Contact Information

Office: NHB 5.132A
Phone: 512-471-2073


Office: NHB 5.122/5.132
Fax: 512-471-0397

Dionicio R. Siegel

Assistant Professor, Faculty

Research Group

Siegel Group


PhD, Harvard University, 2003
BA, Reed College, 1997

Research Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 2003-2007


National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2012

College of Natural Sciences Outreach Innovation Award, 2011

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Special Grant in the Chemical Sciences, 2011

Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, 2010
College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, 2010
CDMRP Fellowship Award, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, 2005-2007
Upjohn-Pharmacia Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1998
Institute Fellowship, California Institute of Technology, 1997-1998


Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology

Reaction Development, Natural Product Synthesis, and Medicinal Chemistry

Natural products are the cornerstone of our group. Within the broad study of natural products chemistry there are three primary areas of inquiry; total synthesis, reaction development, and molecular pharmacology. Typical targets selected for total synthesis possess structures that, from a synthetic chemistry point of view, have atom connectively challenges. In addressing these challenges within specific targets, inspiration may be gained for new synthetic methods. Our goal is to develop new methods to compliment and improve upon existing reactions. Accordingly, emphasis is placed on the development of reactions that are generally applicable to synthesis, as it is most broadly defined. The second area of focus and inquiry in our group is the study of natural products that are biologically relevant in selected fields of biology and medicine. Through interdisciplinary collaborations, we will study optimization of the biological performance and/or investigation into the mechanism action of the natural products prepared in our laboratory. Information gained through these collaborations will determine the future direction of the projects undertaken.

Natural Product Synthesis and Regenerative Science

The study of natural products with regenerative properties is the focus of our group. Within the field of small molecule mediated regenerative science there are two primary areas of inquiry; target-oriented synthesis and chemical biology. In addition to their related biological activities, small molecule are selected based on their limited supply from natural sources and structures that, from a synthetic chemistry point of view, have atom connectively challenges.  Using small molecules prepared in our laboratory we develop an understanding of how to improve biological performance and/or investigate the mechanism(s) of action.  Information gained through these studies, as well as through collaborations, determine the future direction of the projects.  Models used to study the effect of the small molecules include primary neuronal culture and C. elegans.


Representative Publications

C. Yuan, Y. Liang, T. M. Hernandez, A. Berriochoa, K. N. Houk, D. Siegel “Metal-Free Aromatic C-H Oxidation Through a Reverse Rebound Mechanism.” Nature 2013, 499, 192-196.

A. Axelrod, A. M. Eliasen, M. R. Chin, K. Zlotkowski, D. Siegel “Syntheses of Xanthofulvin and Vinaxanthone, Natural Products Enabling Spinal Cord Regeneration.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 3421-3424.