donald muccioProfessor Emeritus

Research Areas
Design of new retinoids

Research Interests

Our research efforts center on vitamin A and its metabolites, since they are essential for the maturation and development of skin cells. My laboratory is involved with the design of new retinoids that are effective drugs to prevent/treat disease without toxicity. More specifically, my research group designs, syntheses and studies how our UAB retinoids bind to the retinoid X receptors (RXRs) and act as agonist in important signaling pathways. We have used structural biological studies (x-ray diffraction; quantum mechanical and molecular dynamic computational methods), thermodynamic approaches (ITC; DSC), and recently hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometer (HDX MS) to understand the molecular interactions between retinoids and RXRs.

Our group is most well-known for the design and translational development of UAB30, a Class II UAB rexinoid. UAB30 is now in human clinical trials that are evaluating it for toxicity, pharmacology, and its efficacy as a new drug for cancer prevention. UAB30 is being carefully evaluated by the NCI and UAB clinicians, since it does not cause toxicity associated with other clinically used retinoids. UAB30 does not cause lipid toxicity or have other unfavorable effects on metabolism, yet it is efficacious in preventing cancer derived from epithelial tissues.

Our research is funded by grants from the National Institute of Cancer (NCI).


Graduate School
Ph.D., Ohio State University


McCallum Basic Health Science Building
Room 555
1918 University Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35294-0005