Chemistry Faculty & Staff

Professor John D. Buynak

Professor Office: 311 Fondren Science
Department of Chemistry  Phone: (214) 768-2484
Southern Methodist University Fax: (214) 768-4089
PO Box 750314 e-mail:
Dallas, TX 75275-0314    

[Prof. Buynak's Home Page]

Education & Experience:

  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University, 1980-1981
  • Ph.D. Rice University, 1980


My research is focused on the design, synthesis, and development of new antibiotic agents.  I have a long history in the area of beta-lactamase inhibitors.  One of these inhibitors, LN-1-255 is now being evaluated in a murine model of a multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infection.  I collaborate with microbiologists, enzymologists, crystallographers in both the commercial sector and academia.  I also design new beta-lactam antibiotics and specialize in designing compounds to treat resistant Gram-negative pathogens.

John Buynak Research Group 2013

Selected Publications and Patents:

  1. Buynak, J. D. b-Lactamase Inhibitors: A Review of the Patent Literature 2010-2013 Expert Opin. Ther. Patents 2013 in press.
  2. Chai, W.; Nguyen, E.; Doran, J.; Han, K.; Fernandez, D.; Karimi, S.; Mynam, R.; Humphrey, C.; Rana, S.; Buynak, J. D.  Urazole synthesis Part 2: Facilitating N4 substitution.  Tetrahedron Lett. 2013, 54, 2308-2310.
  3. Ke, W,; Pattanaik, P.; Bethel, C. R.; Sheri, A.; Buynak, J. D.; Bonomo, R. A.; van den Akker, F. Structures of SHV-1 β-lactamase with penem and penam sulfone inhibitors that form cyclic intermediates stabilized by carbonyl conjugation.  PLoS One 2012, 7, e49035.
  4. Papp-Wallace, Krisztina M.; Senkfor, Baui; Gatta, Julian; Chai, Weirui; Taracila, Magdalena A.; Shanmugasundaram, Veerabahu; Han, Seungil; Zaniewski, Richard P.; Lacey, Brian M.; Tomaras, Andrew P.; Skalweit, M. J.; Harris, M. E.; Rice, L. B.; Buynak, J. D.; Bonomo, R. A. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2012, 56, 5687-5692
  5. Chai, W.; Chang, Y.; Buynak, J. D. An efficient and general urazole synthesis. Tetrahedron Lett. 2012, 53, 3514-3517.
  6. Che, T.; Bonomo, R. A.; Shanmugam, S.; Bethel, C. R.; Pusztai-Carey, M.; Buynak, J. D.; Carey, P. R. Carboxylation and Decarboxylation of Active Site Lys 84 Controls the Activity of OXA-24 β-Lactamase of Acinetobacter baumannii: Raman Crystallographic and Solution Evidence.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 11206-11215.
  7. Ke, W.; Bethel, C. R.; Papp-Wallace, K. M.; Pagadala, S. R. R.; Nottingham, M.; Fernandez, D.; Buynak, J. D.; Bonomo, R. A.; van den Akker, F.  Crystal structures of KPC-2 β-lactamase in complex with 3-nitrophenyl boronic acid and the penam sulfone PSR-3-226.  Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2012, 56, 2713-2718
  8. Ke, W.; Rodkey, E. A.; Sampson, J. M.; Skalweit, M. J.; Sheri, A.; Pagadala, S. R. R.; Nottingham, M. D.; Buynak, J. D.; Bonomo, R. A.; van den Akker, F.  ChemMedChem  2012, 7, 1002-1008.
  9. Papp-Wallace, K. M.; Bethel, C. R.; Gootz, T. D.; Shang, W.; Stroh, J.; Lau, W.; McLeod, D.; Price, L.; Marfat, A.; Distler, A.; Drawz, S. M.; Chen, H.; Harry, E.; Nottingham, M.; Carey, P. R.; Buynak, J. D.; Bonomo, R. A. Biochem. Pharmacol. 2012, 83, 462-471
  10. Buynak, J. D.  b-Lactams as Inhibitors of b-Lactamase. In b-Lactamases ; A Matagne, M Galleni and JM Frère, Eds.; "Molecular Anatomy and Physiology of Proteins Series” edited by Vladimir Uvesky.  Nova Science Publishers: Hauppage, New-York, 2012.  Chapter 9.  pp. 217-258.
  11. Sampson, J. M.; Bethel, C. R.; Pagadala, S. R. R.; Nottingham, M. D.; Bonomo, R. A.; Buynak, J. D. ; van den Akker, F. Ligand-Dependent Disorder of the W Loop Observed in Extended-Spectrum SHV-Type b-Lactamase. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2011, 55, 2303-2309.
  12. Buynak, J. D. Heterocyclic Scaffolds I: β-Lactams. Edited by Bimal K. Banik, and Bert U. Maes (book review).  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133(2): 388.
  13. Nottingham, M.; Bethel, C. R.; Pagadala, S. R. R.; Harry, E.; Pinto, A.; Lemons, Z. A.; Drawz, S. M.; van den Akker, F.; Carey, P. R.; Bonomo, R. A.; Buynak, J. D. Modifications of the C6-Substituent of Penicillin Sulfones with the Goal of Improving Inhibitor Recognition and Efficacy, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2011 21(1): 387-393.
  14. Buynak, J. D.; Sheri, A.; Pagadala, S. R. R. Preparation and antibacterial activity of β-lactamase inhibitory compounds U.S. Pat. Appl. Publ. (2010), US 20100009954 A1 20100114
  15. Drawz, S. M.; Bethel, C. R.; Doppalapudi, V. R.; Sheri, A.; Pagadala, S. R. R.; Hujer, A. M; Skalweit, M. J.; Anderson, V. E.; Chen, S. G.; Buynak, J. D.; Bonomo, R. A. Penicillin Sulfone Inhibitors of Class D  -Lactamases. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2010, 54, 1414-1424.

Courses Taught:
  • Advanced Organic Chemistry (CHEM 5393)
  • Medicinal Chemistry (CHEM 5398)
  • Introduction to Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry (CHEM 6116)
  • Synthetic Strategies (CHEM 6119)
  • Chemical Mechanisms (CHEM 6130)