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John May

Associate Professor
Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Specialty area(s)

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics and Physiology of Salmonella, Structural Biology

Current courses at UWL

CHM 103: General Chemistry I

CHM 103L: General Chemistry I Lab

CHM 417L: Biochemistry I: Macromolecules Lab


NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, Yale School of Medicine

Ph.D. Biochemistry (2009) University of Wisconsin–Madison

B.S. Chemistry with concentration in Biochemistry (2003) Duke University


Teaching history

CHM 103: General Chemistry I

CHM 103L: General Chemistry I Lab

CHM 417L: Biochemistry I: Macromolecules Lab

CHM 419: Advanced Biochemistry Lab

Research and publishing

*UWL undergraduate

*Thielen, M.K., *Vaneerd, C.K., Goswami, M., Carlson, E.E., and May, J.F. (2020) 2-Aminobenzothiazoles inhibit virulence gene expression and block polymyxin resistance in Salmonella enterica. ChemBioChem.

*Stuttgen, G. M., *Grosskopf, J.D., *Berger, C.R., May, J.F., Bhattacharyya, B., and  Weaver, T.M. (2020) Closed fumarase C active site structures reveal SS Loop
residue contribution in catalysis. FEBS Letters. 594: 337–357.

*Rasmussen, D.M., *Soens, R.W., *Davie, T.J., *Vaneerd, C.K., Bhattacharyya, B., and May, J.F. (2018) The structure of DcrB, a lipoprotein from Salmonella enterica,
reveals flexibility in the N-terminal segment of the Mog1p/PsbP-like fold.
Journal of Structural Biology. 204: 513–518.

May, J.F. and Groisman, E.A. (2013) Conflicting roles for a cell surface modification in Salmonella. Molecular Microbiology. 88: 970–983.

Wesener, D.A., May, J.F., Huffman, E.M., and Kiessling, L.L. (2013) UDP-galactopyranose mutase in nematodes. Biochemistry. 52: 4391–4398.

May, J.F., Levengood, M.R., Splain, R.A., Brown, C.D., and Kiessling, L.L. (2012) A processive carbohydrate polymerase that mediates bifunctional catalysis using a single active site. Biochemistry. 51: 1148–1159.

May, J.F., Splain, R.A., Brotschi, C., and Kiessling, L.L. (2009) A tethering mechanism for length control in a processive carbohydrate polymerization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106: 11851–11856.

Dykhuizen, E.C., May, J.F., Tongpenyai, A., and Kiessling, L.L. (2008) Inhibitors of UDP-galactopyranose mutase thwart mycobacterial growth. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 130: 6706–6707.

Carlson, E.E., May, J.F., and Kiessling, L.L. (2006) Chemical probes of UDP-galactopyranose mutase. Chemistry & Biology. 13: 825–837.

Pirrung, M.C., Liu, Y., Deng, L., Halstead, D.K., Li, Z., May, J.F., Wedel, M., Austin, D.A., and Webster, N.J. (2005) Methyl scanning: total synthesis of demethylasterriquinone B1 and derivatives for identification of sites of interaction with and isolation of its receptor(s). Journal of the American Chemical Society. 127: 4609–4624.



Cody Vaneerd, Biochemistry; Michaela Thielen, Biology; Erin Carlson and Manibarsha Goswami, both University of Minnesota, Dept. of Chemistry; and John May, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Chemistry & Biochemistry; co-authored the article "2-Aminobenzothiazoles Inhibit Virulence Gene Expression and Block Polymyxin Resistance in Salmonella enterica" in ChemBioChem published on Friday, Sept. 11 by Wiley-VCH. The article reports the collaborative discovery of molecules that have the potential to treat infections caused by Salmonella enterica, a major bacterial cause of food-borne illness.

Submitted on: Sept. 11, 2020



Colton Berger, Julian Grosskopf and Gage Stuttgen, all Biochemistry; and Basudeb Bhattacharyya, John May and Todd Weaver, all Chemistry & Biochemistry; co-authored the article "Closed fumarase C active-site structures reveal SS Loop residue contribution in catalysis." in FEBS Letters published on Jan. 27 by Wiley. The article outlines high-resolution structural results from a collaborative research agreement with the Advanced Photon Source located at Argonne National Laboratory.

Submitted on: Jan. 28, 2020