Research Departments - Medicinal Chemistry

Joseph A. Maddry, Ph.D.

Joseph A. Maddry, Ph.D.Senior Research Fellow, Chemistry
Southern Research Institute
2000 Ninth Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205
Phone: 205-581-2748


Dr. Maddry obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1985 from The University of Georgia, where he studied natural products chemistry, structure elucidation and purification, and X-ray crystallography. After completing postdoctoral studies at The University of Georgia and Southern Research, Dr. Maddry joined the Southern Research staff. He has more than 20 years of experience in organic synthesis, including heterocycles, nucelosides, carbohydrates, oligonucleotides, alkaloids, and their analogs. He is Principal or Co-Principal Investigator of several NIH-funded grants relating to the development of drugs for treatment of mycobacterial diseases and AIDS-related opportunistic infections. He also serves as Principal Investigator of an NIH National Cooperative Drug Discovery Group for design of drugs to treat microsporidiosis.

Additionally, Dr. Maddry directs the chemistry program of the Southern Research Molecular Libraries Screening Center Network (MLSCN) grant, a component of the NIH Roadmap Initiative. He also leads the chemistry team as part of the Southeast Regional Center of Excellence in Biodefense (SERCEB) grant.

Research Focus: Combinatorial Chemistry and Diversity Library Synthesis

Dr. Maddry's drug design research is focused primarily on combinatorial chemistry and diversity library synthesis, and he has experience with solid-, solution-, and liquid-phase methodologies employing both robotic and manual protocols. He has designed libraries based on sugar, purine, oxazoline, pyridooxazole, pyridopyrimidine, and natural product (fumagillin) scaffolds. Dr. Maddry also designed and established both the Combinatorial Chemistry Laboratory and Molecular Modeling Laboratory at Southern Research. He has extensive experience in computational aspects of chemistry, with knowledge of IBM, DEC, CDC, and Unix computer systems, and he is responsible for hardware and software maintenance of this facility.

Dr. Maddry is also one of the principal medicinal chemists in the Tuberculosis Antimicrobial Acquisition and Coordinating Facility (TAACF), a compound acquisition, repository, and data analysis program established by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, aimed at the discovery of new drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis, biothreat agents, and emerging infectious agents, including SARS virus. Among other duties for the TAACF, Dr. Maddry is responsible for compound and library selection and acquisition, database design and maintenance (including chemical structure databases (ISIS and ActivityBase interfaced with Oracle), compound supplier and chemical literature databases (Microsoft Access)), and structure-activity analysis of biological results.

Additionally, he serves as Principal Investigator for a program established by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the NINDS High-Throughput Drug Screening Facility for Neurodegenerative Disease, where his is responsible for overall project management and particularly for design of libraries for screening against novel assays targeted against a range of CNS diseases. Another part of the NINDS effort involves assisting in the design, acquisition, and synthesis of 1000-2000 compounds that will form the Brain Institutes' Bioactive Compound Collection, a pilot effort related to the NIMH Molecular Libraries Roadmap Initiative. Dr. Maddry also has experience in numerous anticancer, antiviral, antimicrobial, and cystic fibrosis drug development projects as well as a U.S. Army cyanide toxicity prophylaxis program.