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 Houston
Associate Department Head
Office: 371

Research Faculty

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 Professor
Analytical Chemistry
Office: 35
Reactions of molecules with ions in the gas phase are the basis for measurements with advanced instruments.  We explore such reactions to enable technology development for air quality monitoring on spacecraft, detection of explosives in airport security, and human metabolomics for diagnosis of diseases.
Amudhu S. Gopalan Professor
Organic Chemistry
Office: W288B
Our  research focus is  in the design, synthesis and evaluation of chelators for multivalent cations for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. We are interested in the iron transport properties of analogs of petrobactin to understand how it manages to evade recognition by our immune system.
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
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
Associate Professor
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
Assistant 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 Faculty


Name Title Email Phone Division
Chinnasamy, Ramesh College Assistant Professor ramesh@nmsu.edu (575) 646-1812 Organic
Dunlavy, Deanna C. College Associate Professor ddunlavy@nmsu.edu (575) 646-4823 Chemical Education
Mahmoud, Jawad College Assistant Professor jmahmoud@nmsu.edu (575) 646-4660 Chem Ed
Potenza, Carol L. College Assistant Professor cpotenza@nmsu.edu (575) 646-1584 Biochemistry

Emeritus Faculty

Name Title Email Phone
Alexander, M. Dale Emeritus dalexand@nmsu.edu  
Ames, Lynford L. Emeritus lames@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