Katherine N. Maloney, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Katherine Maloney is an organic chemist who brings her expertise in natural products isolation and structure elucidation to the Chemistry Department. She first fell in love with organic chemistry as an undergraduate at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. She went on to get her Ph.D. in 2006 with Jon Clardy at Cornell University, and came back to the west coast for a post-doc with Bill Fenical at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Maloney began her independent career at Harvey Mudd College in 2009 before moving back to San Diego to join the PLNU faculty in 2012. When she’s not teaching or directing undergrads in the research lab, she enjoys spending time at the beach with her husband, Chris and sons Carlton & Timothy.

Her research has been featured in Chemical & Engineering News and in a video series called "Adventures in Genomics" produced by Illumina (a San Diego biotech company). She can be found at 4:25 in the seven-minute video titled, "Taking a Stab at Pierce's Disease." 


  • Ph.D., Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University
  • B.S., Chemistry, Pacific Lutheran University

Courses Taught

  • Intro to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry - CHE 103
  • Organic Chemistry I Lab – CHE 294L
  • Organic Chemistry II – CHE 304
  • Organic Chemistry II Lab – CHE 304L
  • Organic Structure Elucidation – CHE 351
  • Organic Structure Elucidation Lab – CHE 351L
  • Instrumental Analysis – CHE 370
  • Instrumental Analysis Lab – CHE 370L
  • Research in Chemistry – CHE 499

Experience in Field

  • Research Interest: isolation and structure elucidation of natural products from endophytic fungi that inhibit plant pathogenic bacteria, and exploring the secondary metabolites produced by cryptic species of the soft coral Sarcophyton glaucum 
  • UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Visiting Scholar in the Dorrestein Lab, 2019 – 2020
  • Point Loma Nazarene University, Professor, 2018 – present; Associate Professor, 2014 – 2018; Assistant Professor, 2012 – 2014
  • Harvey Mudd College, Assistant Professor, 2009 – 2011
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UCSD, Cancer Therapeutics Training Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006 – 2009
  • Harvard University, Teaching Fellow, 2004 – 2006
  • Cornell University, Teaching Assistant, 2000 – 2001
  • University of Washington, Undergraduate Researcher NSF-REU, 1999
  • Pacific Lutheran University, Undergraduate Researcher, 1997 – 1998

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Councilor, ACS Division of Organic Chemistry 2018 - 2020
  • Alternate Councilor, ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Executive Committee, 2015 – 2017
  • 2016 Organic Chemistry Examination Committee, ACS Division of Chemical Education Examinations Institute
  • NSF Panelist, 2015 and 2010
  • Expert Reviewer, Citrus Research Board, 2018-present; NSF S-STEM, 2019; ACS Petroleum Research Fund Undergraduate New Investigator Research Grant program, 2015; North Carolina Biotechnology Center Biotechnology Research Grant program, 2015
  • Manuscript Reviewer: Organic Letters; Journal of Natural Products; Marine Drugs, 2008 – present
  • Member-At-Large, ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Executive Committee (Chaired Membership Committee; member of Graduate Fellowship, Membership, and Communications Committees; headed up Social Media initiative), 2012 – 2014
  • Workshop Leader, WEST Conference, Harvey Mudd College, 2008 – 2011
  • Program Co-Chair, San Diego Expanding Your Horizons Conference, 2006 – 2009
  • Volunteer for a variety of science outreach activities in San Diego, including BE WiSE, Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, San Diego Science Olympiad, National Ocean Sciences Bowl, and Reuben H. Fleet Saturday Science Club for Girls; 2007 – 2010

Awards and Honors

  • Cancer Therapeutics Training Fellowship, UCSD Moores Cancer Center, 2007 – 2009
  • Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University, 2005 and 2006
  • American Chemical Society Travel Award, 2005
  • American Society of Pharmacognosy Lynn Brady Travel Award, 2005
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2001 – 2004
  • Herman & Margaret Sokol Fellowship, 2001
  • Cornell University Graduate Fellowship, 2000 – 2001
  • American Institute of Chemists Award, 2000
  • NSF REU Fellowship, University of Washington, 1999
  • Barry Goldwater Scholarship, 1999
  • Robert C. Byrd Scholarship, 1996-2001

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Maloney, K. “In Praise of a Nonelite Education” Inside Higher Ed, 22 May 2019. Op-ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2019/05/22/nonelite-colleges-can-give-students-excellent-education-and-phd-grads-chance-grow
  • Rolshausen, P.; Roper, M. C.; Maloney, K. N.; Aldrich, T.* Identification of fungi antagonistic to Xylella fastidiosa. (2019) US Patent 10,238,118. 
  • Kearney, S. E.; Zahoránszky-Köhalmi, G; Brimacombe, K. R.; Henderson, M. J.; Lynch, C.; Zhao, T.; Wan, K. K.; Itkin, Z.; Dillon, C.; Shen, M., Cheff, D. M.; Lee, T. D.; Bougie, D.; Cheng, K.; Coussens, N. P.; Dorjsuren, D.; Eastman, R. T.; Huang, R.; Iannotti, M. J.; Karavadhi, S.; Klumpp-Thomas, C.; Roth, J. S.; Sakamuru, S.; Sun, W.; Titus, S. A.; Yasgar, A.; Zhang, Y.; Zhao, J.; Andrade, R. B.; Brown, M. K.; Burns, N. Z.; Cha, J. K.; Mevers, E. E.; Clardy, J.; Clement, J. A.; Crooks, P. A.; Cuny, G. D.; Ganor, J.; Moreno, J.; Morrill, L. A.; Picazo, E.; Susick, R. B.; Garg, N. K.; Goess, B. C.; Grossman, R. B.; Hughes, C. C.; Johnston, J. N.; Joullie, M. M.; Kinghorn, A. D.; Kingston, D. G. I.; Krische, M. J.; Kwon, O.; Maimone, T. J.; Murphy, B. T.; Nagorny, P.; Majumdar, S.; Maloney, K. N.; Mohamed, E.; Olson, D. E.; Overman, L. E.; Brown, L. E.; Snyder, J. K.; Porco, J. A., Jr.; Sharma, I.; Shaw, J. T.; Rivas, F.; Ross, S. A.; Sarpong, R.; Xu, Z.; Shen, B.; Shi, W.; Stephenson, C. R. J.; Tang, Y.; Taylor, R. E.; Thomson, R. J.; Wuest, W. M.; Zakarian, A.; Zhang, Y.; Verano, A. L.; Tan, D. S.; Vosburg, D. A.; Wu, J.; Ren, T.; Zuo, Z.; Inglese, J.; Michael, S.; Simeonov, A.; Zheng, W.; Shinn, P.; Jadhav, A.; Boxer, M. B.; Hall, M. D.; Xia, M.; Guha, R.; Rohde, J. M. "Canvass: A Crowd-Sourced, Natural-Product Screening Library for Exploring Biological Space" ACS Cent. Sci. 2018, 4, 1727-1741.
  • Kim, D.; Lee, E. J.; Lee, J.; Leutou, A. S.; Shin, Y.-H.; Choi, B.; Hwang, J. S.; Hahn, D.; Choi, H.; Chin, J.; Cho, S. J.; Hong, Y. D.; Ko, J.; Seong, C. N.; Maloney, K. N.; Oh, D.-C.; Yang, I.; Hwang, H.; Nam, S.-J. “Antartin, a cytotoxic zizaane-type sesquiterpenoid from a Streptomyces sp. isolated from an Antarctic marine sediment.” Marine Drugs 2018, 16, 130.
  • Aldrich, T. J.*; Rolshausen, P.; Roper, M. C.; Reader, J. M.*; Steinhaus, M. J.*;  Rapicavoli, J.; Vosburg, D. A.; Maloney, K. N. “Radicinin from Cochliobolus sp. inhibits Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of Pierce’s Disease of grapevine” Phytochemistry 2015, 116, 130-137
  • Sun, P.; Maloney, K. N.; Nam, S.-J.; Haste, N. M.; Raju, R.; Aalbersberg, W.; Jensen, P. R.; Nizet, V.; Hensler, M. E.; Fenical, W. “Fijimycins A-C, three antibacterial etamycin-class depsipeptides from a marine-derived Streptomyces sp.” Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2011 19 (22), 6557-6562
  • Udwary, D. W.; Gontang, E. A.; Jones, A. C.; Schultz, A. W.; Sorrels, C. M.; Winter, J. M.; Yang, J. Y.; Beauchemind, N.; Capson, T. L.; Clark, B. R.; Esquenazi, E.; Eustáquio, A. S.; Freel, K.; Gonzalez, D. J.; Gerwick, L; Gerwick, W. H.;  Liu, W.-T.; Malloy, K. L.; Maloney, K. N.; Nett, M.; Nunnery, J. K.; Penn, K.; Prieto-Davo, A.; Simmons, T. L.; Weitz, S.; Wilson, M. C.; Tisad, L. S.; Dorrestein, P. C.; Moore, B. S. “Significant natural product biosynthetic potential of actinorhizal symbionts of the genus Frankia, as revealed by comparative genomic and proteomic analyses.” Appl. Environ. Microb. 2011 77 (11), 3617-3625
  • Choi,Y.; Jermihov, K.; Nam, S.; Sturdy, M.; Maloney, K. ; Qiu, X.; Main, M.; Mesecar, A. D.; Pauli, G. F.; Fenical, W. Pezzuto, J. M.; van Breemen, R. R. “Screening natural products for inhibitors of quinone reductase-2 using ultrafiltration LC-MS.” Anal. Chem. 2011 83 (3), 1048-1052
  • Haste, N. M.; Perera, V.; Maloney, K. N.; Tran, D. N.; Jensen, P. R.; Fenical, W.; Nizet, V.; Hensler, M. E. “Activity of the streptogramin antibiotic etamycin against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.” J. Antibiot. 2010 63 (5), 219-224
  • Clardy, J. C.; Maloney, K. N.; Schroeder, F. C. Bioplastics based on polymers extracted from cultured media of carbohydrates and a fungus. PCT Int. Appl. (2009), WO 2009045719 A2 20090409
  • Maloney, K. N.; MacMillan, J. B.; Kauffman, C. A.; Jensen, P. R.; DiPasquale, A. G.; Rheingold, A. L.; Fenical, W. “Lodopyridone, a structurally-unprecedented alkaloid from a marine actinomycete.” Org. Lett. 2009 11 (23), 5422-5424
  • Maloney, K. N.; Fujita, M.; Eggert., U. S.; Schroeder, F. C.; Field, C. M.; Mitchison, T. J.; Clardy J. “Actin-aggregating cucurbitacins from Physocarpus capitatus.” J. Nat. Prod. 2008 71 (11), 1927-1929
  • Maloney, K. N.; Hao, W.; Xu, J.; Gibbons, J.; Hucul, J.; Roll, D.; Brady, S. F.; Schroeder, F. C.; Clardy, J. “Phaeosphaeride A, a selective inhibitor of STAT3-dependent signaling isolated from an endophytic fungus.” Org. Lett. 2006 8 (18), 4067-4070
  • Smith, P. L.; Maloney, K. N.; Pothen, R. G.; Clardy, J.; Clapham, D. E. “Bisandrographolide from Andrographis paniculata activates TRPV4 channels.” J. Biol. Chem. 2006 281 (40), 29897-29904