Samantha Yee

Graduate Student

Personal Statement:

IBMS Physiology and Pharmacology Discipline

Lab Association:
April Risinger, Ph.D.

Hobbies and Interests:

Community outreach, working out, dancing, ice skating and breast and ovarian cancer research


B.S. in Biology, Minor in Chemistry, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY


My current research focuses on evaluating the pharmacological and physiological effects of a novel class of microtubule stabilizers, the taccalonolides, in both in vitro and in vivo cancer models. The taccalonolides are natural products that have superior efficacy to clinically approved microtubule targeting agents in drug-resistant tumor models, as a result of its covalent interaction with tubulin that promotes distinct effects on the microtubule polymer. Ultimately, the goals of my work are 1) to identify an optimal taccalonolide for future clinical development and 2) elucidate the molecular and cell biological mechanisms underlying the antitumor efficacy of this novel class of drugs.


Professional Affiliations:

2014- Present              SLU Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society- Member
2018- Present              American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) – Associate Member
2019- Present              National Ovarian Cancer Coalition: San Antonio Chapter- Member


Clanton, N.A., Hastings, S.D., Foultz, G., Contreras, J., Yee, S.S., Arman, H.D., Risinger, A.L. Frantz, D.E. Synthesis and Biological Evaluations of a Novel Class of Electrophilic Steroids Inspired by the Taccalonolide Covalent Microtubule Stabilizers. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2020. DOI: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.0c00534

Yee S.S., Du L., Risinger A.L. (2020) Taccalonolide Microtubule Stabilizers. In: Kinghorn A.D., Falk H., Gibbons S., Kobayashi J., Asakawa Y., Liu JK. (eds) Progress in the Chemistry of Organic Natural Products 112. Progress in the Chemistry of Organic Natural Products, vol 112. Springer, Cham.

Du, L.*, Yee, S.S.*, Ramachandran, K., Risinger, A.L. Elucidating target specificity of the taccalonolide covalent microtubule stabilizers employing a combinatorial chemical approach. Nat Commun 11(1):654. 2020. PMID: 32005831 *co-first author

Sharp AM., Lertphinyowong S., Yee SS., Paredes D., Gelfond J., Johnson-Pais TL., Leach RJ., Liss M., Risinger AL., Sullivan AC., Thompson IM., Morilak DA. Vortioxetine reverses medial prefrontal cortex-mediated cognitive deficits in male rats induced by castration as a model of androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. Psychopharmacology (2019).

Du, Lin, Risinger, April L., Yee, Samantha S., Ola, Antonius R. B., Zammiello, Cynthia L., Cichewicz, Robert H., Mooberry, Susan L. Identification of C-6 as a New Site for Linker Conjugation to the Taccalonolide Microtubule Stabilizers. J Nat Prod, doi:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b01036 (2019).

Sreelatha, Anju, Yee, Samantha S., Lopez, Victor A., Park, Brenden C., Kinch, Lisa, Pilch, Sylwia, Servage, Kelly A., Zhang, Junmei, Jiou, Jenny, Karasiewicz, Monika, Lobocka, Malgorzata, Grishin, Nick, Orth, Kim, Kucharczyk, Roza, Pawlowski, Krzysztof, Tomchick, Diana R., Tagliabracci, Vincent S. Protein AMPylation by an evolutionarily conserved pseudokinase. Cell. 10.1016/j.cell.2018.08.046:

Nguyen, Kim B., Sreelatha, Anju, Durrant, Eric S., Lopez-Garrido, Javier, Muszewska, Anna, Dudkiewicz, Malgorzata, Grynberg, Marcin, Yee, Samantha, Pogliano, Kit, Tomchick, Diana R., Pawlowski, Krzysztof, Dixon, Jack E., Tagliabracci, Vincent S. Phosphorylation of spore coat proteins by a family of atypical protein kinases. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2016 May 16: