The Pierce




Our Research Interests

Natural products and their analogs have provided the basis for countless biologically important drugs or probe molecules and continue to provide unique opportunities for synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and chemical biology to explore.  We believe that innovative syntheses of newly discovered or historically significant natural products or natural product-like scaffolds will enable the development of novel biologically active agents for drug discovery and effective probes for biological study.  During the course of this work our constant aim is to push forward the efficiency, scalability and novelty of complex molecule synthesis and provide ample materials for a variety of evaluations both internally and through collaborations with experts in biology and related fields.


Recent Group News

(also see our Twitter page for group updates)


June 2017


  • Congrats to Yasamin who will be starting at Gilead next month!  Well deserved - but you'll be missed!
  • The group receives a Chancellor's Innovation Fund grant for 2018 to advance our infectious disease projects toward commercialization.


May 2017


  • Our communication preparing quaternary substituted nitrogen heterocycles and amino acids is accepted in Organic Letters.
  • Our paper on small molecule modulators of MRSA biofilms is accepted for the Emerging Investigators Issue in Chemical Communications.
  • Congrats to senior Naish Lalloo who graduated with honors and won 2 awards!  We'll miss you, but  graduate school at Michigan awaits!
  • Congrats to 2nd year graduate student Crissi Martinez who received a Bereman Family Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Well deserved!
  • Congrats to group undergrads Peyton Williams and Younghe (Claudio) Ge who have received summer NC State Undergrad Research Office Grants!


March 2017


  • Congrats to group undergrad Alex Cusumano for receiving a 2017 National ACS Organic Division Summer Fellowship!
  • Our review "Structure, Synthesis and Biological Properties of the Pentacyclic Guanidinium Alkaloids" is accepted for a special issue of Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry honouring Xiaoguang Lei.

February 2017


  • Congrats to Yunlong Shi who passed his PhD defense today!  Best wishes for a successful postdoc in the Carroll group at TSRI Florida!




Joshua G Pierce

Research Team

Professor Joshua Pierce was born and raised in northwestern Pennsylvania and obtained a B.S. with Honors in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.  Upon graduation he continued with graduate studies at Pitt under the direction of Professor Peter Wipf.  During these years his research was focused on organometallic methods development, natural product total synthesis and medicinal chemistry.


After defending his thesis in the fall of 2008, Joshua moved across the country to begin Postdoctoral studies with Professor Dale Boger at The Scripps Research Institute.  Research interests centered around complex natural product analogue synthesis, semi-synthesis and antimicrobial compound development.


Together these research experiences have provided an appreciation of the important role complex molecule synthesis plays in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and biology.  Professor Pierce’s research at NC State explores cutting edge problems in natural products synthesis and organic methods development with a constant goal of high impact contributions to chemistry, biology and materials science.

Postdoctoral Researchers:


   Aubert Ribaucourt (PhD - Oxford)


Graduate Students:


   Grant Edwards

   Patrick Parker

   Christina Martinez

   Nick Perry

   Kaylib Robinson

   Alain Valery

   Anna Cholewczynski

   Bram Frohock

   You-Chen Lin


Undergraduate Students:


   Alex Cusumano

   Yonghe Ge

   Peyton Williams


Former Graduate Students/Postdocs


Yasamin Moazami (Gilead Sciences)

Berenice Lemercier (Vertex Pharmaceuticals)

Nataliia Shymanska (Postdoc, EMBLGermany)

Jonathan Mills (Postdoc, Vanderbilt University)

Yunlong Shi (Postdoc, The Scripps Research Institute)

Il Hwan An (Elementis Global)










Former Undergraduate Students


Andrew McLean (Wake Forrest Medical School)

Matthew Boudreau (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Troy Zehnder (Astra Zeneca)

Naish Lalloo (University of Michigan)

Marina Michaud (REU, Georgia Southern)


Looking for Talented Students and Postdocs!


Selected Recent Publications Highlighted Below - For a Full Publication list, see CV

5-Benzylidene-4-oxazolidinones Potently Inhibit Biofilm Formation in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Edwards, G. A.; Shymanska, N. V.; Pierce, J. G. Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 7353. (Invited Submission for Emerging Investigators Issue)

Stereoselective Synthesis of Quaternary Pyrrolidine-2,3-diones and beta-Amino Acids. Shymanska, N. V.; Pierce, J. G. Org. Lett. 2017, 19, 2961.

Stereocontrolled Synthesis of Plagiogyrin A. Shi, Y.; Pierce, J. G. Org. Lett. 2016, 18, 5308.

Synthesis of the 5,6-Dihydroxymorpholin-3-one Fragment of Monanchocidin A. Shi, Y.; Pierce, J. G. Org. Lett. 2015, 17, 968.


Mailing Address:

Prof. Joshua Pierce

North Carolina State University

Department of Chemistry

Campus Box 8204

Raleigh, NC 27695-8204


Courier Shipping:

Prof. Joshua Pierce

NC State University, Dept. of Chemistry

2620 Yarbrough Drive, 45 Dabney Hall

Raleigh, NC 27695

Contact Info


(in addition to sub-group meetings)



  23 @ 9 AM – Research Updates – All



  15 @ 9 AM – Mechanism Session

  28 @ 9 AM – Current Literature - Alain, Crissi & Kaylib



  12 @ 9 AM – Mechanism Session

  18 @ 1 PM – Previous Research Talk - Aubert

  29 - Comparative Medicine Institute Annual Meeting



  9 @ 9 AM – Research  - Patrick, Grant, You-Chen, Anna

  14 @ 5 PM - Research - Aubert, Alain, Crissi, Bram, Kaylib

  28 @ 5 PM – Research Topic Seminar, You-Chen



  19 @ 5 PM - Research Topic Seminar, Anna

  28 @ 9 AM – Research Topic Seminar, Bram










est. 2012

Marine Natural Products Synthesis as a Platform for Chemical and Biological Discovery



The Pierce