Office: 808 Salk Hall

Phone: 412-383-5300


Dr. McDermott holds a PhD degree in organic chemistry from Brown University and an MBA degree in finance from Rutgers University.

After completing postdoctoral work at Columbia University, Dr. McDermott joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department of Hoffmann La Roche, Inc., where he held the positions of Principal Scientist and Senior Principal Scientist. As part of the Oncology and Metabolic Diseases medicinal chemistry sections he was involved in hit-to-lead campaigns, the SAR and DMPK optimization of small molecule leads, and the rational design of small molecule series via the use of molecular modeling and x-ray structures. Dr. McDermott was part of the extended teams that identified two small molecule clinical candidates that entered clinical trials and was named inventor in 23 patent applications.
In 2009 Dr. McDermott left Roche and joined a NYC consulting firm as senior consultant. In that capacity he led multi-disciplinary teams, located in the US and overseas, in the evaluation of projects and drug candidates for pharmaceutical industry clients. In 2011 Dr. McDermott joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh as a Visiting Research Professor and in 2014 he was appointed as Assistant Professor.

Dr. McDermott is a member of the leadership faculty of the University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute and also a member of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.  He has served as proposal reviewer for the University of Pittsburgh Central Research and Development Fund (CRDF) and the Swiss National Science Foundation and he is an editorial board member of the Journal of Drug Research and Development and Chronicles of Pharmaceutical Science.

He is also teaching faculty in the courses: a) Pharm_3032, Medicinal Chemistry; b) Pharm_3023, Foundations of Pharmaceutical Sciences; c) Pharm_5117, Biochemistry II; d) Pharm_2001, Pharmaceutical Analysis; e) MSMPHL_2370, Drug Discovery – Challenges and Opportunities 

Dr. McDermott's research interests are rational drug design, synthesis and optimization of small molecules against enzyme targets that are important in tumor cell proliferation, neuronal injury pathways, metabolic and infectious diseases.

Selected recent publications.

1. McDermott, L. A. “Kidney-type glutaminase inhibitors for treating cancer”. J. Drug Res. Dev. 2017, 3(2), 133 (http://dx.doi. org/10.16966/2470-1009.133)

2. McDermott, L.A. “McDermott LA, Iyer P, Vernetti L, Rimer S, Sun J, Boby M, Yang T, Fioravanti M, O'Neill J, Wang L, Drakes D, Katt W, Huang Q, Cerione R. “Design and evaluation of novel glutaminase inhibitors” Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2016, 24(8), 1819-39.

3. Marani, M.; Paone, A.; Fiascarelli, A.; Macone, A.; Gargano, M.; Rinaldo, S.; Giardina, G.; Pontecorvi, V.; Koes, D.; McDermott, L.; Yang, T.; Paiardini, A.; Contestabile, R.; Cutruzzolà, F. “A pyrazolopyran derivative preferentially inhibits the activity of human cytosolic hydroxymethyltransferase and induces cell death in lung cancer cells” Oncotarget. 2016, 7(4), 4570-4583.

4. Skrypnyk, N.I.; Sanker, S.; Brilli-Skvarca, L.; Novitskaya, T.; Woods, C.; Chiba, T.; Patel, K.; Goldberg, N.D.; McDermott, L.; Vinson, P.N.; Calcutt, M.W.; Huryn, D.M.; Vernetti, L.A.; Vogt, A.; Hukriede, N.; deCaestecker, M.P. “Delayed treatment with PTBA analogs reduces post injury renal fibrosis after kidney injury”. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2016, 310 (8), F705-F716.

5. Paiardini, A,.; Fiascarelli, A.; Rinaldo, S.; Daidone, F.; Giardina, G.; Koes, D.R.; Parroni, A.; Montini, G.; Marani, M.; Paone, A.; McDermott, L.A.; Contestabile, R.; Cutruzzolà, F. “Screening and in vitro testing of antifolate inhibitors of human cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase.” ChemMedChem 2015, 10, 490-497.

6. McDermott, L.; Qin, C. “Allosteric MeK Inhibitors for the Treatment of Cancer. An Overview” J. Drug Res. Dev. 2015, 1 (1):

7. Qian, W.; Wang, J.; Roginskaya, V.; McDermott, L. A.; Edwards, R. P.; Stolz, D. B.; Liambi, F.; Green, D. R.; Van Houten, B. “Novel combination of mitochondrial division inhibitor 1 (mdivi-1) and platinum agents produces synergistic pro-apoptotic effect in drug resistant tumor cells” Oncotarget, 2014, 5(12), 4180-4194.

8. Novitskaya, T.; McDermott, L.; Zhang, K.X.; Chiba, T.; Paueksakon, P.; Hukriede, N.; de Caestecker, M.P. “A PTBA class small molecule enchances recovery and reduces post injury fibrosis after aristolochic acid-induced kidney injury. Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol. 2014, 306, 496-504.

9. Sanker, S.; Cirio, M. C.; Vollmer, L.L.; Goldberg, N. D.; McDermott, L. A.; Hukriede, N. A.; Vogt, A. “Development of high-content assays for kidney progenitor cell expansion in transgenic zebrafish” J. Biomol. Screen. 2013, 18(10), 1193-202.

10. Cosentino, C. C.; Skrypnyk, N.; Brilli, L. L.; Chiba, T.; Novitskaya, T.; Woods, C.; West, J.; Korotchenko, V.N.; McDermott, L.; Day, B. W.; Davidson, A. J.; Harris, R.; de Caestecker, M. P.; Hukriede. “Histone deacetylase inhibitor enhances recovery after AKI” J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 2013, 24, 943-953.

11. Qian, Y.; Wertheimer, S. J.; Ahmad, M.; Cheung, A. W-H.; Firooznia, F.; Hamilton, M. M.; Hayden, S.; Li, S.; Marcopulos, N.; McDermott, L.; Tan, J.; Yun, W.; Guo, L.; Pamidukkala, A.; Chen, Y.; Huang, K-S.; Ramsey, G. B.; Whittard, T.; Conde-Knape, K; Taub, R.; Rodinone, C. M.; Tilley, J.; Bolin, D. “Discovery of Orally Active Carboxylic Acid Derivatives of 2-Phenyl-5-trifluoromethyloxazole-4-carboxamide as Potent Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase-1 Inhibitors for the Potential Treatment of Obesity and Diabetes”. J. Med. Chem. 2011, 54, 2433.