College of Natural and Computational Sciences

Dr. Horgen

F. David Horgen, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry


Phone: 808-236-5864

Office: 206A AC, Hawaii Loa campus

Education: B.S., Biology, Florida International University; Ph.D., in Pharmacognosy, University of Illinois at Chicago; Post-doctoral Fellowship, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Awards: 2011 Visiting Professor (honorary), Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology; 2011 Weinman Innovator Award for Translational Research, Weinman Foundation/ University of Hawaii Cancer Center (Co-investigator; funded by the Weinman Foundation fund to support the development of cutting-edge cancer research); 2009 Jack L. Beal Award, American Chemical Society/American Society of Pharmacognosy (Best paper of 2008 in the Journal of Natural Products among early-career investigators); 2004 Presidents Award for Outstanding Service by a Faculty Member, Hawaii Pacific University; 2002 AFPE Fellow, American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, Rockville, MD; 1996 Van Dorens Scholars Scholarship, University of Illinois at Chicago; 1993-1997 Graduate College University Fellowship, University of Illinois at Chicago; 1993-1996 Graduate Fellowship, American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, Rockville, MD; 1992 Graduate Fellowship, Honorable Mention, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.

Professional Interests: Marine natural products chemistry; biological assay experimental design, biological screening, and chemical ecology

Courses: CHEM 3030/1/2/3 Organic Chemistry lecture and laboratories; CHEM 6310 Marine Natural Products Chemistry

Personal Interests: Soccer, baseball, spearfishing, hunting, hiking, and, most of all, my wife and son.

Principal Research Interests

Dr. Horgen’s major research interest is marine natural products chemistry. This field focuses on molecules that are produced by plants, animals and microbes in the marine environment and the manner in which these substances affect other organisms. For example, these compounds (known as marine natural products) are produced by organisms to protect them from being eaten, to kill or immobilize their prey, to defend their territories, or to communicate. At the same time, marine natural products have high structural diversity and possess chemical properties that allow them to act as drugs in the human body, which makes them a valuable resource for finding new therapies for a wide range of diseases, especially cancer. The focus in Dr. Horgen’s lab is the discovery of marine natural products that can interact with proteins involved in human diseases and switch these proteins on and off as needed to prevent or stop the progress of disease. {read more}