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Frank Foss

Frank Foss

Associate Professor

Office: 202 Chemistry Research Building (CRB)
Phone: 817 272 5245
Research Page
Mentis Profile

B.S. University of Richmond, 1999
Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2006 (Timothy L. Macdonald)
Post Doctorate: Columbia University, 2006-2008 (Ronald Breslow)

Bioorganic Chemistry – Medicinal Chemistry – Organic Synthesis:

Bioinspired Organocatalysis: Oxidation and Reduction Catalysts

Anti-Infective Small Molecule Development

Investigation of Bacterial Enzyme Function

Design and Synthesis of Functional Organic Molecules


Frank W. Foss Jr. joined the University of Texas at Arlington in September of 2008. A native of Massachusetts, he completed a Bachelors of Science in chemistry at the University of Richmond. He earned his Doctorate in organic and medicinal chemistry under the supervision of Timothy L. Macdonald from the University of Virginia. His dissertation on the Synthesis of Biologically-Stable Phospholipids is entitled “Synthesis of Bioavailable Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor Ligands: Structure-Activity-Relationships, Enzymatic Regulation, and Immunosuppression.” After his graduate work, he undertook a Post-Doctoral Research position with Ronald Breslow, at Columbia University in the City of New York, to study natural catalysis by designing artificial enzymes. In addition to this biomimetic research, Frank was involved in collaborative efforts in the area of molecular electronics through the NSF-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center. Both fields challenge organic chemists to understand the fundamental properties of chemical structures in biology and material sciences in order to tailor new materials with desirable functions.

The Foss Laboratory at UT Arlington is currently involved in designing biomimetic redox catalysts that utilize sustainable oxidants, such as O2 or H2O2, to perform these important synthetic transformations. The laboratory also investigates a range of enzymes, through their interaction with small molecules, to understand their function and potential as tractable targets for new drug development. Finally, numerous collaborations exist that allow the laboratory to design and synthesize natural and non-natural biomolecules for a range of purposes, from medicinal to biomaterial.

Bishnu P Subedi; Andra L Corder; Siai Zhang; Frank W Foss, Jr.; Brad S Pierce; “Steady-state kinetics and spectroscopic characterization of enzyme-tRNA interactions for the non-heme diiron tRNA-monooxygenase, MiaE” Biochemistry 2015 54(2):363-76. (DOI: 10.1021/bi5012207)

Jeremy S. Barnes; Frank W. Foss, Jr.; Kevin A Schug;"Thermally accelerated oxidative degradation of quercetin using continuous flow kinetic electrospray-ion trap-time of flight mass spectrometry" J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2013 24(10):1513-22. (DOI: 10.1007/s13361-013-0698-6)

Andra Carter, Bishnu Subedi, Amanda M. Dark, Frank W. Foss Jr.,* Brad S. Pierce* “Development of nucleoside substrate surrogates for the characterization of the O2-dependent tRNA modifying MiaE by peroxide-shunt catalysis.” Biochemistry 2013 52(36) 6182–6196.

Samuel H. Yang, Sumit Bhawal, Rajendrasing Deshmukh, Aruna B. Wijeratne, Brian L. Edwards, Frank W. Foss, Jr., Richard B. Timmons, Kevin A. Schug “Affinity Mesh Screen Materials for Rapid Drug Discovery Using Transmission Mode Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry” Langmuir 2013 29(25) 8046–8053.

Shuai Chen, Frank W. Foss Jr.* “Aerobic Organocatalytic Oxidation of Aryl Aldehydes: Flavin Catalyst Turnover by Hantzsch’s Ester” Organic Letters, 2012, 14, 5150-5153. (DOI: 10.1021/ol302479b)

Jonathon M Bobbitt; Li Li; Doug D Carlton; Sumit Bhawal; Mahwish Yasin; Frank W Foss Jr.; Stefanie Wernisch; Reinhard Pell; Wolfgang Lindner; Kevin A. Schug, Ph.D. “Diastereoselective Discrimination of Lysine-alanine-alanine Peptides by Zwitterionic Cinchona Alkaloid-based Chiral Selectors using Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry” Journal of Chromatography A, 2012; 1269, 308-315.

Shuai Chen, Mohammad S. Hossain, Frank W. Foss Jr.* “Organocatalytic Dakin Oxidation by Nucleophilic Flavin Catalysts” Organic Letters 2012, 14, 2806-2809 (DOI: 10.1021/ol3010326).

Xiaojia Huang, Frank W. Foss Jr., Purnendu K. Dasgupta “Multilayer chitosan-based open tubular capillary anion exchange column with integrated monolithic capillary suppressor” Analytica Chimica Acta 2011, 707, 210-217 (doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2011.09.028).

Severin Schneebeli, Maria Kamenetska, Frank Foss, Hector Vazquez, Rachid Skouta, Mark Hybertsen, Latha Venkataraman, Ronald Breslow “The Electrical Properties of Biphenylenes” Organic Letters 2010, 12, 4114-4117 (doi: 10.1021/ol1017036).

Janet V. Cross*, Joshua M. Rady, Frank W. Foss Jr., Charles Lyons, Timothy L. Macdonald, and Dennis J. Templeton “Nutrient Isothiocyanates Covalently Modify and Inhibit the Inflammatory Cytokine Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF)” Biochemical Journal 2009, 423, 315-321 (doi:10.1042/BJ20091170).

Frank W. Foss Jr., Thomas P. Mathews, Yugesh Kharel, Perry C. Kennedy, Ashley H. Snyder, Michael D. Davis, Kevin R. Lynch, Timothy L. Macdonald “Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Sphingosine Kinase Substrates as Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor Prodrugs” Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 2009, 17, 6123-6136 (doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2009.04.015).

Ronald Breslow, Frank W. Foss Jr.,Charge Transport in Nanoscale Aromatic and Antiaromatic Systems” Special Issue: Conductivity of single molecules and supramolecular architecturesJ. Phys.: Condens. Matter  2008, in press.

Huanyu Zhau, Frank W. Foss Jr, Ronald Breslow "Artificial Enzymes: Benzoin Condensations by Imidazolium and Thiazolium Catalysts" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, in press.

Qin Sun, Ran Zhu, Frank W. Foss Jr., Timothy L. Macdonald “In Vitro Metabolism of a Model Cyclopropylamine to Reactive Intermediate: Insights into Trovafloxacin-Induced Hepatotoxicity” Chemical Research in Toxicology 2008, 21, 711-719; advance online publication, February 26th, 2008 (doi:10.1021/tx7003085).

Advertised by Chem. Res. Tox. as one of five non-CYP450 metabolism studies from 2008.

Guy Cinamon, Marcus A. Zachariah, Olivia M. Lam, Frank W. Foss Jr., Jason G. Cyster “Follicular Shuttling of Marginal Zone B Cells Facilitates Antigen Transport” Nature Immunology 2008, 9, 54-62.  (Highlighted by Georg Kraal “Antigens Take the Shuttle” Nature Immunology 2008, 9, 11-12.)

Qin Sun, Ran Zhu, Frank W. Foss Jr., Timothy L. Macdonald “Synthesis and Chemical Oxidation of a Model Cyclopropylamine: Identification of a Reactive Intermediate and Implication of Responsible Enzymes for Hepatotoxicity of Trovafloxacin” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Let. 2007, 17, 6682-6686.

Jordan R. Quinn, Frank W. Foss Jr., Latha Venkataraman, Ronald Breslow “Oxidation Potentials Correlate with Conductivities of Aromatic Molecular Wires” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 12376-12377.

Jordan R. Quinn, Frank W. Foss Jr., Latha Venkataraman, Mark S. Hybertsen, Ronald Breslow “Single-Molecule Junction Conductance through Diaminoacenes” J. Am. Chem. Soc.  2007, 129, 6714-6715.

Frank W. Foss Jr.,Ashley H. Snyder, Michael D. Davis, Michael Rouse, Mark D. Okusa, Kevin R. Lynch, Timothy L. Macdonald “Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of g-aminophosphonates as Potent, Subtype-Selective Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor Agonists and Antagonists” Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2007, 15, 663-677;

(Top 50 cited BMC papers 2004-2008; and Recommended by Hugh Rosen: Faculty of 1000 Biology, 2 Feb 2007

Janet V. Cross, Frank W. Foss Jr., Joshua M. Rady, Timothy L. Macdonald, Dennis J. Templeton “The Isothiocyanate Class of Dietary Chemopreventives Inhibits the Catalytic Activity of the MEKK1 Protein Kinase by Covalent Modification of the ATP Binding Domain” BMC Cancer 2007, 7:183.

Alaa S. Awad, Hong Ye, Liping Huang, Frank W. Foss Jr., Li Li, Timothy L. Macdonald, Kevin R. Lynch, Mark D. Okusa “Selective Sphingosine 1-Phosphate (S1P1) Receptor Activation Reduces Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Mouse Kidney” Am. J. Physiol.: Renal Physiol. 2006, 290, F1516 - F1524.

Frank W. Foss Jr., Jeremy J. Clemens, Michael D. Davis, Ashley H. Snyder, Kevin R. Lynch, Timothy L. Macdonald “Synthesis, Stability and Implications of Phosphothioate Agonists of Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptors” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2005, 15, 4470-4474.

2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards for excellence in the classroom.

Presidents Award for Excellence in Teaching by an Untenured Faculty Member, UT Arlington, 2014

Student Organization Advisor of the Year, UTA Student Organizations, Nominated by the undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry Society, 2014

Phi Kappa Phi Recognized Professor, UTA Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 2013

Outstanding Mentor, Honorable Mention, ACES 2011-2012, Sigma Xi, UT Arlington Chapter, 2012

Phi Kappa Phi Recognized Professor, UTA Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 2009

Top 50 cited Publications 2004-2008, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 2004-2008, 2009

Department of Chemistry Graduate Fellow, University of Virginia 2000-2003