Nathalie Busschaert

Assistant Professor

(504) 314-7672
School of Science & Engineering
Nathalie Busschaert

Dr. Busschaert's Group


5088 Percival Stern Building

Education & Affiliations

Ph.D., 2014, University of Southampton


My research interests include:

Development of transmembrane transporters
Membranes play an important biological function by avoiding the free movement of ions and polar molecules into the cell. The controlled transport of these compounds is regulated by specialized proteins (ion channels, efflux pumps, etc). However, in some cases these proteins malfunction (e.g. cystic fibrosis), or the barrier created by the membrane is problematic for drugs to reach their target. In our lab we therefore develop small molecules that can transport polar compounds such as ions, hydrophilic drugs and DNA/RNA across biological membranes.

Recognition of membrane components
The recognition of membrane components such as various types of phospholipids has been an underexplored field, even though membranes can have different compositions depending on the situation (e.g. bacterial cells consist of different lipids than mammalian cells, and cancer cells have different lipid ratios than healthy cells). We therefore aim to develop receptors that can recognize specific lipids in order to use them in medical applications.


Organic Chemistry, Supramolecular Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology

Selected Publications

Busschaert, N., García-López, V., Ke, C., McGuirk, C.M., Shimizu, L.S., Gerthoffer, M.C., Bhattacharjee, N. NASC: Bringing Together Supramolecular Chemists from Across North America. Supramol. Chem. (2023). In Press. DOI: 10.1080/10610278.2023.2178724.

Herschede, S.R., Salam, R., Gneid, H., Busschaert, N. Bacterial cytological profiling identifies transmembrane anion transport as the mechanism of action for a urea-based antibiotic. Supramol. Chem. (2023). In Press. DOI: 10.1080/10610278.2023.2178921.

Leigh, J.S., Busschaert, N., Haynes, C.J., Hiscock, J.R., Hutchins, K.M., von Krbek, L.K., McConnell, A.J., Slater, A.G., Smith, D.K. and Draper, E.R. Planning a family. Nat. Rev. Chem., 6, 673–675 (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41570-022-00427-0

Williams, E.S., Gneid, H., Marshall, S.R., González, M.J., Mandelbaum, J.A., Busschaert, N. A supramolecular host for phosphatidylglycerol (PG) lipids with antibacterial activity. Org. Biomol. Chem., 20, 5958-5966 (2022). DOI: 10.1039/D1OB02298A.

Slater, A., Caltagirone, C., Draper, E., Busschaert, N., Hutchins, K., Leigh, J. Pregnancy in the lab. Nat. Rev. Chem., 6, 163–164 (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41570-022-00362-0

Leigh, J.S., Hiscock, J.R., Koops, S., McConnell, A.J., Haynes, C.J.E., Caltagirone, C., Kieffer, M., Draper, E.R., Slater, A.G., Hutchins, K.M., Watkins, D., Busschaert, N., von Krbek, L.K.S., Jolliffe, K.A., Hardie, M.J. Managing research throughout COVID-19: Lived experiences of supramolecular chemists. Chem, 8, 299-311 (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.chempr.2022.01.001

Busschaert, N., Maity, D., Samanta, P.K., English, N.J., Hamilton, A.D. Improving structural stability and anticoagulant activity of a thrombin binding aptamer by aromatic modifications. ChemBioChem, 23, e2021006 (2022). DOI: 10.1002/cbic.202100670