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About Dr. Halaweish

Dr. Fathi Halaweish picture

Dr. Fathi Halaweish

My laboratory's current research efforts are focused on:

  1. The in-silico analysis and biological validation of molecular interactions between small molecules and protein signaling pathways and 
  2. The design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel scaffolds for steroidal-derived molecular targets such as Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK), and MEK inhibitors in relevance to cancer studies.

 I have significant expertise in the research of novel pharmaceutical compounds inspired from organic natural products, including steroidal analogs similar to cholesterol and other sterols. We utilize computer modeling to predict the effect these analogs will have, and after synthesizing these analogs, test them in-vitro.

At South Dakota State University we have established a state-of-the-art infrastructure for drug discovery and analysis of molecular interactions in various biological systems. I have carried out multiple successful projects, while inspiring research programs through interdisciplinary and collaborative projects geared towards the development of novel pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and drug interactions with nutraceutical preparations. I collaborate with multidisciplinary researches and have published peer-reviewed articles and submitted several patent applications from projects conducted in my group.

My research group consists of one graduate students and six undergraduate students. We are currently working on multiple projects to support our drug discovery processes and molecular interaction studies. Recent group accomplishments in drug discovery include:

  1. Synthesis of novel steroidal analogs that have shown promising activity toward BRAF-MEK signaling mechanisms.
  2. Synthesis of novel cucurbitacins and hexanor analogs as potential candidate for treatment of prostate cancer.
  3. Synthesis of novel cucurbitane and estrone (anti-estrogenic drug candidates) based analogs for treatment of breast, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers, as well as other diseases.
  4. Synthesis of novel inspired estrone analogs targeting hepatocellular carcinoma and kinase signaling pathways.


  • Structural determination of Organic Compounds Spectroscopy (Chemistry 724)
  • Molecular Modeling and Drug design (Chemistry 691)
  • Natural products Synthesis (Chemistry 722)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II (Chemistry 326 and 328)