Donna Lubbers

Research Associate

Molecular Biology, Protein chemistry, Chemistry



I joined the Moffitt Cancer Center in June 2009, and have been actively participating in a number of drug discovery projects in Dr. Schonbrunn’s laboratory since that time. My main projects and collaborations focus on cancer-related targets (Hsp90, CDC37, p53) and infectious diseases (MurA, A2, EPSPS). My work encompasses a broad range of disciplines and techniques- including molecular biology, protein chemistry, crystallography, biochemistry, and medicinal chemistry. I also assist in writing and editing grants and manuscripts.



2008 M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry (University of Kansas, Lawrence). Title: “Synthetic and Computational Efforts Toward the Understanding and Development of Novobiocin-Derived Inhibitors of Hsp90.”

2005 B.S. in Chemistry (Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame). Title: “A Study of Site-Directed Mutagenesis in the GATA-1/DNA Interaction.”


  • Hadden, MK, Lubbers DJ, Blagg BSJ. Geldanamycin, radicicol, and chimeric inhibitors of the Hsp90 N-terminal ATP binding site. Curr Top Med Chem 2006; 6(11):1173-1182. 16842154
  • Burlison JA, Avila C, Vielhauer G, Lubbers DJ, Holzbeierlein J, Blagg BSJ. Development of novobiocin analogues that manifest anti-proliferative activity against several cancer cell lines. J Org Chem 2008; 73(6):2130-2137. 18293999
  • Donnelly AC, Mays JR, Burlison JA, Nelson JT, Vielhauer G, Holzbeierlein J, Blagg BS, noted significant initial synthetic work by Lubbers DJ. The design, synthesis and evaluation of coumarin ring derivatives of the novobiocin scaffold that exhibit antiproliferative activity. J Org Chem 2008; 73(22):8901-8920. 18939877
  • Timmermann BT, Funk JL, noted contributions by Lubbers DJ. Multidisciplinary studies of anti-inflammatory botanicals: ginger and turmeric, in Phytochemicals: Health Promotion and Therapeutic Potential. Meskin MS (editor), CRC Press, 2009.


Professional Experience

2009 – present Research Associate in Drug Discovery at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute (Tampa, Florida)

2008 – present Freelance Editor, Wiley-VCH (Weinheim, Germany)

2008 – 2009 Grant Writing and Research Assistant, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas)

2005 – 2008 Graduate Research Assistant, Madison and Lila Self Fellow 2006-2008

2004 – 2005 Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry and Physics, Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN)

2004 – 2005 Biochemistry Laboratory Assistant, Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN)

2004 NSF-REU intern, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Hope College (Holland, MI)

Posters & Presentations:

Skubick GM, Lubbers DJ, Brazys L, Herdman JD, Subotic A, Dunn S, Szany A, Travis D, Hollenbaugh N, DeSmet M, Dunlap C. Saint Mary’s College student affiliates to the American Chemical Society. Am Chem Soc Natl Mtg, San Diego 2005; CHED 1278.

Lubbers DJ, Pikaart MJ. Site-directed mutagenesis using asn29, leu33, and leu37 on the interaction between GATA-1 and DNA. Am Chem Soc Natl Mtg, San Diego 2005; CHED 878.

Lubbers DJ, Burlison JA. Novel derivatives of novobiocin, a C-terminal Hsp90 inhibitor. MIKI Med Chem Mtg, Chicago 2006.

Burlison JA, Lubbers DJ, Blagg BSJ. Novobiocin analogs: small molecule inhibitors of the Hsp90 protein folding machinery. Am Chem Soc Natl Mtg, Atlanta 2006; MEDI 283.

Burlison JA, Lubbers DJ, Avila C, Holzbeierlein J, Blagg BSJ. Novobiocin: a bidirectional approach toward cytotoxic inhibitors of Hsp90. Am Chem Soc Natl Mtg, Chicago 2007; MEDI 157.


Donna Lubbers