Department of Chemistry
A headshot of Joanna San Pedro

Joanna San Pedro
Senior Lecturer

Department of Chemistry
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3355

P: 979-458-7238
Areas of Interest
  • Biological Organic Chemistry
  • Chemical Education
  • Mentoring

Current Activities

I am currently teaching Organic Chemistry courses (Chem 227: Organic Chemistry I; Chem 234: Organic Synthesis and Analysis) and have previously taught Chem 107: General Chemistry for Engineering Students. I am also the Lab Coordinator for the General Chemistry I and II laboratory courses (Chem 119 and Chem 120) for Chemistry majors and honors students.

In all my Chemistry courses, I hope to instill in my students an appreciation for the central role it plays in everyday life, and to cultivate a curiosity that allows them to question phenomena they observe but do not understand. I help my students develop their abilities in critical thinking and problem solving through broader everyday applications of the learned theory, stimulate their interest in science, at the same time making learning an enjoyable process.

My research interests lie at the interface of biology and chemistry, specifically in developing practical biological tools and methods to gain a much deeper understanding of how specific cellular processes work. I have worked in collaboration with the Sczepanski Group in designing and developing genetically encoded tags for imaging nucleic acids by electron microscopy.

Educational Background

Ph.D. in Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 2014
My thesis was centered on studying the chemical mechanism by which DNA is damaged upon treatment with ionizing radiation and a potent antitumor enediyne antibiotic (C-1027). Photo-caged precursors of several reactive nucleobase intermediates were synthesized, which allowed rigorous reactivity studies between DNA and various repair enzymes and small molecules.

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 2014 – 2017

Visiting Research Scholar, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 2015 – 2017
After my PhD, I moved to Salk to gain more experience in biological research and my project involved developing general methods for genome-wide mapping of viral protein-DNA and global mapping of specific RNA-DNA interactions.

Selected Publications

  • San Pedro, J. M. N.; Greenberg, M. M. 5,6-Dihydropyrimidine Peroxyl Radical Reactivity in DNA. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 3928
  • San Pedro, J. M. N.; Greenberg, M. M.Photochemical control of DNA structure via radical disproportionation. ChemBioChem, 2013, 14, 1590
  • San Pedro, J. M. N.; Beerman, T. A.; Greenberg, M. M. DNA damage by C1027 involves hydrogen atom abstraction and addition to nucleobases. Bioorg. & Med. Chem. 2012, 20, 474
  • San Pedro, J. M. N.; Greenberg, M. M. Photochemical generation and reactivity of the major hydroxyl radical adduct of thymidine. Org. Lett. 2012, 14, 2866