Maha Zewail-Foote

Notable Achievements

Garey Chair and Professor of Chemistry Maha Zewail-Foote  published an article in the Journal of Chemical Education  on transitioning her biochemistry lab class to a remote format. She described the assignments she created that maintained the research learning objectives of the course and enhanced research skills as well as the community outreach project, Making a Difference, that she developed for the class.

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Expertise

Alternative (non-B) DNA structures, chemistry of drug-DNA interactions, photoinduced and oxidative DNA damage, genetic instability

Dr. Zewail-Foote earned a B.S. degree in chemistry with honors from Caltech and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. She joined the faculty at Southwestern University in 2003 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and Professor in 2013.  She holds the Garey Chair in Chemistry at Southwestern and is a Visiting Scholar at UT Austin. 

Dr. Zewail-Foote regularly teaches general chemistry and biochemistry and she brings in the latest research topics in her courses. Undergraduate students in her research group are taught how to conduct interdisciplinary research at the forefront of nucleic acid (DNA) chemistry. Her research has led to publications in top-ranking journals such as Nature Chemistry and Nucleic Acids Research.

  • Dr. Zewail-Foote earned a B.S. degree in chemistry with honors from Caltech and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. She joined the faculty at Southwestern University in 2003 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and Professor in 2013.  She holds the Garey Chair in Chemistry at Southwestern and is a Visiting Scholar at UT Austin. 

    Dr. Zewail-Foote regularly teaches general chemistry and biochemistry and she brings in the latest research topics in her courses. Undergraduate students in her research group are taught how to conduct interdisciplinary research at the forefront of nucleic acid (DNA) chemistry. Her research has led to publications in top-ranking journals such as Nature Chemistry and Nucleic Acids Research.

  • M. Zewail-Foote (2020) Pivoting an Upper-Level, Project-Based Biochemistry Laboratory Class to Online Learning During COVID-19: Enhancing Research Skills and Using Community Outreach to Engage Undergraduate Students, Journal of Chemical Education, in press

    M. Zewail-Foote, J.R. Venters*, K.A. Johnson (2019) Teaching Chemical Kinetics with Dynamic Simulations, Trends in Chemistry, 1, 278-281.

    E. Niemeyer and M. Zewail-Foote (2018) Influence of gender on student perceptions of the clicker in a small undergraduate general chemistry course, Journal of Chemical Education, 95, 218-223.

    I.M. del Mundo, M. Zewail-Foote, S.M. Kerwin, and K.M. Vasquez (2017) Alternative DNA structure formation in the mutagenic human c-MYC promoter, Nucleic Acids Research, 45: 4929-4943. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkx100

    Z. Johnson*, J. Venters*, F.A. Guarraci, M. Zewail-Foote (2015) Methamphetamine induces DNA damage in specific regions of the female rat brain, Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 42: 570-575.

    V. Kumar, A. Vasudevan, L.J. Ting Soh, C.L. Min, A. Vyas, M. Zewail-Foote and F.A. Guarraci (2014) Sexual attractiveness in male rats is associated with greater concentration of major urinary proteins, Biology of Reproduction, 91: 1-7.

    A. Zewail & M. Zewail (2013) Science for the “Haves”, Agnew. Chem. Int. Ed., 52: 108-111.

    J. Bolton*, C. Winland*, B. Ford*, A. Burbey*, M. Zewail-Foote and F.A. Guarraci (2012) Kin discrimination in prepubescent and adult Long-Evans rats, Behavioural Processes, 90: 415-419.

    C. Winland*, J. Bolton*, B. Ford*, S. Jampana*, J. Tinker,* R.J. Frohardt, F.A. Guarraci and M. Zewail-Foote (2012) “Nice Guys Finish Last”: Influence of mate choice on reproductive success in the Long Evans rat, Physiology & Behavior, 105:868-876.

    G. G. Holman, M. Zewail-Foote, A.R. Smith, K.A. Johnson, and B.L. Iverson (2011) A sequence-specific threading tetraintercalator with an extremely slow dissociation rate constant, Nature Chemistry 3: 875-881. (co-first author)

    M. Zewail-Foote, A. Diehl*, A. Benson*, M. Lee*, F. A. Guarraci (2009) Mate preference and paternity in female long evans rats. Physiology & Behavior 96: 98-103. (Featured on the cover)

    R. Kainthla*, M. Zewail-Foote (2008) Oxidative DNA damage following photoexcitation of daunomycin: Direct role of oxygen. J. Photochem. Photobiol. A: Chem. 198: 200-204.

    M. Zewail-Foote, L. Ven-Shun, H. Kohn, D. Bearss, M. Guzman, L.H. Hurley (2001) The inefficiency of incisions of Ecteinascidin 743-DNA adducts by the UvrABC nuclease and the unique structural feature of the DNA adducts can be used to explain the repair-dependent toxicities of this antitumor agent. Chemistry and Biology 8:1033-1049.

    M. Zewail-Foote, L.H. Hurley (2001) Differential rates of reversibility of Ecteinascidin 743-DNA covalent adducts from different sequences lead to migration to favored bonding sites. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 123: 6485-6495.

    L. H. Hurley, M. Zewail-Foote (2001) The antitumor agent Ecteinascidin 743: Characterization of its covalent DNA adducts and chemical stability. Adv Exp Med Biol 500: 289-299.

    M. Zewail-Foote, Hurley, L. H. (2001) Ecteinascidin 743: Characterization of its covalent DNA adducts and chemical stability. The Antitumor Agent In Snyder, R. e. al., ed. Biological Reactive Intermediates VI. New York, Kluwer Academic/Plenum. 2001.

    M. Zewail-Foote, L.H. Hurley (1999) Ecteinascidin 743: A minor groove alkylator that bends DNA toward the major groove. J. Med. Chem. 42: 2493-2497.

    M. Zewail-Foote, L.H. Hurley (1999) Molecular approaches to achieving control of gene expression by drug intervention at the transcriptional level. Anti-Cancer Drug Design 14: 1-9.

    B.H. Arendt, R.M. Kannan, M. Zewail, J.A. Kornfield and S.D. Smith. (1994) Dynamics of each component in miscible blends of polyisoprene and polyvinylethylene. Rheologica Acta 33: 322-336.


In the News

  • Keeping an Open Mind: The Opportunities of Remote Learning

    Garey Endowed Chair in Chemistry Maha Zewail-Foote publishes an article on how she successfully transformed her biochemistry lab to an online platform.

  • It’s Just Not the Same, Part 3

    SU faculty get creative in retooling their classes while students face the many difficulties of distance learning during the pandemic.

  • It’s Just Not the Same, Part 2

    SU faculty reflect on the challenges—and some unexpected rewards—of moving their classes online.