Pier Cirillo, Ph.D.

Pier Cirillo, Ph.D. Image
Associate Professor, Chemistry
Chemistry Undergraduate Program Director

Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Department
Tagliatela College of Engineering

Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Boston University, 1995

B.Sc. Hons. in Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand, 1987

Doctoral Dissertation

Chiral Allylic Silanes in Organic Synthesis: Formal Synthesis of (+)-Sesbanimide A. Doctorate in Philosophy. Boston University, 1995

Research Interests

Before joining the faculty at the University of New Haven, I spent twelve years in medicinal chemistry research at a pharmaceutical company, designing and synthesizing kinase inhibitors and receptor modulators that have the potential to treat inflammatory diseases. My current research interest is the laboratory synthesis of: natural products and their analogs, polyoxygenated compounds, and heterocyclic compounds. The motivation is to discover, in collaboration with biochemists, new compounds of potential medicinal interest such as antibiotics and anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Special consideration is given to new, efficient, and green methods of synthesis.

Selected Scholarly Publications

Bartolozzi, A.; Cirillo, P.F.; Berry, A.K.; Hickey, E.R.; Thomson, D.S.; Wu, L.; Zindell, R.; Albrecht, C.; Ceci, A.; Gemkow, M.J.; Nagaraja, N.V.; Romig, H.; Sauer, A.; Riether, D. Selective CB2 Receptor Agonists, Part 3: The Optimization of a Piperidine-Based Series that Demonstrated Efficacy in an In Vivo Neuropathic Pain Model. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 201525(3): 587-592.

Hickey, E.R.; Zindell R.; Cirillo, P.F.; Wu, L.; Ermann, M.; Berry, A.K.; Thomson, D.S.; Albrecht, C.; Gemkow, M.J.; Riether, D. Selective CB2 Receptor Agonists, Part 1: The Identification of Novel Ligands Through Computer Aided Drug Design (CADD) Approaches. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 201525(3): 575-580.

Lee, Y.; Mootien, S.; Shoen, C.; Destefano, M.; Cirillo, P.; Asojo, O.A.; Yeung, K.R.; Ledizet, M.; Cynamon, M.H.; Aristoff, P.A.; Koski, R.A.; Kaplan, P.A.; Anthony, K.G. Inhibition of Mycobacterial Alanine Racemase Activity and Growth by Thiadiazolidinones. Biochem. Pharmacol. 201386(2):222-230.

Bai, F.; Asojo, O.A.; Ciustea, M.; Ledizet, M.; Cirillo, P.; Aristoff, P.A.; Leng, L.; Bucala, R.; Koski, R.A., Anthony, K.G. Chicago Sky Blue 6B, A Novel Allosteric Inhibitor for Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor. J. Biol. Chem.2012 287: 30653-30663.

Ciustea, M.; Mootien, S.; Rosato, A.E.; Perez, O.; Cirillo, P.; Yeung, K.R.; Ledizet, M.; Cynamon, M.H.; Aristoff, P.A.; Koski, R.A.; Kaplan, P.A.; Anthony, K.G. Thiazolidinones: A New Class of Alanine Racemase Inhibitors With Antimicrobial Activity Against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Biochem. Pharmacol.201283: 368-377.

Riether, D.; Wu, L.; Cirillo, P.F.; Berry, A.; Walker, E.R.; Ermann, M.; Noya-Marino, B.; Jenkins, J.E.; Albaugh, D.; Albrecht, C.; Fisher, M.; Gemkow, M.J.; Grbic, H.; Löbbe, S.; Möller, C.; O’Shea, K.; Sauer, A.; Shih D.-T.; Thomson, D.S. 1,4-Diazepane Compounds as Potent and Selective CB2 Agonists: Optimization of Metabolic Stability. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 201121(7): 2011-2016.

Cirillo, Pier F.; Hickey, Eugene; Breitfelder, Steffen; Betageri, Raj; Fadra, Tazmeen; Gaenzler, Faith; Gilmore, Thomas; Goldberg, Daniel; Kamhi, Victor; Kirrane, Thomas; Kroe, Rachel R.; Madwed, Jeffrey; Moriak, Monica; Netherton, Matthew; Pargellis, Christopher A.; Patel, Usha; Qian, Kevin C.; Regan, John R.; Sharma, Rajiv; Sun, Sanxing; Swinamer, Alan; Torcellini, Carol; Takahashi, Hidenori; Tsang, Michele, Xiong, Zhaoming; Moss, Neil Discovery and Characterization of the N-Phenyl-N’-Naphthylurea Class of p38 MAP Kinase Inhibitors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.200919(9): 2386-2391.

Regan, John; Capolino, Alison; Cirillo, Pier F.; Gilmore, Thomas; Graham, Anne G.; Hickey, Eugene; Kroe, Rachel R.; Madwed, Jeffrey; Moriak, Monica; Nelson, Richard; Pargellis, Christopher A.; Swinamer, Alan; Torcellini, Carol; Tsang, Michele; Moss, Neil. Structure-Activity Relationships of the p38a MAP Kinase Inhibitor 1-(5-tert-Butyl-2-p-tolyl-2H-pyrazol-3-yl)-3-[4-(2-morpholin-4-yl-ethoxy)naphthalen-1-yl]urea (BIRB 796). J. Med. Chem.200346(22): 4676-4686.

Cirillo, Pier F.; Pargellis, Christopher; Regan, John. The non-diaryl heterocycle classes of p38 MAP kinase inhibitors. Curr. Top. Med. Chem.20022(9): 1021-1035.

Regan, John; Breitfelder, Steffen; Cirillo, Pier; Gilmore, Thomas; Graham, Anne G.; Hickey, Eugene; Klaus, Bernhard; Madwed, Jeffrey; Moriak, Monica; Moss, Neil; Pargellis, Chris; Pav, Sue; Proto, Alfred; Swinamer, Alan; Tong, Liang; Torcellini, Carol. Pyrazole Urea-Based Inhibitors of p38 MAP Kinase: From Lead Compound to Clinical Candidate. J. Med. Chem. 200245(14): 2994-3008.

Pargellis, Christopher; Tong, Liang; Churchill, Laurie; Cirillo, Pier F.; Gilmore, Thomas; Graham, Anne G.; Grob, Peter M.; Hickey, Eugene R.; Moss, Neil; Pav, Susan; Regan, John. Inhibition of p38 MAP kinase by utilizing a novel allosteric binding site. Nature Struct. Biol.20029(4): 268-272.

Cirillo, Pier F.; Danishefsky, Samuel J. The glycal assembly method on solid supports: synthesis of oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates. Solid Support Oligosaccharide Synthesis and Combinatorial Carbohydrate Libraries2001 15-40. P.H. Seeberger Ed., Wiley, New York.

Danishefsky, Samuel J.; Hu, Shuanghua; Cirillo, Pier F.; Eckhardt, Matthias; Seeberger, Peter H. A highly convergent total synthetic route to glycopeptides carrying a high-mannose core pentasaccharide domain N-linked to a natural peptide motif. Chemistry-A European Journal 19973(10): 1617-1628.

Seeberger, Peter H.; Cirillo, Pier F.; Hu, Shuanghua; Beebe, Xenia; Bilodeau, Mark T.; Danishefsky, Samuel J. Synthesis of the pentasaccharide core structure of asparagine-linked glycoprotein oligosaccharides by the glycal assembly method. Enantiomer 19961(4-6): 311-323.

Jain, Nareshkumar F.; Cirillo, Pier F.; Pelletier, Roberta; Panek, James S. Double stereodifferentiation in the Lewis acid promoted crotylation of (S)-2-alkoxypropanal with chiral b-alkyl (E)-crotylsilanes. Tet. Lett. 199536(48): 8727-30.

Cirillo, Pier F.; Panek, James S. Studies directed toward the synthesis of (+)-sesbanimide A: construction of the AB-ring system (a formal total synthesis). J. Org. Chem.199459(11): 3055-63.

Panek, James S.; Cirillo, Pier F. Acyclic diastereoselectivity in the Lewis acid promoted additions of chiral, b-methyl-substituted (E)-crotylsilanes with achiral aldehydes. J. Org. Chem. 199358(5): 999-1002.

Cirillo, Pier F.; Panek, James S. Recent progress in the chemistry of acylsilanes. A review. Org. Prep. Proc. Intl.199224(5): 553-82.

Cirillo, Pier F.; Panek, James S. Diastereoselectivity in nucleophilic addition reactions to (a,b-dialkoxyacyl) silanes: an operationally useful route to optically active 1,2,3-syn-triols. J. Org. Chem.1990 55(25): 6071-3.

Panek, James S.; Cirillo, Pier F. p-Facial selectivity in catalytic osmylation reactions of chiral C1-oxygenated allylic silanes. J. Am. Chem. Soc.1990 112(12): 4873-8.

Recent Professional Activities

Medicinal Chemistry Consultant – L2 Diagnostics, since 2011

Senior Lecturer – The University of New Haven - 2013-2016

Lecturer – The University of New Haven - 2009-2013

Principal Scientist – Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - 2003-2008

Senior Scientist – Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - 1997-2002

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow – Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - 1995-1996

Professional Memberships

Member, American Chemical Society

Courses Taught
  • CHEM 4501 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 4550 /6650 Medicinal Chemistry
  • CHEM 3341 Synthetic Methods
  • CHEM 2201/2203 Organic Chemistry I with Lab
  • CHEM 2202/2204 Organic Chemistry II with Lab
  • CHEM 1115/1117 General Chemistry I with Lab
  • CHEM 1105 Intro General and Organic Chemistry with Lab