted a position at Merck Inc.

8/23/16 Molly Congdon accepted a postdoc position at NIH/NCI with Jeff Gildersleeve. Good luck!

8/19/16 Congrats to Cheryl Peck for receiving a College of Science Doctoral assistantship award!

8/19/16 Dr. Srinath Pashikanti moves to Idaho State University as an assistant professor. Best of luck Sri!

8/17/16 Cheryl's paper is highlighted in organic chemistry portal.

8/17/16 Thanks to NIH/NIGMS for funding our RO1 grant! Cheers to the Santos lab.

8/16/16 Our expert opinion on sphingosine kinase therapeutics is accepted for publication.

7/19/2016 Molly successfully defended her Ph.D. Congrats Dr. Congdon!!!

7/15/2016 Congratulations to Dr. Jessica Wynn for passing her Ph.D. defense with flying colors!

6/2/2016 Jessica's paper on inhibiting HIV-1 replication in cells is accepted in MedChemComm. Fantastic work Jess!

5/25/2016 Astha's chapter on copper-catalyzed organoboron cross-coupling has been accepted. Great job, Astha!

5/3/2016 Congrats to Sri, Joe, Chris, and Matt. Their hydrosilylation of allenes work in water is accepted by Org. Lett.

4/23/2016 Molly received a travel award from the ACS Med Chem division to attend the ACS meeting in Philly this fall. Awesome Molly!

4/22/2016 Amanda and Cheryl's borylation of alkynoates and alkynamides in water is accepted in JOC. Great job to both!

4/22/2016 Congrats to Molly Congdon for winning an outstanding graduate research award!

4/5/16 Undergrad Laura Wonilowicz won a Fralin Summer Fellowship to work in our lab this summer. Well done Laura!

4/4/16 Jessica's paper regarding branched peptide boronic acids is accepted at Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry. Great Job!

3/22/16 Beth Childress was selected for a prestigious P.E.O. Scholar Award. Congrats and well done!

3/14/16 Congratulations to Molly! Her sphingosine kinase work is featured on the front cover of ACS. Med. Chem. Lett.

3/1/16 Dr. Astha Verma leaves the lab for a job at KBI Biopharma. Best of luck!

2/15/16 We welcome two first year students: Chris Sibley and Eric Medici.

2/3/16 Molly's naphthalene-based Sphingosine Kinase inhibitors is available online at ACS Med. Chem. Lett. Congrats Molly!

12/7/15 Beth Childress won a CCG Research Excellence Student Travel Award from the Division of Medicinal Chemistry-ACS. Congrats!

11/6/15 Congratulations to Beth Childress and Jessica Wynn for winning awards during VT's Center for Drug Discovery Poster Session!

10/01/15 Prof. Santos is now a fellow of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT).

8/26/15 Congrats to Beth Childress for receiving a College of Science Doctoral assistantship award!

8/4/15 Congrats to Emily, Molly, and team sphingosine kinase for their hard work. The in vivo effects of inhibitors is published in JPET.

7/24/15 Emily Morris recently accepted a teaching position at Manassas Park High School. Woohoo!

7/15/15 Alumni Matthew Nguyen will be attending VCU Medical School this fall. Congrats Matt!

7/1/15 Thanks to ARDRAF for funding our work with sphingosine kinase and Alzheimer's Disease.

6/22/15 Jessica Wynn receives a travel award from the BIOL division of the ACS. Great job!

6/11/15 Joe Calderone's paper dealing with mitochondrial uncouplers for the treatment of diabetes is accepted in BMCL. Congrats!

6/11/15 Fulbright scholar, Amanda Nelson, is highlighed in VT news!

4/28/15 Jessica's review of branched peptide is published in Org. Biomol. Chem. Congrats!

4/25/15 Congratulations to Amanda Nelson for receiving a Fulbright Scholarship! She will be spending a year in Germany with Todd Marder.

3/16/15 Congratulations to Molly on her work with the SAR of sphingosine kinases, which is published in Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.!

3/12/15 Cheryl's paper on aqueous borylation of alkynoates is published in Synthesis. Congrats!

3/03/15 Xi and Amanda's paper regarding unsymmetrical diboration is published in ACS Catalysis. Well done!

2/04/15 Neeraj and Emily's selective inhibitors of SphKs is published in J. Med. Chem. Congrats!

1/08/15 Congratulations to Jessica Wynn for receiving a graduate school doctoral assistantship award.

11/20/14 Our review of sphingosine kinases appears in ACS Chemical Biology.

11/6/14 Congratulations to Dr. Xi Guo for passing her dissertation defense. Fantastic job!

10/15/14 Dr. Santos is a recipient of Fralin/ICTAS Innovator's Award from Virginia Tech.

9/30/14 Dr. Santos is named as Cliff and Agnes Faculty Fellow.

8/25/14 Dr. Santos presents at IME Boron Conference in Prague, Czech Republic.

7/16/14 Joe Calderone's Angewandte paper is highlighted in SynFacts. Great job Joe!

6/25/14 Ashley Peralta joins the Santos group.

6/20/14 Jessica Wynn won second prize oral presentation at BORAM XIV, an international meeting of boron chemists. Congrats!

5/17/14 Congratulations to our recent graduates. Dr. Wenyu Zhang will be a postdoc at NIH with Dr. Kuan Wang. Matt Nguyen will be a postbac researcher with Dr. Sidransky at NIH.

4/25/14 Congratulations to the Santos Lab. Award winners from the Chemistry Dept:

Outstanding graduate research: Wenyu Zhang

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant: Molly Congdon

Second Place Poster Winner: Matthew Nguyen

Summer Research: Sean Rafferty

Schug Research Award: Webster Santos












Webster L. Santos, Ph. D.


Associate Professor of Chemistry

Virginia Tech, 2013-present


Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Virginia Tech, 2006-2013



NIH Postdoctoral Fellow

Harvard University, 2002-2006

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Advisor: Professor Gregory L. Verdine


Doctor of Philosophy

University of Virginia, 1997-2002

Department of Chemistry

Advisor: Professor Timothy L. Macdonald


Bachelor of Science

University of Virginia, 1993-1997

Department of Chemistry

Advisor: Professor Timothy L. Macdonald

pdf of curriculum vitae (9/16)


Editorial Board, Medicinal Chemistry Reviews
Co-Founder, Continuum Biosciences, Inc.
Editorial Advisory Board, Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Innovators Award, Virginia Tech
Cliff and Agnes Lilly Faculty Fellow
John C. Schug Research Award
Associate Editor, Diversity Oriented Synthesis
Alternate Councilor, Division of Biological Chemistry, American Chemical Society
ACS Young Academic Investigator
Molecular Biosystems Emerging Investigator
Co-founder, SphynKx Therapeutics, LLC
Chemical Communications Emerging Investigator
Blackwood Junior Faculty Fellow of LIfe Sciences
Molecular BioSystems Emerging Investigator
Ruth Kirstein NRSA Post Doctoral Fellowship
Third Prize Winner, Robert J. Huskey Graduate Research Symposium, University of Virginia
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award
Semi-finalist for Seven Society Teaching Fellowship, Secret Seven Society, University of Virginia




11. Santos, W.L.; Lynch, K.R.; Li, H.; Kharel, Y. "Compositions and Methods for Preparing and Using Pyrrolidine-Based Inhibitors Of Sphingosine Kinase 1", U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/547,276, August 18, 2017.

10. Santos, W.L.; Hoehn, K. Childress, E. "Compositions and Methods for Preparing and Using Mitochondrial Uncouplers", U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/509,249, Priority filing date: May 22, 2017.

9. Santos, W.L.; Lynch, K.R.; Childress, E.; Kharel, Y. "Guanidine-Based Aminothiazole Inhibitors of Sphingosine Kinase", U.S. Patent Application No:  62/205,196, Priority filing date: August 14, 2015.

8. Santos, W.L.; Lynch, K.R. “Sphingosine Kinase Inhibitors”, US Patent Appl. 62/058294, Priority filing date: October 1, 2014.

7. Santos, W.L.; Raje, M.R.; Lynch, K.R.; Macdonald, T.L.; Kennedy, A. and Kharel, Y.   “Long Chain Base Sphingosine Kinase Inhibitors”, PCT/US2013/025341, February 8, 2013. Priority filing date: February 8, 2012.

6. Santos, W.L. and Lynch K.R. Sphingosine kinase inhibitors and therapeutic use thereof. US Patent Appl. 61/375,478, Aug. 2010.

5.Santos, W.L. Branched peptides as therapeutics for structured RNA targets. US Patent Appl. 61/269,571, June 2009

4. Santos, W.L. and Gao, M. Synthesis and uses of mixed diboron reagents. US Patent Appl.61/225,032 July 2009.

3. Santos, W.L. Inhibition of proteases using N‐terminal peptidic boronic acids. US Patent Appl. 61/234,399 August 2009.

2. Santos, W.L. and Verdine, G.L. Oligonucleotide microarrays comprising nucleic acid analogs for hybridization with target RNA, including RNA in nucleoprotein complexes. PCT Int. Appl. 2005, 60 pp.

1. Lynch, K.R.; Macdonald, T. L.; Heise, C.H.; Santos , W. L . and Okusa, M.D. Novel Lysophosphatidic Acid Receptor Agonists and Antagonists. PCT Int. Appl. 2002, 81 pp.