Christopher Walsh is a consulting professor to the Stanford University Department of Chemistry and an advisor to the Stanford ChEM-H institute. He was the Hamilton Kuhn Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School from 1987 to 2013, when he took emeritus status. He has had extensive academic leadership experience, including Chairmanship of the MIT Chemistry Department and of the HMS Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology Department, as well as serving as President and CEO of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. At Stanford he has taught short courses including Posttranslational Modifications of Proteins: Expanding Nature’s Inventory (Chem 187/287) and also Antibiotics: Mechanisms and Resistance.
Dr. Walsh’s research has focused on enzymes and enzyme inhibitors, with specialization on antibiotics and biosynthesis of other biologically and medicinally active natural products. He and his group authored 810 research papers, and four books: Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms (1979); Antibiotics: Origins, Actions, Resistance (2003); Posttranslational Modification of Proteins: Expanding Nature’s Inventory (2005); and Antibiotics: Challenges, Mechanisms, Opportunities (2016).
Dr. Walsh is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a co-recipient of the 2010 Welch Prize in Chemistry. At Harvard and MIT he taught biochemistry, chemical biology, and pharmacology to medical students and graduate students and organic chemistry to undergraduates.
He has been involved in a variety of venture-based biotechnology companies since 1981, including Genzyme, Immunogen, Leukosite, Millenium, Kosan, Vicuron, Epizyme. Currently he is on the board of directors of Ironwood, and Proteostasis, and the non profits: California Institute for Biomedical Research and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He is a member of the scientific advisory groups at Hua, Abide, Cidara, and Flex Pharma, an advisor to Health Care Ventures and a limited investor in Health Care Ventures, MPM bioventures, Clarus, and the Longwood Venture Funds.
Dr. Walsh is married to Diana Chapman Walsh, who was president of Wellesley College from 1993-2007 and was the founding chair of the board of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Their daughter Allison Walsh Kurian is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford and co-director of the High Risk Center for women with genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer.
Walsh, C. T. (2015). A chemocentric view of the natural product inventory. NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY, 11(9), 620–24.
Walsh, C. T. (2014). Biological matching of chemical reactivity: pairing indole nucleophilicity with electrophilic isoprenoids. ACS Chemical Biology, 9(12), 2718–28.
Walsh, C. T. (2020). Biologically generated carbon dioxide: nature's versatile chemical strategies for carboxy lyases. NATURAL PRODUCT REPORTS, 37(1), 100–135.
Walsh, C. T. (2014). Blurring the Lines between Ribosomal and Nonribosomal Peptide Scaffolds. ACS CHEMICAL BIOLOGY, 9(8), 1653–1661.
Walsh, C. T., & Wencewicz, T. A. (2013). Flavoenzymes: versatile catalysts in biosynthetic pathways. Natural Product Reports, 30(1), 175–200.
Cacho, R. A., Jiang, W., Chooi, Y.-H., Walsh, C. T., & Tang, Y. (2012). Identification and Characterization of the Echinocandin B Biosynthetic Gene Cluster from Emericella rugulosa NRRL 11440. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 134(40), 16781–16790.
Walsh, C. T. (2016). Insights into the chemical logic and enzymatic machinery of NRPS assembly lines. Natural Product Reports, 33(2), 127–35.
Walsh, C. T., O'Brien, R. V., & Khosla, C. (2013). Nonproteinogenic amino acid building blocks for nonribosomal peptide and hybrid polyketide scaffolds. Angewandte Chemie (International Ed. in English), 52(28), 7098–7124.
Walsh, C. T., & Wencewicz, T. A. (2014). Prospects for new antibiotics: a molecule-centered perspective. JOURNAL OF ANTIBIOTICS, 67(1), 7–22.
Walsh, C. T., Haynes, S. W., Ames, B. D., Gao, X., & Tang, Y. (2013). Short Pathways to Complexity Generation: Fungal Peptidyl Alkaloid Multicyclic Scaffolds from Anthranilate Building Blocks. ACS CHEMICAL BIOLOGY, 8(7), 1366–1382.