Chemistry & Biochemistry

Maha Zewail Foote

Professor of Chemistry

Areas of expertise

Chemistry of drug-DNA interactions, Photoinduced DNA damage


PhD, The University of Texas at Austin 2000
BS (with honors), Caltech 1994


Professor of Chemistry
Southwestern University
August 01, 2013 - present

Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Southwestern University
August 01, 2010 - present

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Southwestern University
August 01, 2009 - July 01, 2013

Visiting Researcher
The University of Texas at Austin
August 01, 2009 - July 31, 2010

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Southwestern University
August 01, 2003 - July 31, 2009

Postdoctoral Associate
St. Edwards University
August 01, 2001 - May 31, 2002

Teaching Philosophy

Previous Courses

General Chemistry 1 and 2, Accelerated Chemistry, Advanced Topics in Biochemistry


* denotes undergraduate student

Holman, Garen G.;^ Zewail-Foote, Maha;^ Smith, Amy R.; Johnson, Kenneth A.; Iverson, Brent L. "A Sequence-Specific Threading Tetraintercalator with an Extremely Slow Dissociation Rate Constant" Nature Chem. 2011, 3, 875-881. (DOI:10.1038/NCHEM.1151)    ^co-first authors

Zewail-Foote, Maha; Diehl, Abby;* Benson, Anastasia;* Lee, Kuan H.;* Guarraci, Fay A. "Reproductive Success and Mate Choice in Long-Evans Rats" Physiology & Behavior 2009, 96, 98-103. (Featured on the cover).

Kainthla, Radhika;* Zewail-Foote, Maha "Oxidative DNA Damage Following Photoexcitation of Daunomycin: Direct Role of Oxygen" J. Photochem. Photobiol. A: Chem. 2008, 198, 200-204.

Zewail-Foote, Maha; Li, Ven-Shun; Kohn, Harold.; Bearss, David; Guzman, Mary; Hurley, Laurence H. "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 2001, 8, 1033-1049.

Zewail-Foote, Maha; Hurley, Laurence H.  "Differential Rates of Reversibility of Ecteinascidin 743-DNA Covalent Adducts from Different Sequences Lead to Migration to Favored Bonding Sites" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2001, 123, 6485-6495.

Hurley, Laurence H.;  Zewail-Foote, Maha "The Antitumor Agent Ecteinascidin 743: Characterization of its Covalent DNA Adducts and Chemical Stability" Adv Exp Med Biol 2001, 500, 289-299.

Zewail-Foote, Maha; Hurley, Laurence H. "Ecteinascidin 743: A Minor Groove Alkylator that Bends DNA Toward the Major Groove? J. Med. Chem. 1999, 42, 2493-2497.

Zewail-Foote, Maha; Hurley, Laurence H. "Molecular Approaches to Achieving Control of Gene Expression by Drug Intervention at the Transcriptional Level" Anti-Cancer Drug Design 1999, 14, 1-9.

Arendt, Barbara H.; Kannan, Rangaramanujum M.; Zewail, Maha; Kornfield, Julia A. and Smith, Steve S. "Dynamics of Each Component in Miscible Blends of Polyisoprene and Polyvinylethylene" Rheologica Acta 1994, 33, 322-336.