Christina Forbes

Physical Sciences Center
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Post Doctoral Scholars
TEMPE Campus


Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Delaware, 2016
B.S. Chemistry, Delaware Valley College, 2009

Research Interests

Peptides, organic synthesis, catalysis, carbon dioxide reduction, aromatic interactions, non-natural amino acids


- Forbes, C. R.; Sinha, S. K.; Ganguly, H. K.; Yap, G. P. A.; Bai, S.; Patel, S.; and Zondlo, N. J. “Insights into Thiol-Aromatic Interactions: A Stereoelectronic Basis for S–H/π Interactions,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2017, 139, 1842-1855. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b08415

- Forbes, C. R.; Ganguly, H. K.; Pandey, A. K.; Yap, G. P. A.; Zondlo, N. J. “4R- and 4S-Iodophenyl Hydroxyproline, 4R-Pentynoyl Hydroxyproline, and S-Propargyl-4-Thiolphenylalanine: Conformationally Biased and Tunable Amino Acids for Bioorthogonal Reactions,” Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 2016, 14, 2327-2346. DOI: 10.1039/c5ob02473k

- Pandey, A. K.; Thomas, K. M.; Forbes, C. R.; and Zondlo, N. J.; “Tunable Control of Polyproline Helix (PPII) Structure via Aromatic Electronic Effects: An Electronic Switch of Polyproline Helix,” Biochemistry, 2014, 53, 5307-5314. DOI: 10.1021/bi500696k

- Forbes, C. R.; and Zondlo, N. J.; “4-Thiophenylalanine: Aromatic Electronic Properties and Structural Control of Peptides.” In Peptide Science 2013, Proceedings of the 50th Japanese Peptide Symposium, Osaka, Japan, November 6, 2013; Nishiuchi, Y., and Teshima, T., Eds.; Protein Research Foundation: Osaka, 2014; 85-88.

- Forbes, C. R.; and Zondlo, N. J.; “Synthesis of Thiophenylalanine-Containing Peptides via Cu(I)-mediated Cross-Coupling,” Organic Letters, 2012, 14, 464-467. DOI: 10.1021/ol202947f

Research Activity

Visiting Researcher, National Science Foundation Fellowship, 2013, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland (St. Lucia, QLD, Australia)
Dr. David J. Craik
            - Designed and synthesized a cyclic cysteine knot (CCK) peptide containing synthesized amino acids with bioorthogonal functionalities, which can be used as a generalized scaffold for therapeutic applications.
            - Experience with designing peptides for bioconjugation, peptide cyclization, and NSF grant writing.

Graduate Research, 2009 – 2016, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
Dr. Neal J. Zondlo, 2010 – 2016
            - Examined the nature of an aromatic p-proline Ha interaction within model peptides, and explored the scope of electronic control of proline cis-trans isomerism using aromatic substituents.
            - Developed several new reaction methodologies to synthesize novel aromatic amino acids, including synthesis of 4-thiophenylalanine via a copper-mediated cross-coupling reaction within protected peptides.
            - Applied a cross-coupling strategy to synthesize peptides containing N-terminal 2-thiophenylalanine, and demonstrated this chemistry as a practical approach to native chemical ligation at phenylalanine.
            - Experience with Fmoc- solid phase peptide synthesis, copper- and palladium-mediated cross-coupling methodology, reaction development in peptides (solution- and solid-phase), native chemical ligation, organic synthesis of amino acids, RP-HPLC, biomolecular characterization by multidimensional and multinuclear NMR spectroscopy, circular dichroism, and fluorescence techniques.
Dr. Don A. Watson, 2009
            - Synthesized ligands for ruthenium-catalyzed electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide.

Undergraduate Research, 2008, Center for Advanced Photonics Research, Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)
Dr. Robert Levis
            - Explored selective bond dissociation in dipeptides in solution phase.
            - Experience with construction of a home-built ESI-TOF mass spectrometer and laser optics.


2015, Poster Award at the 8th Annual Frontiers at the Chemistry-Biology Interface Symposium at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Baltimore, MD
2013, Travel Award to attend and present at the Young Investigators Symposium at the 4th Asia-Pacific International Peptide Symposium in Osaka, Japan
2013, Travel Award to attend and present a poster at the 4th Modern Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis & Its Applications Symposium in Kobe, Japan
2013, Fellowship awarded from the National Science Foundation, East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) and the Australian Academy of Science. NSF Grant #1316907
2009, American Chemical Society Scholastic Achievement Award
2005, Highest Honor in Science and Mathematics, Society of Women Engineers  Philadelphia Section

Professional Associations

<p>American Chemical Society, since 2008<br /> <em>Division of Organic Chemistry, Central Arizona Section</em></p> <p>American Association for the Advancement of Science, since 2006</p> <p>New York Academy of Science, since 2014</p>


Volunteer, Arizona Museum of Natural History, since 2017

Volunteer, realtimeSTEAM, since 2017

Consultant, Postdoctoral Affairs Office at ASU

Volunteer webmaster, Central Arizona Section of the American Chemical Society, since 2017

Poster judge, Student Research Conference for Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunites, since 2017

Co-founder & participant, Science on Main outreach program, since 2017

Industry Positions

Intern, 2006, RheoGene Inc. (currently Intrexon)