John A. Beutler, Ph.D.

John A. Beutler, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist
Head, Chemical Diversity Development Section

Dr. Beutler has identified several natural products which have potential for development as cancer drugs, among them, englerins, which are in preclinical development for kidney cancer and Ewing’s sarcoma, schweinfurthins, which are preclinical candidates in glioblastoma and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, and salicylihalamides, of interest in sarcomas. As a Staff Scientist 2, Dr. Beutler oversees the Program's high-throughput screening libraries, information technology, and drug development efforts.

Areas of Expertise

1) natural products chemistry, 2) high-throughput screening, 3) molecular pharmacology

Contact Info

John A. Beutler, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 576, Room 103
Frederick, MD 21702-1201
Ph: 301-846-1942

We are advancing two natural product projects towards the clinic: englerins for kidney cancer and Ewings sarcoma, and schweinfurthins for central nervous system (CNS) tumors and other NF1-dependent conditions. These natural products both have unique mechanisms of action.  In addition, our group builds and maintains the library of chemical diversity with which the Molecular Targets Program conducts high-throughput screening campaigns based on CCR-identified molecular targets.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Chemical Biology, Molecular Pharmacology, Virology
  1. Fash DM, Peer CJ, Li Z, Talisman IJ, Hayavi S, Sulzmaier FJ, Ramos JW, Sourbier C, Neckers L, Figg WD, Beutler JA, Chain WJ
    Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 26: 2641, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  2. López-Suárez L, Riesgo L, Bravo F, Ransom TT, Beutler JA, Echavarren AM
    ChemMedChem. 11: 1003, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Sourbier C, Scroggins BT, Ratnayake R, Prince TL, Lee S, Lee M, Nagy PL, Lee YH, Trepel JB, Beutler JA, Linehan WM, Neckers L.
    Cancer Cell. 23: 228-37, 2013. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Turbyville TJ, Gürsel DB, Tuskan RG, Walrath JC, Lipschultz CA, Lockett SJ, Wiemer DF, Beutler JA, Reilly KM.
    Mol Cancer Ther. 9: 1234-43, 2010. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Ratnayake R, Covell D, Ransom TT, Gustafson KR, Beutler JA.
    Org Lett. 11: 57-60, 2009. [ Journal Article ]

B.A., Chemistry, Vassar College, 1972
M.Sc., Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science, 1978
Ph.D., Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science, 1980

Postdoctoral Fellowships:
Northeastern University, 1980-1
Assistant Professor, Auburn University School of Pharmacy, 1981-1983
University of Texas Medical School at Houston, 1983-4

AAAS Fellow, 2019


Name Position
Dongdong Wang Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Dayani Sarath Parakumge Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Fatma Memnune Erucar Guest Researcher
Cheryl Thomas B.S. Research Chemist
Ekaterina I. Goncharova Ph.D. Programmer Analyst IV (Contr.)
Christopher Wolcott IT Manager (Contr.)
Esra Eroglu Ozkan
Esra Eroglu Ozkan Special Volunteer 2017-2018

Istanbul University

Marshall Darby
Marshall Darby Werner Kersten Intern 2017-2018

Currently a University of Maryland undergrad.

Sarah Long photo
Sarah Long IRTA Fellow 2015-2018

currently at Glaxo Smith Kline, New Providence, PA

Memnune Erucar photo
Fatma Memnune Erucar Fulbright Fellow 2019-2020

Memnune is a Ph.D. student from Istanbul University in Turkey. Her thesis project involves chemistry and bioactivity of a rare species of Ferula.

Laila Espindola
Laila Espindola Darvenne Special Volunteer 2014-2015

Investigation of plants from the Brazilian cerrado for anticancer properties.
Professor at University of Brasilia.


Marcos da Cunha
Marcos da Cunha Special Volunteer 2013-2014

Research for Ph.D. on cytotoxic principles of geopropolis from Brazilian stingless bee Melipona scutellaris.
Completed Ph.D. and currently a scientist at Brazliian Biosciences National Lab.


Namki Cho
Namki Cho Visiting Fellow 2014-2016

Current status: Associate Professor, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea

formerly with Kingston lab, Virginia Tech

Sett Naing Werner Kirsten Intern and Summer Student 2012-2013; 2014, 2017

Current position: Virginia CommonWelath University Medical School

Krishna Devkota photo
Krishna Devkota Visiting Fellow 2010-2013

Research on Szechuan pepper alkamides as potential anticancer agents.
Currently a scientist at Albany Molecular Research Inc.


Ranjala Ratnayake photo
Ranjala Ratnayake Visiting Fellow 2007-2009

Isolation and structure elucidation of englerins.
Currently an Assistant Scientist in the Luesch lab at the University of Florida.