Otto Phanstiel IV, Ph.D.

Education, Training, and Research:

  • B.S. Chemistry, Duke University
  • Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, University of Florida
  • Post-doctoral fellowship at Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Florida


  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

About Otto Phanstiel IV, Ph.D.

Dr. Otto Phanstiel is an active educator and researcher at the College of Medicine.  His research lab develops new therapies to fight cancer, iron poisoning, tuberculosis and malaria. Beyond drug discovery, the group also develops cell selective drug delivery technologies based upon nutrient pharmaceuticals, i.e. "nutricals." Indeed, the long-term goal is to deliver drugs or genes to selected targets within the human body (e.g., a cancer cell). A success in this area would be a dramatic medical advance.

The cancer projects focus on the development of new drugs which target cells through their polyamine transporter and block the spread of metastatic cancers to other tissues. The iron project involves the total synthesis of naturally occurring iron chelators, which bind iron ions required for microorganism growth. The chelators could provide a means to target invading bacteria via their unique iron transport mechanism (e.g., tuberculosis). The malaria project involves the synthesis of chloroquine derivatives as potential next generation smart therapeutics for the treatment of malaria.

New research students will learn how to conduct multistep organic syntheses of novel drug candidates and will assist in the biological evaluation of their own compounds.

Publications and Awards

  • 2010 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award
  • 2006 UCF Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • 2004 Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award presented by UCF
  • 2002 Research Incentive Award (RIA) presented by UCF
  • 2002 UCF Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award
  • 2002 UCF Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • 2000 Teacher of the Year Award awarded by the UCF ACS student chapter
  • 1999 and 2000 1 of 2 nominated by UCF for the U.S. Professor of the Year Award (e.g., directed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education). This CASE Award is presented by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • 1999 College Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award presented by UCF
  • 1999 Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award presented by UCF
  • 1999 Distinguished Service Award presented by Lake Highland Preparatory School
  • 1998 Outstanding Teacher of the Year at a Four-Year College Award presented by the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society
  • 1996 Certificate of Appreciation from the Student Academic Advisory Committee
  • 1995 Cottrell-College Science Award from Research Corporation
  • Utilization of Fe3+ -Acinetoferrin Analogues as an iron source by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Rodriguez, G. M.; Gardner, R. A.; Kaur, N.; Phanstiel IV, O. Biometals 2008, 21, 93-103.
  • A Drosophila model to identify polyamine-drug conjugates that target the polyamine transporter in an intact epithelium. Tsen, C.; Iltis, M.; Kaur, N.; Bayer, C.; Delcros, J-G.; von Kalm, L.; Phanstiel IV, O. J. Med Chem. 2008, 51, 324-330.
  • A Comparison of Chloroambucil- and Xylene-containing polyamines leads to improved ligands for accessing the polyamine transporter. Kaur, N.; Delcros, J-G.; Phanstiel IV, O. J. Med. Chem. 2008, 51, 1393-1401.
  • A Delineation of Diketopiperazine self-assembly processes: Understanding the molecular events involved in Ne-(fumaroyl) diketopiperazine of L-Lys (FDKP) interactions. Kaur, N.; Zhou, B.; Breitbeil, F.; Hardy, K.; Kraft, K.S.; Trantcheva, I.; Phanstiel IV, O. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2008, 5, No. 2, 294-315.
  • Designing the Polyamine Pharmacophore: Influence of N-substituents on the transport behavior of polyamine conjugates, Kaur, N.; Delcros, J-G.; Archer, J.; Weagraff, N.Z.; Martin, B.; Phanstiel IV, O. J. Med. Chem. 2008, 51, 2551-2560.
  • Chemoselective N-acylation via Condensations of N-(Benzoyloxy)amines and alpha-Ketophosphonic acids under Aqueous Conditions. Arora, J.S.; Kaur, N.; Phanstiel IV, O. J. Org. Chem. 2008, 73, 6182-6186.