Gary Dmitrienko

Gary Dmitrienko
Professor Emeritus
Location: C2 362
Phone: 519-888-4642
Status: Emeritus


Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are increasing with growing numbers of susceptible individuals in aging populations. So-called Gram-negative bacteria like Escherichia coli cause many thousands of HAIs each year. The beta-lactamsare the most important antibiotics for HAIs caused by these organisms. Since Gram-negative bacteria have become resistant to most other antibiotics, carbapenems (the most powerful beta-lactams) are now the most important treatment for these infections.

Gary Dmitrienko's research focuses on designing, creating and testing molecules that will block carbapenem-resistance mechanisms like NDM-1 and so enable carbapenems to kill resistant Gram-negative bacteria.

Natural products with potent antibacterial and anticancer properties are also a major area of interest.

Research Interests

  • Bioorganic and medicinal chemistry related to antimicrobial and anticancer agents
  • Synthesis of heterocyclic and carbocyclic compounds
  • Mechanistic organic chemistry and biochemistry
  • Natural products chemistry and biochemistry


  • 1974 Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 1970 B.Sc., Honours Chemistry, University of Toronto, Canada


  • 2012-2015 Member of the CIHR Industry-Partnered Collaborative Research grant selection panel
  • 2007, 2010 Member of the Pharmaceutical Sciences operating grant selection panel Canadian Institutes for Health Research

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Cross-appointed to the School of Pharmacy
  • Member, Waterloo Institute of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Member, Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Assay for drug discovery: Synthesis and testing of nitrocefin analogues for use as β-lactamase substrates. Ghavami, A.; Labbé, G.; Brem, J.; Goodfellow, V. J.; Marrone, L., Tanner, C. A.; King, D. T., Lam, M.; Strynadka, N. C.; Pillai, D. R.; Siemann, S.; Spencer, J.; Schofield, C. J.; Dmitrienko, G. I. Anal. Biochem. 2015, 486, 75-7.
  • Arginine-containing peptides as potent inhibitors of VIM-2 metallo-β-lactamase. Rotondo, C. M.; Marrone, L.; Goodfellow, V. J., Ghavami, A.; Labbé, G.; Spencer, J.; Dmitrienko G. I.; Siemann, S. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 2015, 1850, 2228-38.
  • Prekinamycin and an isosteric-isoelectronic analogue exhibit comparable cytotoxicity towards K562 human leukemia cells, Abbott, G.L.; Wu, X.; Zhao, Z.; Guo, L.; Birman, V.B; Hasinoff, B. B.; Dmitrienko, G.I. Med. Chem. Commun., 2014, 5, 1364-1370.
  • Cyclobutanone Analogues of b-Lactams Revisited: Insights Into Conformational Requirements for Inhibition of Serine- and Metallo-b-Lactamases. Johnson, J. W.; Gretes, M.; Goodfellow, V. J.; Marrone, L.; Heynen, M. L.; Strynadka, N. C. J.; Dmitrienko, G. I. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 2558–2560.
  • Cyclobutanone Mimics of Penicillins: Effects of Substitution on Conformation and Hemiketal Stability. Johnson, J. W.; Evanoff, D. P.; Savard, M. E.; Lange, G.; Ramadhar, T. R.; Assoud, A.; Taylor, N. J.; Dmitrienko, G. I. J. Org. Chem. 2008, 73, 6970–6982.

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