Chemistry Department

Dr. Norma K. Dunlap

Dr. Norma K. Dunlap CONTACT INFO:


Phone: (615)
Office: Davis Science Bldg. 225
P.O. Box : X074


(1998) B. S. Eastern College, St. Davids, PA (1977); Ph. D. University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY(1985). Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (Amos B. Smith, III). (Senior Scientist, Hoffmann-La Roche, Nutley, NJ (1987-1992). Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (1992-1998). Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry.


My primary area if interest is organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry, with a recent interest in natural product isolation.

One project involves the design and synthesis of cyclopropyl peptidomimetics as potential inhibitors of BACE, HIV protease and HCV NS3 protease. Having developed an efficient route to a cyclopropyl peptidomimetic core from amino acids, we are currently investigating the scope of the synthesis. This includes improvements in stereoselectivity, as well as the synthesis of compounds targeting specific enzymes. A primary focus is the synthesis of beta-secretase (BACE-1) inhibitors. 

A second project involves the synthesis of dimers of epi-podophyllotoxin as novel anti-tumor agents. 

The third project is focused on the isolation and characterization of bioactive components of traditional medicinal plants. This includes plants used in Chinese medicine as well as local plants use in Native American medicine. 

Personal interests: tennis, gardening, skiing, raising three teenagers


Organic Chemistry (3010/3020), Medicinal Chemistry (4000), Advanced Organic Chemistry (6100), Honors Organic Chemistry (3010H/3020H).


1. N. Dunlap, L. J. Martin "Discovery-based labs for organic chemistry: overview and effectiveness" ACS Book: Symposia in Print: Advances in Teaching Organic Chemistry, 2012.

2. N. Dunlap, K. R. Lankford, A. L. Pathiranage, J. Taylor, N. Reddy, D. Gouger, P. Singer, K. Griffin and J. Reibenspies "Three-step synthesis of cyclopropyl peptidomimetics" Org. Lett. 2011, 13, 4879-4881.

3. N. K. Dunlap, J. Drake, A. Ward, T.L.J. Salyard and L. Martin "A Concise Synthesis of Enantiomers of 4-Aminobutane-1,2,3-triol" J. Org. Chem. 2008, 73, 2928-2930.

4. R. P. Bender, M. J. Jablonsky, M. Shadid, I. Romaine, N. Dunlap, C. Anklin, D. E. Graves and N. Osheroff "Substituents on Etoposide that Interact with Human Topoisomerase IIa in the Binary Enzyme-Drug Complex: Contributions to Etoposide Binding and Activity" Biochemistry 2008, 47, 4501-4509.

5. N. K. Dunlap, W. Mergo, J. M. Jones and L. Martin, "Use of 13C NMR in a Dehydration Experiment for Organic Chemistry" Chem. Educator 2006, 11, 378.

6. N. K. Dunlap, W. Mergo, J. M. Jones and J. D. Carrick, "A general procedure for a one-pot oxidative cleavage/Wittig reaction of glycols" Tetrahedron Letters 2002, 3923.


N. K. Dunlap, D. D. Keith and C.-C. Wei, "Antibacterial Penem Compounds", U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 07/630,694.

PRESENTATIONS (Last Three Years):

1. Dunlap, N. "Multi-component discovery based experiments for an Honors Organic Chemistry laboratory." National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Denver, CO. August 2011 (talk).

2. Dunlap, N.; Basham, J.; Niroula, D. "Approach to the synthesis of Belactosin A" National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Diego, CA. March 2012 (poster).

3. Dunlap, N.; Gouger, D. H.; Carter, C.; Alemayehu, B. "Synthesis of cyclopropyl peptidomimetics as potential BACE and HCV NS3-4a protease inhibitors" American Chemical Society, San Diego, CA. March 2012 (poster).

4. Dunlap, N. "Synthesis of Peptidomimetics with a Cyclopropyl    Core"; National Science Foundation Workshop on Organic Synthesis; Holderness,     New Hampshire, July 22-25, 2010.

5. Dunlap, N.; Salyard, Tracy L. J. "Synthesis and Evaluation of Ether-Linked Dimers of epi-Podophyllotoxin". National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Salt Lake City, UT . March 2009 (poster). 


NIH AREA Grant #1 R15 AI051350-01A1 "Peptidomimetics of D-Ala-D-Ala as Novel Antibacterials" $110,300. 2003-2006.

NSF MRI(RUI) Grant #0321211 "RUI: 400 MHz NMR for Research and Research Training in Chemical Synthesis" $380,079. 2003-2005.

NSF CCLI "Hands-on Experiences with NMR in the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum" $145,459. 2003-2005.

MTSU Academic Year Grant # 2-21013. $7,000.00

NIH-NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1985-1986. Grant #1 F32 CA08098-01.

American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship.


April 2005 (PI) $175,319 MTSU TAF proposal "Upgrade of Organic Chemistry Laboratories"


  • American Chemical Society, Organic and Medicinal Divisions
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science