About NCCU Academics Admissions Athletics Campus Life Giving Research

Alfred L. Williams, Ph.D.

Dr. Alfred L. Williams
Dr. Alfred L. Williams, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Earned B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Organic Chemistry at San Diego State University
  • Completed Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at North Carolina State University
  • Spent 10 years in industry at Eli Lilly and Company as a Senior Research Scientist and at R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute as an Associate Scientist
  • Contact: awilliams@nccu.edu or 919-530-6706

Research Interests

Natural Products Synthesise

A wide range of structural diversity can be found in natural products. Due to this rich diversity, these compounds have been found to have many types of biological activity (anticancer, antiviral, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory and neurite outgrowth (NGF) potentiator). The aim of my natural product research will be to develop synthetic methodologies into the total synthesis of the natural products like Ecteinascidin 743, (+) – Piperazinomycin, Brasiliamide B and Verbenachalcone.

Drug Discovery

Once a small molecule or natural product shows activity against a biological target, optimization of the compounds biological effect is the next step in the drug discovery process. The aim of my research in drug discovery will be to explore the structure activity relationship (SAR) of small molecules to identify novel compounds targeting Cancer, Neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s and the parasitic disease schistosomiasis.

New Synthetic Methodologies

My research in the areas of drug discovery and natural product synthesis will be driven by the development of new synthetic methodologies. This involves using the tools from the wealth of knowledge present in organometallic, heterocyclic, and asymmetric chemistry. These new methodologies will be used to develop novel scaffolds that can serve as templates toward the synthesis of natural products or biologically active small molecules.


  • Kong, R.; Liu Timothy; Z.X.; Ahmad, S.; Williams, A. L.; Phan, A.T.; Zhao, H.; Scott, J.E.; Yeh, LA.; Wong, S. T. C. Old drug new use - Amoxapine and its metabolites as potent bacterial β-glucuronidase inhibitors for alleviating cancer drug toxicity. Clin Cancer Res, 2014, Published Online First April 29, 2014; doi:10.1158/1078-0432. CCR-14-0395.
  • Lea, Khoa.;  Chanda, Lokendra B.; Griffin, Colette.; Williams, Alfred L.; Taylor, Darlene K. Paraphenylene Dimers with Diphenylamine Donor Groups: Synthesis and Photophysics. Tetrahedron Lett. 2013, 2013, 54, 3097–3100.
  • Dandepally, S.R., Elgoummadi, R.; Williams, A.L. Schwartz reagent mediated synthesis of thiazolones and imidazolones from thiazolidine-2,4-diones and imidazolidine-2,4-diones. Tetrahedron Lett. 2013, 54, 925–928.
  • Williams, A.L., St. Hilaire V.R., Lee T. Regioselective Reduction of 3-Substituted N-Acylpyrazinium Salts Towards the Synthesis of 1,2-Dihydropyrazines. J. Org. Chem. 2012, 7, 4097–4102.
  • Yeyeodu, S.; Gilyazova, N.; Young Huh. E.; Dandepally, S.; Oldham, C.; Williams, A.; Ibeanu, G. A Trifluoromethyl Analog of Verbenachalcone Promotes Neurite Outgrowth and Cell Proliferation of NeuroScreen-1 Cells. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2011, 31, 145–153.

Related Links

NCCU complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all programs and activities (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) in the University's educational programs and activities. For additional resources or to file a Title IX complaint, visit the NCCU's Title IX webpage.
© 2020 North Carolina Central University 1801 Fayetteville St., Durham, NC 27707