College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Zarko Boskovic

School of Pharmacy - Department of Medicinal Chemistry
Assistant Professor
Primary office:
(805) 284-3599



  • Postdoctoral: The Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard, Cambridge, MA (Advisor: Stuart Schreiber) (2011 - 2017)
  • Ph.D.:Organic Chemistry; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA (Advisor: Bruce Lipshutz) (2006-2011)
  • BSc: Chemistry, University of Niš, Serbia (2001-2006)


Research Overview:

Compounds prepared by modern synthetic chemistry and a rapid and broad glance into their biological activity provide a path for finding molecules that can serve as starting points for new therapies. Data-driven decisions about which compounds and synthetic pathways to pursue change the way chemists are able to direct drug-discovery activities, putting structure back into the center of this process.

As diseases are increasingly defined at a molecular level, synthetic chemistry allows us to study and control what defines them exactly at this level. To discover new ligands for proteins (or other structures of biological importance), we are able to synthesize collections of structurally complex compounds and phenotypically profile their biological activities. We prioritize compounds with novel profiles for further investigation of their detailed mechanisms of action, including target identification and of system-wide view of the perturbation they cause.  The insight into new compounds’ biological activities also lets us identify unsolved synthetic chemistry problems that we apply our efforts to solve.

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