Department Web-Page

Dr. Salvatore Profeta, Jr.

Dr. Salvatore Profeta, Jr.

Coordinator, Upper Level Undergrad Labs

Ph.D. (1978) University of Georgia: Postdoctoral: Florida State Univ(1979); Teaching Fellow: Univ California-San Francisco(1980-82)

Contact Information
614 DLC 850.644.8278
509 HTL 850.644.5489
Programs of Research
Research Website

Research Interest

Dr. Profeta’s research throughout the past five decades has focused on the development and application of computational chemistry and chemoinformatic tools to facilitate the analysis of drug-receptor interactions, the efficient design and synthesis of biologically active agents and the ability to accurately predict both physico-chemical properties as well as toxicological behavior.

He has been involved in the development of the MM2, MM3 (w/Franklin Medalist N. L. Allinger) and AMBER force fields (w/late Prof. P. A. Kollman), the DIVA data analysis program, the toxicological prediction tool TOPKAT, and the ISIS products, co-developed at Glaxo with MDL, Ltd. During his 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry at SKF/Allergan, Glaxo, Monsanto and Millennium, he built Computer-Assisted Drug Discovery groups and served on discovery and development project teams that brought the drugs Tazorac, Imitrex, Zofran, Ultiva and Velcade to market. He has also served as Director, North Carolina Supercomputing Center & Research Institute in Res. Triangle Park, NC and Vice President of Chemistry & Scientific Director, GenChemiCs, Inc, a CRO operating out of the NIDUS CENTER, a Monsanto Research Incubator in St. Louis, MO.

When he is not working on the curriculum development for Organic and Inorganic Chemistry Lab courses, he is training students in the use of SPARTAN and JMP. In his spare time, Dr. Profeta evaluates the performance of DFT and higher accuaracy ab initio methods to simulate crystalline environments and drug polymorphs. He also explores the application of semi-empirical and ab initio quantum mechanical methods to evaluate the role of electrostatic fields in the selectivity of protein-DNA recognition interactions in systems such as NF-κB and Zinc-finger complexes. While Dr. Profeta no longer takes graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, he does supervise Directed Individual Study and Honors Thesis Undergraduate students.

Dr. Profeta also serves as the Chair of the department's Safety Committee. In this role, he functions as the safety officer for the department and has facilitated, in collaboration with the University's EH&S group, the development of a graduate level course, CHM5801 - Safety in Scientific Research. This course provides substantive breadth and depth of safety knowledge to our first year graduate students. The course aims to imbue a healthy respect for the materials that students work with (i.e. an understanding of their reactivity and toxicology), to facilitate their design of safe operating procedures, and to demonstrate to prospective employers that they have had organized training in safety protocols.

LinkedIn Web Page:


Brent E. Dial, Roger D. Rasberry, Brooke N. Bullock, Mark D. Smith, Perry J. Pellechia, Salvatore Profeta, Jr., Ken D. Shimizu Guest-Accelerated Molecular Rotor Organic Letters 2011, 13, 244-247
S. Profeta, Jr., V. S. Senthil Kumar, R. Austin, S. S. Young Differential Reactivity of Thiophene-2-carboxylic and Thiophene-3-carboxylic Acids. Results from DFT and Hartree-Fock Theory Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modeling 2010, 28, 540-547
J. Yang, M. B. Dewal, S. Profeta, Jr., Y. Li, M. D. Smith, L. S. Shimizu Porous organic crystals as confined environments for selective photodimerization of enones Journal of the American Chemical Society 2008, 130, 612-621
Salvatore Profeta, Jr. Molecular Modeling Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology 2006, 726-768
B. A. Schweitzer, P. J. Loida, C. A. CaJacob, R. C. Chott, E. M. Collantes, S. G. Hegde, P. D. Mosier, S. Profeta, Jr. Discovery of Imidazole Glycerol Phosphate Dehydratase Inhibitors through 3-D Database Searching, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2002, 12, 1743-1746