Anna Mapp

Much of Anna Mapp's research focuses upon developing a molecular-level picture of inducible gene expression in eukaryotes using organic molecules as mechanistic probes. Regulated gene expression is critical for cellular existence, and a number of human diseases such as cancer and diabetes have been linked to aberrant patterns of gene expression. Therefore, a goal of primary importance in the scientific community is the discovery of transcription-based therapeutics capable of reprogramming gene expression in diseased cells while leaving normal cells unaffected. While a general sequence of events that leads to gene up-regulation is agreed upon, the molecular-level interactions that regulate the levels and time course of transcriptional activation remain unknown. A more detailed picture of gene regulation is a prerequisite for the eventual development of transcription-based therapeutics.

Mapp focuses on two approaches for identifying the relevant targets of activator proteins in the transcriptional machinery: the design and synthesis of organic molecules that mimic common protein structural motifs such as the helix, and understanding how multiple activator proteins function synergistically to up-regulate transcription and uncovering the regulatory role of transcriptional machinery composition.

Anna Mapp completed her A.B. in chemistry at Bryn Mawr College before moving to the University of California-Berkeley to complete the PhD under the direction of Professor Clayton H. Heathcock. Following postdoctoral work with Professor Peter B Dervan at Caltech, Mapp joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2000, where she is currently Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Program in Chemical Biology.


  • A.B.: Bryn Mawr College
  • PhD:  University of California-Berkeley
  • Postdoc:  California Institute of Technology


  • Emil Thomas Kaiser Award from the Protein Society    2015 
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow    2011
  • Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award    2011
  • Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry    2007
  • Amgen Young Investigator Award    2006
  • LS&A Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award    2006
  • (NSF) Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists & Engineers    2005
  • GlaxoSmithKline Chemistry Scholars Award    2005
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in Chemistry    2004
  • National Science Foundation Career Award    2004
  • Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award    2002
  • March of Dimes New Investigator in the Toxicological Sciences  
  • Research Innovation Award, Research Corporation