Jie Jack  Li

Jie Jack Li

Associate Professor

Dr. Li taught organic chemistry for three years as an assistant professor of in China, an experience sowed the seeds his passion for teaching. After earning his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1995 at Indiana University, he carried out his postdoctoral training at MIT. He then worked as a medicinal chemist for fifteen years at Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb, respectively. Although primarily an industrial chemist, Dr. Li carried out many scholarly activities during this period. In addition to being an inventor of nine patents, he published 24 research articles, 36 reviews, and 17 books with topics ranging from organic chemistry, to medicinal chemistry and history of drug discovery.

At USF, he teaches Organic Chemistry and History of Drug Discovery. His current research interests are in two areas: (a) Organic Chemistry: Development of synthetic methodology on the C-H activation of heterocycles, which are of paramount importance to drug discovery; and (b) Medicinal Chemistry: The current focuses are to discover novel anti-diabetic drugs by inhibiting the PH domain leucine-rich repeat protein phosphatase (PHLPP) in collaboration with Prof. Alexandra C. Newton at UCSD and to discover new anti-cancer drugs by targeting both novel and proven mechanisms of action such as the hedgehog signaling pathway.


Ph.D., Indiana University
Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT


1. 2,5-Bis-(Sulfonyl)pyrazines as Unprecedented Building Blocks and Their SNAr Reactions, Jie Jack Li, Wei Meng, Shung Wu, Yong-Jin Wu, Jason Guernon, Michael M. Miller, Martin P. Allen, Peter T. Cheng, and Bang-chi Chen, Tetrahedron Lett. 2013, 54,1938-1942.

2. AlMe3-Promoted Formation of Amides From Acids and Amines,Li, J.; Subramaniam, K.; Smith, D.; Qiao, J. X.; Li, J. J.; Qian-Cutrone, J.; Kadow, J. F.; Vite, G. D.; Chen, B.-C. Org. Lett. 2012, 14,214-217.

3. Smoothened Antagonists for Hair Growth Inhibition, Jie Jack Li, Zenquan Wang, Veerabahu Shanmugasundaram, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2010, 20, 4932-4935.

4. Thyroid Receptor Agonists for the Treatment of Androgenetic AlopeciaLi, J. J.; Mitchell, L. H.; Dow, R. L. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2010, 20, 306-308.

5. Rational Design and Synthesis of 4-((1R,2R)-2-Hydroxycyclohexyl)-2(trifluoromethyl)benzonitrile (PF-998425), A Novel, Non-steroidal Androgen Receptor Antagonist Devoid of Photo-toxicity for Dermatological Indications,Jie Jack Li, Donna M. Iula, Maria N. Nguyen, Lain-Yen Hu, Zhi Wang, Jennifer A. Van Camp, Theodore R. Johnson, William G. Harter, Wen-Song Yue, Mark L. Boys, Daniel Y. Du, Kimberly J. Wade, Matthew Carroll, Danielle Dettling, Brian M. Samas, Garrett S. Hoge, Mark J. Lovdahl, Jeffrey Asbill, Mary Ann Meade, Elena Spencer, Susan M. Ciotti, and Theresa Krieger-Burke J. Med. Chem. 2008, 51, 7010-7014.

6. A Synthesis of N-Bridged 5,6-Bicylic Pyridines via A Mild Cyclodehydration Using the Burgess Reagent and Discovery of A Novel Carbamylsulfonylation Reaction, Jie Jack Li, James J. Li, Jun Li, Ashok K. Trehan, Henry S. Wong, Subramanian Krishnananthan, Lawrence J. Kennedy, Qi Gao, Alicia Ng, Jeffrey A. Robl, Balu Balasubramanian, and Bang-Chi Chen, Org. Lett. 2008, 10, 2897-2900.

7.  Quinazolinones as Specific and Orally Active MMP-13 Inhibitors for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis, Li, J. J.; Yue, W.-S.; Ortwine, D. F.; Johnson, A. R.; Man, C.-F.; Baragi, V.; Kilgore, K.; Dyer, R. D.; Han, H.-K. J. Med. Chem. 2008, 51, 835-841.

8.  (1R,2S)-4-(2-Cyano-cyclohexyl-oxy)-2-trifluoromethyl-benzonitrile, A Potent Androgen Receptor Antagonist For Stimulating Hair Growth And Reducing Sebum Production,Lain-Yen Hu, Daniel Du, Jie Jack Li, et al.Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2007, 17, 5983-5988.

9. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Amino-Pyridines As Androgen Receptor Antagonists For Stimulating Hair Growth And Reducing Sebum Production, Lain-Yen Hu, Huangshu John Lei,  Daniel Du, Theodore R. Johnson, Victor Fedij, Catherine Kostlan, Wen Song Yue, Mark Lovdahl, Jie Jack Li, Mathew Carroll, et al. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2007, 17, 5693-5697.

10. Preparation of 4-Aryl-2-Trifluoromethylbenzonitrile Derivatives As Androgen Receptor Antagonists For Topical Suppression of Sebum Production, Jennifer A. Van Camp, Lain-Yen Hu, Catherine Kostlan, Bruce Lefker, Jie Li, Lorna Mitchell, Zhi Wang, Wen-Song Yue, Matthew Carroll, Danielle Dettling, et al.Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2007, 17, 5529-5532.

11. A Practical Buchwald-Hartwig Amination of 2-Bromopyridines with Volatile Amines, Jie Jack Li, Zhi Wang, Lorna H. Mitchell J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72, 3606-3607.

12. SAR of 2-Amino-3-Heteroaryl-Quinoxalines As Potent, Non-Peptide Il-8 Receptor Antagonists, Jie Jack Li, Wen Song Yue, Bharat K. Trivedi, Steven R. Miller, David T. Connor, Bruce D. Roth, Joseph E. Low, David J. Heilig, Stephen Hunt, Kenneth G. Carson, Roberta A. Glynn, Qing Ye, Jay R. Luly, Weixing Yang, Shixin Qin Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2003, 11, 3777-3790.

13. A Concise Synthesis of All Four Possible Benzo[4,5]furopyridines via Palladium-Mediated Reactions, Yue, W. S.;Li, J. J.Org. Lett. 2002, 4, 2201-2203.

14. Stereoselective Synthesis of Syn- And Anti-1,3- And 1,2-Dimethyl Arrays Via Asymmetric Conjugate Additions,Williams, D. R.; Kissel, W. S.; Li, Jie Jack; Mullins, R. J. Tetrahedron Lett. 2002, 43, 3723-3727.

15. Synthesis of Novel 3-Substituted Pyrrolo[2,3-b]quinoxalines via an Intramolecular Heck Reaction on an Aminoquinoxaline Scaffold,Li, J. J. J. Org. Chem. 1999, 64, 8425-8427.

16. Synthesis of 3-Aryl and 3-Heterocyclic Quinoxalin-2-ylamines via Pd-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling Reactions,Li, J. J.; Yue, W. S. Tetrahedron Lett. 1999, 40, 4507-4510.

17. Installation of 12b-Substitueuts onto Indolo[2,3-a]quinolizidin-2-ones and Application to Reserpone Analogue Synthesis,Li, J. J.; Trivedi, B. K.; Rubin, J. R.; Roth, B. D. Tetrahedron Lett. 1998,39, 6111-6114.

18. Diastereoselection in The Conjugate Additions of Organocopper Reagents to N-Enoyoxazolidinones, Williams, D. R.; Kissel, W. S.; Li, J. J.Tetrahedron Lett. 1998,39, 8593-8596.

19. The Total Synthesis of Myxovirescin A1, Williams, D. R.; Li, J.Tetrahedron Lett. 1994,35, 5113-5116.

20. Gel Permeation Chromatography of Water-Soluble Lignosulfonates, Luo, L.; Wu, W.; Li, J.; Yu, S. Chromatography 1992,10, 375-376.

21. Simultaneous Fermentation of Hemicellulosic Pentoses and Hexoses by Cadida Shehatae, Yu, S.; Luo, L.; Li, J.; Tang, H. Chemistry and Industry of Forestry Products 1991,11, 17-24.

22. Oxidation of Lignosulfonate to Vanillin, Luo, L.; Li, J.; Yu, S. Chemical Reaction and Engineering Technology 1990,6, 53-59.

23. Analysis of Acetic Acid, Furfural, and Ethanol in Spent Sulfite Liquor by Gas Chromatography,Li, J.; Luo, L.; Yu, S. Chromatography 1990,8, 119-120.

24. Pentose Fermentation of Spent Sulfite Liquor into Ethanol, Yu, S.; Luo, L.; Li, J.Industrial Microbiology1989,4, 23-27.


1. Innovative Drug Synthesis; Li, J. J.; Johnson, D. S., Eds., Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, manuscript in preparation. 

2. CH Activation for Functionalization, Li, J. J. Ed.; CRC: Baton Rouge, LA, manuscript in preparation. 

3. Top Drugs—History, Pharmacology, and Synthesis, Jie Jack Li, Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2014, in press.

4. Name Reactions, A Collection of Detailed Reaction Mechanisms, Li, J. J., Springer: Heidelberg, Germany, Fifth edition, 2014.  

5. Blockbuster Drugs, Li, J. J., Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2013.

6. Total Synthesis of Natural Products: At the Frontiers of Organic Chemistry, Li, J. J.; Corey, E. J., Eds.; Springer: Heidelberg, Germany, 2013.

7. Drug Discovery: Practices, Processes, and Perspectives, Li, J. J.; Corey, E. J., Eds.; Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2013.

8. Heterocyclic Chemistry in Drug Discovery, Li, J. J., Ed.; Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2013.

9. Name Reactions in Heterocyclic Chemistry-II, Li, J. J., Ed.; Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2011.

10. Modern Drug Synthesis; Li, J. J.; Johnson, D. S., Eds., Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2010.

11. Name Reactions in Carbocyclic Ring Formations, Li, J. J., Ed., Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2010.

12. Triumph of the Heart-the Story of Statins, Li, J. J., Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2009.

13. Name Reactions for Homologations-Part I; Li, J. J., Ed.; Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2009.

14. Name Reactions for Homologations-Part II; Li, J. J., Ed.; Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2009.

15. The Art of Drug Synthesis Johnson, D.; Li, J. J., Eds., Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2007; Chinese translation, 2008.

16. Name Reactions for Functional Group Transformations, Li, J. J., Ed., Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2007.

17. Modern Organic Synthesis in the Laboratory, A Collection of Standard Experimental Procedures, Li, J. J., Chris Limberakis, Derek A. Pflum, Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2007; Japanese translation, 2009.

18. Laughing Gas, Viagra, and Lipitor, The Human Stories behind the Drugs We Use. Li, J. J., Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2006; Chinese translation, 2007.

19. Contemporary Drug Synthesis Li, J. J.; Johnson, D. S.; Sliskovic, D. R.; Roth, B. D., Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2004; Chinese translation, 2005.

20. Name Reactions in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Li, J. J., Ed., Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2005.

21. Palladium in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Jie Jack Li, Gordon W. Gribble, Tetrahedron Organic Chemistry Series, Vol. 20, 2000, Pergamon/Elsevier, Vol. 26, 2006.