Richard W. Fitch

Associate Professor
Bioorganic/Medicinal Chemistry

B.S., 1992, Western Kentucky University
Ph.D., 1998, University of Louisville

Postdoctoral Experience
1999-2003 National Institutes of Health

Office: S-035E
Phone: (812) 237-2244
Fax: (812) 237-2232


Fitch Group Webpage

Research Interests

Dr. Fitch is interested in the chemistry and pharmacology of natural products. Research in his laboratory is multifaceted, including isolation and structural characterization of novel biologically active compounds, as well as their synthesis and determination of their pharmacology. The purpose of this research is to discover compounds useful as pharmacologic probes and potential therapeutics for human disease. Medicinal chemistry is also used to this end, in that the compounds isolated from the natural source are lead compounds which can be chemically modified to tune their pharmacology, with the aim of developing selective drugs for treatment of disease with increased potency and efficacy, while reducing potential side effects.


Fitch, R. W.; Spande, T. F.; Garraffo, H. M.; Yeh, H. J. C.; Daly, J. W. Phantasmidine, a Nicotinic Receptor Agonist for the Treatment of Addiction and Neurological Disorders HHS, Reference No. E-125-2010/0, US, Application No. 61/315,674 filed 19 Mar 2010; International Application PCT/US/28989, filed March 18, 2011, published September 22, 2011.

Aachoui, Y.; Chowdhury, R. R.; Fitch, R. W.; Ghosh, S. K. Molecular Signatures of Phytol-Derived Immunostimulants in the Context of Chemokine-Cytokine Microenvironment and Enhanced Immune Response Cell. Immunol. 2011, in press doi:10.1016/j.cellimm.2011.07.001.

Aachoui, Y.; Schulte, M. L.; Fitch, R. W.; Ghosh, S. K. Synthetic Adjuvants for Vaccine Formulations: Evaluation of New Phytol Derivatives in Induction and Persistence of Specific Immune Response. Cell. Immunol. 2011, in press doi:10.1016/j.cellimm.2011.07.009.

Neher, T. M.; Jalal, S. I.; Fitch, R. W.; Turchi, J. J. Novel Irreversible Small Molecule Inhibitors of Replication Protein A Display Single Agent Activity and Synergize with Cisplatin. Mol. Cancer. Therap. 2011, doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0303.

Anciano-Grenadillo, V. J.; Earley, J. N.; Shuck, S. C.; Geogiadis, M. M.; Fitch, R. W.; Turchi, J. J. Targeting the OB-folds of Replication Protein A with Small Molecules. J. Nucleic Acids 2010, doi:10.4061/2010/304035.

Fitch, R. W.; Bewley, C. A. John W. Daly (1933-2008). J. Nat. Prod. 2010, 73, 299-300 (Editorial).

Fitch, R. W.; Spande, T. F.; Garraffo, H. H.; Yeh, H. J. C.; Daly, J. W. Phantasmidine: An Epibatidine Congener from the Ecuadorian frog, Epipedobates anthonyi. J. Nat. Prod. 2010, 73, 331-337. (Winner of the 2010 Jack L. Beal Award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy.)

Fitch, R. W.; Spande, T. F.; Garraffo, H. M.; Chase, R. R.; Clinedinst, M. A.; Parkes, D. A.; Reed, R.; Whittaker, N. F.; Daly J. W. Dioicine, a Novel Prenylated Purine Alkaloid from Gymnocladus dioicus. Heterocycles 2009, 79, 583-598.

Fitch, R. W.; Sturgeon, G. D.; Patel, S. R.; Spande, T. F.; Garraffo, H. M.; Daly J. W.; Blaauw, R. H. Epiquinamide: A Poison That Wasn't from a Frog That Was. J. Nat. Prod. 2009, 72, 243-247.

Scates, B. A.; Lashbrook, B. L.; Chastain, B. C.; Tominaga, K.; Elliott, B. T.; Theising, N. J.; Baker, T. A.; Fitch, R.W. Polyethylene Glycol-Based Homologated Ligands for Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2008, 16, 10295-10300.

Wijdeven, M. A.; Wijtmans, R.; van den Berg, R. J. F.; Noorduin, W.; Schoemaker, H. E.; Sonke, T.; van Delft, F. L.; Blaauw, R. H.; Fitch, R. W.; Spande, T. F.; Daly J. W.; Rutjes, F. P. J. T. N,N-Acetals as N-Acyliminium Ion Precursors: Synthesis and Absolute Stereochemistry of Epiquinamide. Org. Lett. 2008, 10, 4001-4003.

Freyer, A. J.; Huffman, J.; Menachery, M. D.; Huey, K.; Leavens, W. J.; Fitch, R. W. Isolation, Structure Elucidation, and Biological Evaluation of 15-Amido-3-demethoxy-2α,3α-methylenedioxyerythroculine, a New Alkaloid from Hyperbaena valida. J. Nat. Prod. 2006, 69, 1514-1516.

Fitch, R.W.; Daly, J.W. A Phosphorescence Imaging Method for Isotopic Ion Flux Assays. Anal. Biochem. 2005, 342, 260-270.

Crosland, R.D.; Fitch, R.W.; Hines, H.B. Characterization of β-Leptinotarsin-h and the Effects of Calcium Flux Antagonists on its Activity. Toxicon 2005, 45, 829-841.

Fitch, R.W.; Kaneko, Y.; Klaperski, P.; Daly, J.W.; Seitz, G.; Gündisch, D. Halogenated and Isosteric Cytisine Derivatives with Increased Affinity and Functional Activity at Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2005, 15, 1221-1224.

Pei, X-F.; Fitch, R.W.; Gupta, T.; Kaneko, Y.; Shi, D.; Federova, I,; Daly, J.W. Homoepiboxidines: Further Potent Agonists for Nicotinic Receptors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2004, 12, 179-190.

Fitch, R.W.; Garraffo, H.H.; Spande, T.F.; Yeh, H.J.C.; Daly, J.W. Bioassay-Guided Isolation of Epiquinamide a Novel Quinolizidine Alkaloid and Nicotinic Agonist from an Ecuadoran frog, Epipedobates tricolor. J. Nat. Prod. 2003, 66, 1345-1350. (Winner of the 2004 Arthur E. Schwarting Award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy.)

Fitch, R.W., Daly, J.W., Kellar, K.J., Xiao, Y. Membrane Potential Fluorescence: A Sensitive Assay for Nicotinic Receptor Function. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2003, 100, 4909-4914.

Luzzio, F.A.; Fitch, R.W. A Rearrangement Route to Fenvaleric Acid, J. Prakt. Chem., 2000, 342, 498-501.

Luzzio, F.A.; Fitch, R.W. A Formal Synthesis of (+)- and (-)-Perhydrohistrionicotoxin: A "Double Henry"/Enzymatic Desymmetrization Route to the Kishi Lactam, J. Org. Chem., 1999, 64, 5485-5493.

Luzzio, F.A.; Fitch, R.W.; Moore, W.J.; Mudd, K.J. A Facile Oxidation of Alcohols Using Pyridinium Chlorochromate/Silica Gel, J. Chem. Ed., 1999, 76, 974-975.

Luzzio, F.A.; Fitch, R.W. 4-Nitrobenzaldehyde from 4-Nitrobenzyl Alcohol in Synthetic Organic Sonochemistry, Ch. 9 Selected Experiments, J.L. Luche (Ed.), Plenum Press, 1998, 157, 334-336.

Fitch, R.W.; Luzzio, F.A. Preparation of dl-Camphor from dl-endo-Borneol in Synthetic Organic Sonochemistry, Ch. 9 Selected Experiments, J.L. Luche (Ed.), Plenum Press, 1998, 160, 360-361.

Fitch, R.W.; Luzzio, F.A. Ultrasound in Natural Products Synthesis: Applications to the Synthesis of Histrionicotoxin via Nitroalkanal Acetals. Ultrasonics: Sonochemistry 1997, 4, 99-107.

Fitch, R.W.; Luzzio, F.A. The Aluminum Amalgam Reduction of 2-Nitroalkanols Promoted by Ultrasound. Tetrahedron Lett. 1994, 35, 6013-6016.