In November 1998, Martin Burke was on his first clinical rotation in the MD/PhD program at Harvard Medical School when he met a 22-year-old cystic fibrosis patient who was taking 17 different medications. Knowing that a single missing chloride channel causes the disease, it bothered Burke that the treatment comprised such a large cocktail of drugs. It struck him immediately that science might be able to replace the missing ion channel in the same way that a prosthetic limb replaces a lost leg. "I wanted to develop prostheses on the molecular scale," he says.
As far back as Burke can remember, he wanted to become either a major league baseball player or a doctor. Unfortunately, baseball didn't pan out. So, as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University in 1994, he enrolled in pre-med courses, including an introductory organic chemistry class that would change his life. There,...
Title: Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1. M.D. Burke et al., "Generating diverse skeletons of small molecules combinatorially," Science, 302:613-8, 2003. (Cited in 108 papers) 2. M.D. Burke, S.L. Schreiber, "A planning strategy for diversity-oriented synthesis," Angew Chem Int Ed, 43:46-58, 2004. (Cited in 261 papers) 3. D.S. Palacios et al., "A post-PKS oxidation of the amphotericin B skeleton predicted to be critical for channel formation is not required for potent antifungal activity," J Am Chem Soc, 129:13804-5, 2007. (Cited in 2 papers)