Alanna R. Condren, PhD

Research Fellow, Life Sciences Institute


Alanna Condren is a Florida native with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Florida State University where she had the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research in Dr. Jack Saltiel’s photochemistry laboratory from 2013-2015. She then moved to Chicago to earn her Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago under the mentorship of Dr. Laura M. Sanchez’s where her dissertation work was focused on employing mass spectrometry and other analytical chemistry techniques to understand the chemical communication of infectious bacteria and the mechanisms they use to become antibiotic drug resistant. As a postdoctoral fellow at University of Michigan, Alanna works in Dr. David Sherman’s group whose lab specializes in natural products and bioengineering of in vivo systems for complex scaffold modifications. She enjoys mentoring undergraduate students and volunteering her time to outreach activities with the goal of improving science communication and inspiring people of all ages to love science, be curious, and not to be afraid to ask questions!

Techniques Used

Mass spectrometry, NMR, HPLC, Flow cytrometry, and MTT assaysMass spectrometry, NMR, HPLC, Flow cytrometry, and MTT assays

Research Description

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) affects 38 million people around the world and those infected suffer from persistent infection due to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). There are several FDA approved antiviral treatments that induce HIV-infected cells into a state of latency, thereby halting the disease state. Though effective in preventing the development of AIDS, these treatment options are not cures, as they do not allow for the clearance of HIV-infected cells from the host’s system by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Thus, a current objective is to improve treatment strategies by promoting CTL driven eradication of HIV-infected cells from infected individuals. Utilizing Alanna’s expertise in natural product chemistry and mass spectrometry, her work in the Sherman lab focuses on isolating and testing bioactive natural product molecules against HIV in vitro and in vivo.


2020 - UIC Student Presenter Award
2019 - ASP David J. Slatkin Younger Members Symposium Award
2019 - 2nd Place Oral Presentation at the 57th Annual MIKI Medicinal Chemistry Conference
2018 - ACS Student Exchange Award & Travel Stipend
2018 - UIC Student Presenter Award
2018 - Second place at College of Pharmacy Research Day: “Horizon Award for Excellence in Research”
2018 - UIC W.E van Doren Scholar
2017 - 2018, UIC Abraham Lincoln Fellow
2017- ASM Conference on the Biology of Vibrios Outstanding Student Poster Presentation Award
2017- Oral Presentation Award in Chemistry at SACNAS National Conference for Diversity in STEM
2017 -  SACNAS- The National Diversity in STEM Conference Travel Scholarship
2017 - ASMS Student Travel Stipend
2017 - UIC Chancellor Student Service & Leadership Award
2017 - First prize at College of Pharmacy Research Day: “Takeda Pharmaceuticals Award for Excellence in Research”
2015-2017, National Science Foundation-Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (NSF-LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate Fellow
2015 - Florida State University Garnet and Gold Scholar Society
2011-2015, Florida Department of Education Bright Futures Scholarship
2011 - Dean’s List at Florida State University

Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities

When she is not researching she loves to play competitive volleyball, read, cook, and explore all the beautiful nature here in Michigan.