Department Head and Associate Department Head

Shelley L. Lusetti
Department Head
Office: 128
Dr. Lusetti is a biochemist interested in bacterial DNA repair mechanisms. She joined the faculty in 2006 and served as Associate Department Head from 2017 to 2019. She has also served as director of the RISE program and is the current director of NM-INBRE.
Kevin D. Houston
Associate Department Head
Office: 371
Dr. Houston's research is aimed at defining the molecular mechanisms associated with anti-estrogen resistance in breast cancer. He joined the faculty in 2011and has been Associate Department Head since 2019. In this role, he is involved in outreach activities and undergraduate recruitment. Dr. Houston is also the departmental contact for departmental alumni and donors.


Jeffrey B. Arterburn
Regents Professor
Organic Chemistry
Office: W294
Our research harnesses the power of synthetic chemistry for cancer drug discovery and the design of novel biological probes. Current projects focus on new therapies for breast cancer and lipid labeling with fluorescent dyes for live cell and super-resolution microscopy.
Amanda K. Ashley
Assistant Professor Biochemistry/Toxicology
Office: W372
DNA repair systems protect cells from damage and regulate cellular response to replication stress. Our research focuses on perturbations in DNA replication and repair in cancer biology to provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention.
Gary A. Eiceman
Analytical Chemistry
geiceman@nmsu.eduThe core of Dr. Eiceman's research program is the exploration of ion-molecule gas phase reactions at ambient pressure in order to develop predictive models of the creation of ion mobility spectra. These studies presently involve the kinetics of thermal decomposition of proton-bound cluster ions in air. Secondary interests include the advancement of instrumentation and drift tube technology for IMS and selected applications in environmental venues. Separation sciences with gas chromatography constitutes another area of interest.
James W. Herndon
Organic Chemistry
Office: W295
We design multicomponent reactions that rapidly and reliably transform simple starting materials into complex polycyclic ring systems, using the unique reactivity of carbon transition metal systems as the primary tool. These products frequently permit facile access to medicinally-important compounds.
Kevin D. Houston Associate Professor Biochemistrykhouston@nmsu.edu
Office: W371
Tamoxifen treatment is a common therapy for women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Our laboratory discovered a new mechanism of tamoxifen action and we currently investigate the role of this mechanism in the development of chemoresistance. 
Michael D. Johnson Regents Professor
MARC Director
Inorganic Chemistry
Office: W288A
My research examines the kinetics and reaction mechanisms of inorganic and bioinorganic reactions.  Specifically, I focus on high oxidation state iron reactions as well as reactions at membrane interfaces simulated by reverse micelles.
Antonio S. Lara
Associate Professor
Analytical Chemistry
Office: W378
Our research focus is to abate heavy metals & pathogens from scarce and contaminated water sources, surface or ground, to produce potable water.  This is most important for the Navajo Nation and Third World countries.  The sorption materials are clay pellets that can be produced anywhere in the world. 
Shelley L. Lusetti
Associate Professor
NM-INBRE Director
Office: W370
The Lusetti lab is interested in the biochemical roles of novel enzymes involved in DNA damage response pathways through the reconstitution of recombinational DNA repair pathways. We employ comparative biochemistry to explain the differential DNA damage tolerance of multiple bacterial organisms.   
Barbara A. Lyons
BRAiN and BRIDGES Director
Physical Chemistry
Office: W296
My research seeks to identify the active functional form of the signaling molecules Grb7 and DNAJB1-PKAc, and to define the mechanistic details of how these molecules work in the establishment of primary tumors and metastases in breast and liver cancer.
William A. Maio
Associate Professor
Organic Chemistry
Office: W287
Marine organisms continue to be a source of novel natural products with interesting structural features and unique biological activity. Our laboratory is currently focused on the development of new synthetic methods useful in total synthesis.
Paola E. Mera
Assistant Professor
Office: W380
Our goal is to identify novel antibiotic targets by defining regulatory genetic networks that control proliferation in bacteria. Our approach combines biochemistry, microbial genetics, and high resolution imaging to produce a system’s level understanding of the bacterial cell cycle.
Gary D. Rayson Professor
Analytical Chemistry
Office: W289
Our research involves analysis of complex environmental and agricultural samples using multivariate analysis of multi-dimensional spectroscopic response surfaces. One example uses 3-dimensional fluorescence spectra of fecal samples to determine free-ranging animal ingestion of locoweed.
Sergei N. Smirnov Professor
Physical Chemistry
Office: 202
My group studies physicochemical aspects of nanomaterials and their applications including hybrid nanoporous materials in drug delivery and sensors, fundamental aspects of CVD growth of 2D materials and their applications in sensors, desalination, photovoltaic devices, and composite materials.
Marat R. Talipov Assistant Professor
Physical Chemistry
Office: 204
Our research focuses on harnessing the power of supercomputers for discovery of novel small molecules and machine-learning design of photovoltaic materials and drugs.
Erik T. Yukl
Associate Professor Biochemistry
Office: W376
Our lab studies bacterial proteins that mediate zinc import and nitric oxide / oxidative stress sensing. These processes are essential for virulence among pathogenic bacteria. We use various biophysical and spectroscopic techniques including structure determination by X-ray crystallography.

Teaching & Research Faculty

Ramesh Chinnasamy
College Assistant Professor
Office: 218
Deanna C. Dunlavy
College Associate Professor
Office: 216
Gyoungil Lee
Research Asst Professor
Carol L. Potenza
College Assistant Professor
Office: W379
Lee Uranga
Research Asst Professor

Emeritus Faculty

Name Title Email Phone
Alexander, M. Dale Emeritus dalexand@nmsu.edu  
Gopalan, Amudhu Emeritus agopalan@nmsu.edu  
Hoffman, Robert V. Emeritus rhoffman@nmsu.edu  
Kuehn, Glenn D. Emeritus, Regents Professor gkuehn@nmsu.edu (575) 646-1015
Quintana, William Emeritus wquintan@nmsu.edu (575) 646-????
Simons, John Emeritus