Our Team

John Bushweller


John received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He was an NIH supported postdoctoral fellow at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochshule in Zürich, working on NMR based structural biology. He was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth College and joined the faculty at the University of Virginia as an Associate Professor in 1998. He is currently Professor in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics as well as in the Department of Chemistry. He is also currently a Program Leader in the NCI designated Cancer Center at the University of Virginia.

Current Members:

Adam Boulton

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Boulton is a Postdoctoral researcher focusing on transcriptional regulation in hematopoiesis and leukemia. He earned his PhD in Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics from the University of Virginia. He joined the Bushweller lab in 2011 and has worked extensively on both structure function projects as well as drug discovery efforts.

Venkata Sesha Srimath Tirumala

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Srimath Tirumala earned his PhD degree from the department of Medicinal and Process Chemistry at the Central Drug Research Institute Lucknow, India. His PhD thesis focused on a study to find novel and dual function spermicides as antifertility agents. He is working on the design and synthesis of small molecule inhibitors targeting two transcription factor targets, the AML1-ETO fusion protein and ERG.

Julien Pedron

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Julien Pedron is a postdoctoral researcher who joined the University of Virginia in May 2019. In 2018, he graduated with a PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Toulouse, in France. Under the supervision of Pr. Pierre Verhaeghe (LCC, Toulouse, France), his thesis research focused on the synthesis and the biological evaluation of new 8-nitroquinolin-2(1H)-ones as antiparasitic compounds, leading to 5 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Julien is currently working in Bushweller Lab on the synthesis of inhibitors of CBFβ-SMMHC function, which plays a crucial role in the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in humans.

Hanuman Kalmode

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Hanuman P. Kalmode worked with Dr. D. Srinivasa Reddy at CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India as a Post-Doctoral Fellow from December, 2015 to August 2019. He earned his Ph.D. (2009-2015) from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai under the supervision of Prof. Prakash M. Bhate. His Ph.D. thesis was about studying the development of novel synthetic methodologies. In the Bushweller lab, as a postdoctoral researcher, he will be synthesizing  inhibitors of the transcription factor fusion protein MLL-AF9 as well as other transcription factor targets. His research interest includes development of new synthetic methodologies, synthesis of natural products, and synthesis of biologically active compounds.

Amanda Metell

Graduate Student

Amanda Metell is a MS student in the chemistry department at the University of Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Science in chemistry and history from Randolph-Macon College under the supervision of Dr. John D, Thoburn where she worked on the organic synthesis of supramolecules. She enrolled at UVA and joined the Bushweller Lab in 2018, and is currently working on drug development to target transcription drivers in cancer.

Izabella Podsiadły

BioLab Visiting Student

Izabella is a graduate student from Poland. She studied Biotechnology at Wroclaw University of Science and Technology. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in molecular biotechnology and biocatalysis at Wroclaw University of Science and Technology. She has been participating in the BioLAB program since July to expand current knowledge and gain experience working in the Bushweller lab.

Yan Gao

Lab Manager 

Yan Gao joined the Bushweller lab as a senior laboratory specialist in 2008 and has been working in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics since 1998. With a background and training in medical sciences, she is working on multiple projects in the Lab.