Aaron Beeler, PhD

Associate Professor, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

Aaron Beeler
590 Commonwealth Ave


Aaron Beeler received his Ph.D. in 2002 from Professor John Rimoldi’s laboratory in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Mississippi. He then joined the Porco group as a postodoctoral fellow and subsequently the Center for Chemical Methodology and Library Development at Boston University, now the Center for Molecular Discovery. He was promoted to Assistant Director of the CMLD-BU in January 2005. In 2012 Aaron joined the Department of Chemistry as a tenure-track professor in medicinal chemistry.


The Beeler Research Group is truly multidisciplinary, combining organic chemistry, engineering, and biology to solve problems in medicinal chemistry. All of these elements are combined and directed toward significant problems in human health. The Beeler Group is addressing focused disease areas (e.g., schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis), as well as project areas with broader impact potential (e.g., new methods for discovery of small molecules with anti-cancer properties).

Medicinal Chemistry: The goals of medicinal chemistry projects are to optimize small molecules in order to: a) develop a probe that may be utilized as a tool in biological studies; b) develop a lead molecule to facilitate future therapeutics; and c) utilize small molecules to enhance understanding of biological targets that are important for human health. These projects provide students with training in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and focused biology. Projects are selected based on their chemistry and/or biology significance and potential for addressing challenging questions.

Technology: One of the core components of the research in the Beeler Group is development of technologies and paradigms that facilitate rapid modification of complex scaffolds. These technologies enable optimization of biologically active lead compounds and identification of small molecule leads in biological systems. The projects focus on utilizing automation, miniaturization, and microfluidics to carry out chemical transformations. These projects are highly interdisciplinary with both chemistry and engineering components.

Photochemistry: This area focuses on photochemical transformations toward the synthesis of natural products, natural product scaffolds, and other complex chemotypes of interest to medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. The foundation of these projects is utilizing microfluidics to enable photochemical reaction development.


Students in the Beeler Research Group will have opportunities to learn a number of exciting research disciplines. Organic synthesis will be at the heart of every project. This will include targeted synthesis, methodology development, and medicinal chemistry. Through collaborations with biological researchers and/or research projects carried out within the Beeler Group, students will learn methods for biological assays, pharmacology, and target identification. Many projects will also include aspects of engineering that will provide opportunities for learning techniques such as microfabrication and microfluidics.


It is becoming evident that successful and impactful science is realized in collaborative interdisciplinary environments. The Beeler Research Group’s multidisciplinary nature and collaborative projects provides opportunities to learn areas of research outside of traditional chemistry.


Members of the Beeler Research Group will be positioned for a wide range of future endeavors:

-Undergraduates will be prepared to enter into graduate school for organic chemistry, chemical biology, or chemical engineering or to start careers in industry;

-Graduate students will have the foundation required for postdoctoral studies in organic synthesis or chemical biology as well as an industrial career in biotech or pharma;

-Postdoctoral associates will gain training and experience critical for both academic and industrial careers.

Other Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
  • Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center, Boston University
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University


  • University of Mississippi, PhD
  • Belmont University, BS


  • Published on 9/1/2023

    Millimaci AM, Trilles RV, McNeely JH, Brown LE, Beeler AB, Porco JA. Synthesis of Neocannabinoids Using Controlled Friedel-Crafts Reactions. J Org Chem. 2023 Sep 15; 88(18):13135-13141. PMID: 37657122.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/10/2021

    Chatterjee S, Yabaji SM, Rukhlenko OS, Bhattacharya B, Waligurski E, Vallavoju N, Ray S, Kholodenko BN, Brown LE, Beeler AB, Ivanov AR, Kobzik L, Porco JA, Kramnik I. Channeling macrophage polarization by rocaglates increases macrophage resistance to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. iScience. 2021 Aug 20; 24(8):102845. PMID: 34381970.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/8/2021

    Ortet PC, Muellers SN, Viarengo-Baker LA, Streu K, Szymczyna BR, Beeler AB, Allen KN, Whitty A. Recapitulating the Binding Affinity of Nrf2 for KEAP1 in a Cyclic Heptapeptide, Guided by NMR, X-ray Crystallography, and Machine Learning. J Am Chem Soc. 2021 03 17; 143(10):3779-3793. PMID: 33683866.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/4/2021

    Mailloux MJ, Fleming GS, Kumta SS, Beeler AB. Unified Synthesis of Azepines by Visible-Light-Mediated Dearomative Ring Expansion of Aromatic N-Ylides. Org Lett. 2021 Jan 15; 23(2):525-529. PMID: 33395312.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/29/2020

    Elinburg JK, Carter SL, Nelson JJM, Fraser DG, Crockett MP, Beeler AB, Nordlander E, Rheingold AL, Doerrer LH. Reversible PCET and Ambient Catalytic Oxidative Alcohol Dehydrogenation by {V=O} Perfluoropinacolate Complexes. Inorg Chem. 2020 Nov 16; 59(22):16500-16513. PMID: 33119300.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/12/2020

    Alfonzo E, Millimaci AM, Beeler AB. Photoredox Generated Carbonyl Ylides Enable a Modular Approach to Aryltetralin, Dihydronaphthalene, and Arylnaphthalene Lignans. Org Lett. 2020 08 21; 22(16):6489-6493. PMID: 32806135.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/5/2019

    Alfonzo E, Beeler AB. A sterically encumbered photoredox catalyst enables the unified synthesis of the classical lignan family of natural products. Chem Sci. 2019 Sep 07; 10(33):7746-7754. PMID: 31588322.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/3/2018

    Alfonzo E, Mendoza JWL, Beeler AB. One-pot synthesis of epoxides from benzyl alcohols and aldehydes. Beilstein J Org Chem. 2018; 14:2308-2312. PMID: 30254694.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/17/2018

    Nguyen LV, Beeler AB. Synthesis of Complex Stereoheptads en Route to Daphnane Diterpene Orthoesters. Org Lett. 2018 09 07; 20(17):5177-5180. PMID: 30118240.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/11/2017

    Fleming GS, Beeler AB. Regioselective and Enantioselective Intermolecular Buchner Ring Expansions in Flow. Org Lett. 2017 10 06; 19(19):5268-5271. PMID: 28892633.

    Read at: PubMed

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