Robert McFeeters


Robert McFeeters

Associate Professor, Chemistry


Research in our group is centered on antimicrobial development and understanding the macrmolecular interactions underlying infectious agents. A major project centers on essential peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase enzymes, in particular bacterial Pth1 and the ability to inhibit peptidyl-tRNA cleavage as a novel antibiotic approach. Another major project involves carbohydrate binding lectins, their interaction with pathogens, and their development as antimicrobials. Other projects involve structure/function characterization of BcSnod virulence factors from the necrotrophic fungi Botrytis cinerea and discovery of novel antifungals. To varying degrees, these projects utilize Site Specific Aromatic Labeling (SSAL) methodology developed in our group. Our interest is mostly in understanding pathogenic phenomena at the molecular level, though we have gained significant experience in microbiology laboratory techniques.

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  • Ph.D., Molecular Medicine, Cornell University, 2002
  • B.S., Engineering Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1995

Classes Taught

Honors & Awards

  • UAHuntsville Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, 2015
  • Featured in April 2013 International Innovations for Research Breakthroughs
  • UAHuntsville, Excellence in Teaching Recognition, 2010 & 2013
  • UAHuntsville, Junior Faculty Distinguished Research Award, 2009 & 2012
  • NIH Post-doctoral Fellowship, 2002-2008
  • USAMRMC Breast Cancer Research Predoctoral Fellowship, 1997
  • PhRMA Advanced Predoctoral Fellowship, 1997


  • W. B. Holloway, H. McFeeters, A. M. Powell, G. S. Nidadavolu, R. L. McFeeters, A Highly Adaptable Method for Quantification of Peptidyl-tRNA Hydrolase Activity, Journal of Analytical and Bioanalytical Techniques, 6(3), 2015.
  • H. McFeeters, R. L. McFeeters, Current Methods for Analysis of Enzymatic Peptidyl-tRNA Hydrolysis, Journal of Analytical and Bioanalytical Techniques, 5(5), 2014.
  • V. Surapuram, W. N. Setzer, R. L. McFeeters, H. McFeeters, Antifungal Activity of Plant Extracts against Aspergillus niger and Rhizopus stolonifer, Natural Product Communications, 9(11):1603-1605, 2014.
  • V. Vandavasi, K. Taylor-Creel, R. L. McFeeters, L. Coates and H. McFeeters, Recombinant Production, Crystallization, and X-ray Crystallographic Structure Determination of Peptidyl- tRNA Hydrolase from S. typhimurium, Acta Crystallographica Section F, 70(7):872-877, 2014.
  • K. Taylor-Creel, M. C. Hames, W. B. Holloway, H. McFeeters, R. L. McFeeters, Expression, Purification, and Solubility Optimization of Peptidyl-tRNA Hydrolase 1 from Bacillus cereus, Protein Expression and Purification, 95:259-264, 2014.
  • J. K. Baird, R. L. McFeeters, K. G. Caraballo, Specific Rate of Protein Crystallization Determined by the Guggenheim Method, International Journal of Thermophysics, 35(5):830-840 2014.
  • M. C. Hames, H. McFeeters, W. B. Holloway, C. B. Stanley, V. S. Urban, R. L. McFeeters, Small Molecule Binding, Docking, and Characterization of the Interaction between Pth1 and Peptidyl-tRNA, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14:22741-22752, 2013.
  • R. L. McFeeters, Recent Antimicrobial Developments Targeting Peptidyl-tRNA Hydrolases, JSM Biotechnology & Biomedical Engineering, 1(1):1006-1008, 2013.
  • H. McFeeters, M. J. Gilbert, A. M. Wood, C. B. Haggenmaker, J. Jones, O. Kutsch, R. L. McFeeters, Scytovirin Engineering Improves Carbohydrate Affinity and HIV-1 Entry Inhibition, Biochemistry and Physiology, S2-003, 2013.
  • J. K. Baird, R. L. McFeeters, Effects of Hydrodynamic Convection and Interionic Electrostatic Forces on Protein Crystallization, Crystal Growth and Design, 13:1889-1898, 2013.
  • R. C. Hughes, H. McFeeters, L. Coates, R. L. McFeeters, Recombinant Production, Crystallization and X-ray Crystallographic Structure Determination of the Peptidyl-tRNA Hydrolase of P. aeruginosa, Acta Crystallographica Section F, 68(12):1472-1476, 2012.
  • H. McFeeters, R. L. McFeeters, Antifungal Approaches to the Recurring Threat of Botrytis cinerea, International Journal of Modern Botany, 2(5):127-144, 2012.
  • S. Rathi, H. McFeeters, R. L. McFeeters*, M. R. Davis, Purification and Phytotoxic Analysis of Botrytis cinerea Virulence Factors: New Avenues for Crop Protection, Agriculture, 2(3):154- 164, 2012. *corresponding author
  • H. McFeeters, M. J. Gilbert, R. M. Thompson, W. N. Setzer, L. R. Cruz-Vera, and R. L. McFeeters, Inhibition of Essential Bacterial Peptidyl-tRNA Hydrolase Activity by Tropical Plant Extracts, Natural Products Communications, 7(8):1107-1110, 2012.
  • T. M. Sabo, D. Bakhtiari, K. F. A. Walter, R. L. McFeeters, K. Giller, S. Becker, C. Griesinger, D. Lee, Thermal Coefficients of the Methyl Groups within Ubiquitin, Protein Science, 21(4):562-570, 2012.
  • S. M. Harris, H. McFeeters, I. V. Ogungbe, L. R. Cruz-Vera, W. N. Setzer, B. R. Jackes, R. L. McFeeters, Peptidyl-tRNA Hydrolase Screening Combined with Molecular Docking Reveals the Antibiotic Potential of Syzygium johnsonii Bark Extract, Natural Products Communications, 6(10):1421-1424, 2011.
  • R. Chandrashekar, O. Salem, H. Křížová, R. L. McFeeters, P. Adams, A Switch I Mutant of Cdc42 Exhibits Decreased Conformational Freedom, Biochemistry, 50(28):6196-6207, 2011.
  • T. J. Giesy, A. S. Chou, R. L. McFeeters, J. Baird, Critical-point Universality in Adsorption: The Effect of Charcoal on a Mixture of Isobutyric Acid and Water Near the Consolute Point, Physical Review E, 83(6-1):0612011-0612018, 2011.

For all publications see Robert McFeeters's CV