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Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.
All Faculty
Lee T. Todd, Jr. Bldg, Room 363

Dr. Rohr's research is focused on natural product drugs, i.e. antibiotics, anticancer drugs and drugs against bone diseases. It includes the elucidation of complex multi-step biosynthetic pathways, carried out by bacteria, fungi or plants, with particular emphasis on enzyme mechanisms. The results of these biosynthetic studies are used to generate modified natural product drugs through genetic engineering (pathway engineering, combinatorial biosynthesis).

Used techniques in the Rohr-laboratory include isolation and structure elucidation of natural products, incorporation experiments with isotope-labeled biosynthetic precursors, NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and recombinant DNA techniques for the targeted interruption or recombination of genes of the biosynthetic pathways. Newer aspects of the research include (i) generation and testing of new antitumor drugs and drugs against bone diseases, (ii) the investigation of biochemical mechanisms of anticancer drugs, and (iii) discovery and investigation of new antibacterials. Dr. Rohr's publications (ca. 190) can be found in biochemical and chemical journals, such as Angew. Chem., Biochemistry, Chem. Biol., ChemBioChem, Chem. Commun., Gene, J. Am. Chem. Soc., J. Bacteriol., J. Biol. Chem., J. Nat. Prod., J. Org. Chem., Microbiol., Mol. Gen. Genet., Nat. Prod. Rep. etc.

Before joining University of Kentucky, Dr. Rohr was Assistant and Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the University of Göttingen, Germany and Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of UKCOP's Pharmaceutical Sciences Department. 



Education & Appointments


  • Postdoctoral Fellow Ohio-State-University, Department of Chemistry
  • PhD Organic Chemistry and Microbiology University of Göttingen
  • MS University of Göttingen
  • BS University of Göttingen


  • Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Director, Drug Discovery

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.