College of Science and Health > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Justin Maresh

Justin J. Maresh

  • Associate Professor, Biochemistry
  • ​PhD
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • (773) 325-7891
  • McGowan South 314B (Office)
    McGowan South 309 (Lab)       

Classes Taught
  • CHE 104 (Drugs, Chemicals, and Living Systems)
  • CHE 234 (Organic Chemistry III)
  • CHE 235 (Organic Chemistry III Laboratory)
  • CHE 239 (Organic Chemistry II Laboratory)
  • CHE 341 (Biochemistry I Laboratory)
  • CHE 342 (Biochemistry II)
  • CHE 344 (Biochemistry III)
  • CHE 362 (Medicinal Chemistry II)
  • CHE 442 (Advanced Organic Chemistry I)
  • CHE 450 (Advanced Biochemistry I)
  • HON 221 (Molecules of Life: DNA and Disease)
  • LSP 112 (Drugs and Society)
  • LSP 120 (Math. and Technological Literacy I)
Research Interests

Justin Maresh is​ interested in harnessing the synthetic power of organisms to generate drug candidate molecules and other useful materials, ultimately without the need for petrochemical raw materials. This research requires his students to develop synthetic routes to produce novel molecules to test on enzymes and living cells. To date, these efforts have led to the development of two elegant processes that produce high yields of our target molecules with low cost chemicals, often using robust aqueous phase chemistry. Dr. Maresh's students also apply the methods of kinetic analysis of mechanism and classical biochemistry to study reactions, enzymes, and the products of whole cell biotransformation.

Select Publications
Justin J. Maresh, Arthur Ralko, Thomas E. Speltz, James L. Burke, Casey M. Murphy, Zack Gaskell, JoAnn Girel-Bialobrzewski, Erin Terranova, Conrad Richtscheidt, Mark Krzeszowiec. “Chemoselective Zinc/HCl Reduction of Halogenated β-Nitrostyrenes: Synthesis of Halogenated Dopamine Analogs.” Synlett, 2014, 25(20), 2891-2894. link

Justin J. Maresh, Sean O. Crowe, Arthur A. Ralko, Mark D. Aparece, Casey M. Murphy, Mark Krzeszowiec, Michael W. Mullowney “Facile one-pot synthesis of tetrahydroisoquinolines from amino acids via hypochlorite-mediated decarboxylation and Pictet-Spengler condensation.” Tetrahedron Letters, 2014, 55(33), 5047–5051. link
Weerawat Runguphan, Justin J. Maresh, and Sarah E. O’Connor “Silencing of tryptamine biosynthesis for production of novel alkaloids in plant culture.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2009, 33, 13673–13678. link

Justin Maresh, Lesley-Ann Giddings, Sarah E. O’Connor, et al.. “Strictosidine Synthase: Mechanism of a Pictet-Spengler Catalyzing Enzyme.” J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 710-723. link

Justin Maresh, Jin Zhang, Yih-Ling Tzeng, Nora A. Goodman, and David G. Lynn “Rational design of inhibitors of VirA–VirG two-component signal transduction,”Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2007, 17, 3281-3286. link

Sarah E. O'Connor, Justin J. Maresh, “Chemistry and biology of monoterpene indole alkaloid biosynthesis,” Natural Product Reports, 2006 23, 532-547. link

Justin Maresh, Jin Zhang, David G. Lynn, “The Innate Immunity of Maize and the Dynamic Chemical Strategies Regulating Two-Component Signal Transduction in Agrobacterium tumefaciens,” ACS Chem. Biol., 2006, 1, 165-175. link

Professional Activities
  • Institutional Biosafety Committee
  • Chemistry Advising Committee
  • Chemistry Committee On Policies
  • Chemistry Curriculum Committee
  • Chemistry Development Committee  (chair)
  • Chemistry Facilities Committee
  • Chemistry Library Liaison
  • Chemistry Safety Committee
  • Chemistry Web Working Group
Professional Society Memberships
  • American Chemical Society
  • Phytochemical Society of North America​