Michelle Arkin, PhD

Chair and Thomas William and Frederick John MacWilliam Distinguished Professor
Susan Merrell
Phone: +1 415 514-4313
600 16th Street, Rm S512D
UCSF Box 2280
San Francisco, CA 94158
United States

What I do

My research focuses on the development of drug-like molecules that alter important biological processes. These molecules will help us understand human biology and may lead to the design of new drugs. I also chair the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Details: Administration.

My research expertise

protein-protein interaction (PPI), allostery, enzymology, fragment-based lead discovery, neglected tropical diseases, neurodegeneration, Oncology, high-throughput screening (HTS)

Professional background


Michelle’s lab develops innovative approaches to screen for chemical tools and drug leads, using biophysical approaches like fragment-based drug discovery and biological approaches including high-content imaging with primary cells and organisms. Our goal is to demonstrate ‘druggability’ of new target classes and to use our compounds to discover new targets for drug discovery. Areas of interest include protein-protein interactions, allosteric and scaffolding sites in enzymes, and orphan and neglected diseases. Michelle is co-Director of the Small Molecule Discovery Center, a collaborative research and core lab that includes a high-throughput screening facility and medicinal chemistry (smdc.ucsf.edu).

Research keywords

  • Interleukin-2
  • Protein Interaction Maps
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Small Molecule Libraries
  • proteins
  • Autophagy
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Caspase 6
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Protein Binding
  • Preclinical Drug Evaluation
  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Cysteine
  • Drug Discovery