Michael D. Best

Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies - Department of Chemistry

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Dr. Best earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Texas, and he completed postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA.  In 2005, Dr. Best began his independent career at the University of Tennessee, where he is currently a Paul and Wilma Ziegler Associate Professor of Chemistry and Director of Graduate Studies, and is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award. His research interests primarily entail the design, synthesis and application of small organic molecule probes to characterize disease-related biological properties. Examples include the development of lipid probes for characterizing biological activity and the unnatural lipids for drug delivery applications.

Focus Areas:  Bio-organic Chemistry | Synthetic Chemistry | Medicinal Chemistry| Characterization of Cell Membrane Binding Events

Skills and Expertise:  Synthetic Organic Chemistry | Activity-Based Protein Profiling | Microarray Analysis | High-Throughput Assays

Selected Publications:

Membrane Labeling and Immobilization via Copper-free Click Chemistry
H.E. Bostic, M.D. Smith, A.A. Poloukhtine, V.V. Popik, and M.D. Best, Chemical Communications, vol. 48, no. 10, pp. 1431-1433, 2012.
Microarray Analysis of Akt PH Domain Binding Employing Synthetic Biotinylated Analogs of all Seven Phosphoinositide Headgroup Isomers
M.M. Rowland, D. Gong, H.E. Bostic, N. Lucas, W. Cho, and M.D. Best, Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, vol. 165, no, 2, pp. 207-215, 2012.
Phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-Trisphosphate Activity Probes for the Labeling and Proteomic Characterization of Protein Binding Partners
M.M. Rowland, H.E. Bostic, D. Gong, A.E. Speers, N. Lucas, W. Cho, B.F. Cravatt, and M.D. Best, Biochemistry, vol. 50, no. 51, pp. 11143-11161, 2011.
Exploiting Bioorthogonal Chemistry to Elucidate Protein–Lipid Binding Interactions and Other Biological Roles of Phospholipids
M.D. Best, M.M. Rowland, and H.E. Bostic, Accounts of Chemical Research, vol. 44, no. 9, pp. 686-698, 2011.
Inositol Polyphosphates, Diphosphoinositol Polyphosphates and Phosphatidylinositol Polyphosphate Lipids: Structure, Synthesis, and Development of Probes for Studying Biological Activity
M.D. Best, H. Zhang, and G.D. Prestwich, Natural Product Reports, vol. 27, no. 10, pp. 1403-1430, 2010.
Microplate-Based Characterization of Protein-Phosphoinositide Binding Interactions Using a Synthetic Biotinylated Headgroup Analogue
D. Gong, M.D. Smith, D. Manna, H.E. Bostic, W. Cho, and M.D. Best, Bioconjugate Chemistry, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 310-316, 2009.
Microplate-Based Analysis of Protein−Membrane Binding Interactions via Immobilization of Whole Liposomes Containing a Biotinylated Anchor
E.A. Losey , M.D. Smith, M. Meng, and M.D. Best, Bioconjugate Chemistry, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 376-383, 2009.
Modular Synthesis of Biologically Active Phosphatidic Acid Probes using Click Chemistry
M.D. Smith, C.G. Sudhahar, D. Gong, R.V. Stahelin, and M.D. Best, Molecular BioSystems, vol. 5, no. 9, pp. 962-972, 2009.
Click Chemistry and Bioorthogonal Reactions: Unprecedented Selectivity in the Labeling of Biological Molecules
M.D. Best, Biochemistry, vol. 48, no. 28, pp. 6571-6584, 2009.
Synthesis and Convenient Functionalization of Azide-Labeled Diacylglycerol Analogues for Modular Access to Biologically Active Lipid Probes
M.D. Smith, D. Gong, C.G. Sudhahar, J.C. Reno, R.V. Stahelin, and M.D. Best, Bioconjugate Chemistry, vol. 19, no. 9, pp.. 1855-1863, 2008.