Caren L. Freel Meyers, Ph.D., M.S.

Headshot of Caren L. Freel Meyers
  • Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Research Interests

Combinatorial biosynthesis; Bacterial isoprenoid biosynthesis; Antibiotic prodrug strategies; Drug delivery mechanisms in bacteria; Chemical biology; Organic and medicinal chemistry; Study of non-mammalian isoprenoid biosynthesis; Development of potential therapeutic agents for cancer and infectious disease more


Dr. Caren Freel Meyers is a professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research focuses on organic and medicinal chemistry. Her team is currently engaged in creating new anti-infective agents and improving drug delivery.

Dr. Meyers earned her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. She serves on an advisory committee for the Office of Women in Science and Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. more


  • Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • B.S.; Michigan Technological University (Michigan) (1994)
  • M.S.; University of Rochester (New York) (1996)
  • Ph.D.; University of Rochester (New York) (1999)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Meyers' research focuses on drug delivery, the study of non-mammalian isoprenoid biosynthesis and the development of potential therapeutic agents for cancer and infectious disease.

Targeting non-mammalian isoprenoid biosynthesis: The fight against rapid progression of clinical resistance to anti-infective agents demands the sustained discovery and development of new agents and exploration of novel anti-infective targets. Dr. Meyer's long-term goal is to develop novel approaches to kill human pathogens, including bacterial pathogens and malaria parasites, with the ultimate objective of developing potential therapeutic agents. Toward this goal, she and her team are pursuing studies of bacterial isoprenoid biosynthetic enzymes comprising the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway essential in many human pathogens. Studies focus on understanding mechanism throughout the pathway toward the development of selective inhibitors of isoprenoid biosynthesis.

Drug delivery: Current efforts in Dr. Meyer's lab focus on intracellular delivery of polyphosphorylated molecules, including clinically used bisphosphonates, for the treatment of cancer and/or infectious diseases. They are also pursuing the development of antibiotic prodrug approaches for the delivery of drugs that exhibit potent antibiotic activity but exhibit problems of low solubility, poor pharmacokinetics and toxicity.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Freel Meyers C.L.; Hong L.; Joswig C. and Borch R.F. Synthesis and biological activity of novel 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine phosphoramidate prodrugs. J. Med. Chem. 2000, 43, 4313-4318. PMID: 11063625

Webster, M.; Zhao, M.; Rudek, M.A., Hann, C.; Freel Meyers, C.L. Bisphosphonamidate clodronate prodrug exhibits potent anticancer activity in non-small-cell lung cancer cells. J. Med. Chem. 2011, 54, 6647-6656 PMCID: PMC3188694

Webster, M. R,; Kamat, C.; Connis, N.; Zhao, M.; Weeraratna, A. T.; Rudek, M. A.; Hann, C. L.; Freel Meyers, C. L. Bisphosphonamidate Clodronate Prodrug Exhibits Selective Cytototxic Activity Against Melanoma Cell Lines Mol. Cancer. Ther. 2014, 13, 297-306. PMCID: PMC3945958

Surcel, A.; Ng, W.P.; West-Foyle, H.; Zhu, Q.; Ren, Y.; Avery, L. B.; Krenc, A. K.; Meyers, D. J.; Rock, R. S.; Anders, R. A.; Freel Meyers, C. L.; Robinson, D. N. Pharmacological activation of myosin II paralogs to correct cell mechanics defects. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015, 112, 1428-1433. PMCID: PMC4321244

Contact for Research Inquiries

Wood Basic Science Building,
725 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Phone: 410-502-4807
Fax: 410-955-3023

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Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology

Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) Program

Activities & Honors

Professional Activities

  • Advisory Group II, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Summer Academic Research Experience (SARE) Program, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
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