the friedman lab:

The PI


Simon H. Friedman, Ph.D.

friedmans @


Division of

Pharmaceutical Sciences

University of Missouri,

Kansas City

2464 Charlotte Street

Kansas City, MO 64108

Simon Friedman was born and raised in Chicago, where he attended public schools.  He then entered MIT, and received an SB in Chemistry in 1989.  During this time he did 3 years of undergraduate research in the lab of Prof. George Benedek, under the guidance of Dr. John Thomson.  His work focussed on the development of anti-cataract compounds, and resulted in him being named as co-inventor on multiple US and international patents for these discoveries. 

He then pursued his Ph.D. in the department of pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF, working in the lab of Prof. George Kenyon.  There he developed one of the first biological applications of C60 fullerene, as inhibitors of the HIV-1 protease.  This was based on a unique complementarity between modified C60 and the active site of the target enzyme, and was an early example of de-novo structure based design.  In 1996, he joined the lab of Peter Dervan at Caltech, where he was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow.  During this time he worked on the design and synthesis of new molecules for targeting nucleic acids.

In 1999, he founded the lab at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, in the Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences.  There, he and his team, using the tools of synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry and molecular biology have worked on a range of projects that focus on nucleic acids involved in important biological processes. This includes the development of new strategies to inhibit important drug targets, including telomerase and reverse transcriptase, as well as the development of biological tools for controlling gene expression with light (Light Activated RNA Interference, or LARI).

Professor Friedman’s work has been cited over 2000 times, featured on the cover of Nucleic Acids Research, named “Most Viewed” in the area of Chemical Biology by Faculty of 1000, as well as being covered in The Economist, The New York Times, Discover Magazine and NPR.