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Steven Van Lanen headshot
Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.
All Faculty
Lee T. Todd, Jr. Bldg, Room 321

Dr. Van Lanen’s research is centered on identifying and characterizing the biosynthetic pathways for bioactive natural products that have unknown or distinct modes of action relative to clinically-used drugs. Natural products currently being investigated include peptidyl nucleoside antibiotics with antifungal or antibacterial activity and sideromycins, or hybrid siderophore-antibiotics. The primary goals are i) to define a mechanism of biosynthesis using in vivo and in vitro approaches, ii) to elucidate the function and mechanism of enzymes that catalyze novel or unusual chemistry, and iii) to manipulate the biosynthetic machinery to rationally prepare novel compounds with improved pharmacological properties.

Prior to joining the University of Kentucky in 2007, Dr. Van Lanen was an NIH postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Ben Shen at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In 2003 he received his Ph.D from Portland State University in Chemistry under the guidance of Professor Dirk Iwata-Reuyl.



Faculty Expertise

  • COVID-19
  • Drug Discovery & Development
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Infectious Diseases (Viral, Fungal, Bacterial)

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.