• B.S., UCLA
  • Ph.D., UCLA

Courses taught:

  • CHE 230 Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry: 3 Credits.
  • CHE 231 Organic Chemistry I: 4 Credits.
  • CHE 232 Organic Chemistry II: 3 Credits.
  • CHE 535 Pharmaceutical Chemistry: 3 Credits.
  • CRL 231 Experimental Organic Chemistry I (LAB): 2 Credits.
  • CRL 232 Experimental Organic Chemistry II (LAB): 2 Credits.
  • CRL 476 Experimental Biochemistry I (LAB): 2 Credits.


A chirally induced [3+2] cycloaddition is used to prepare inhibitors of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) in the Pruitt lab. These inhibitors are assayed for their potency and have the potential to be treatments for a variety of auto-inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and certain types of solid tumors. Another project ongoing in his laboratory is a collaboration with Prof. Oné Pagán from the biology department. It involves the preparation and biological testing of synthetic mimics of parthenolide, a known cocaine antagonist. The final project in the lab is a collaboration with Dr. Virginia Balke on the development of a system for the rapid identification and characterization of antibiotics produced from soil microbes.

Research Interests:

  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Natural product isolation and small molecule synthesis

Selected Research Publications

  1. Nagarajan, P., Tober, K. L., Riggenbach, J. A., Kusewitt, D. F., Lehman, A. M., Sielecki, T., Pruitt, J., Satoskar A. R., Oberyszyn, T. M. (2014) MIF Antagonist (CPSI-1306) Protects Against UVB-Iinduced Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Molecular Cancer Research 12, 1292-1302.
  2. Choudhary, S.; Hegde, P.; Pruitt, J.R.; Sielecki, T.M.; Choudhary, D.; Scarpato, K.; Degraff, D.J.; Pilbeam, C.C.; Taylor, J.A. (2013) Macrophage Migratory Inhibitory Factor (MIF) Promotes Bladder Cancer Progression via Increasing Proliferation and Angiogenesis. Carcinogenesis 34(12), 2891-2899.
  3. Stanitis, K, Pruitt, J. (2014) Improved Synthesis of 3-Aryl-4,5-Dihydro-1H-Pyrazoles. 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Lexington, KY April 4, Poster 58A.
  4. Gauthier, Z., Callmann,C., Pruitt, J. (2013) Synthesis of a Small Library of 4,5-Dihydro-1H-Pyrazoles and Their Inhibition of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, La Crosse, WI April 12, Oral 8.
  5. Baker, D.; Deats, S.; Boor, P.; Pruitt, J.; Pagán, O.R. (2011) Minimal structural requirements of alkyl γ-lactones capable of antagonizing the cocaine-induced motility decrease in planarians. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 100(1), 174-9.