• I'm a native Texan, and as a college student at UT Austin I found my passions for chemistry, teaching, and service, and I met my future wife. I trained in the research areas of medicinal chemistry, structural biology, biophysics, and nanotechnology before starting at Trinity in 2004. My research group of Trinity students has established methods for binding peptides and proteins predictively on the basis of the amino acid sequence, and we are now pursuing applications in the areas of biosensing, protein engineering, and drug formulation. The science is interesting and fun, but my real passion is teaching organic chemistry and mentoring research students. I am also heavily invested in service to Trinity and to the science community, and I am devoted to my family.

    • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University 
    • Ph D. in Organic Chemistry, California Institute of Technology 
    • B.S. in Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin

    *indicates Trinity student or alumni co-author

    "Molecular Recognition of Methionine-Terminated Peptides by Cucurbit[8]uril” Zoheb Hirani,* Hailey F. Taylor,* Emily F. Babcock,* Andrew T. Bockus, C. Daniel Varnado, Jr., Christopher W. Bielawski, Adam R. Urbach, “ (Article) Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2018, v. 140, 12263-12269. 

    "Cucurbit[7]uril-Tetramethylrhodamine Conjugate for Direct Sensing and Cellular Imaging" Andrew T. Bockus, Lauren C. Smith,* Amy G. Grice,* Omar A. Ali,* Carolyn C. Young,* William Mobley,* James L. Roberts, Brittany Vinciguerra, Lyle Isaacs, and Adam R. Urbach, (Article) Journal of the American Chemical Society 2016, v. 138, 16549-16552. 

    "Sequence-Specific, Nanomolar Peptide Binding via Cucurbit[8]uril-Mediated Folding and Inclusion of Neighboring Side Chains” Lauren C. Smith,* David G. Leach,* Brittney E. Blaylock,* Omar A. Ali,* and Adam R. Urbach, (Article) Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2015, v. 137, 3663-3669. Selected as a Spotlight Article. 

    "Supramolecular Enhancement of Protein Analysis via the Recognition of Phenylalanine with Cucurbit[7]uril" Min Hyeon Shin, Jong Wha Lee, William Mobley,* Adam R. Urbach, and Hugh I. Kim, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2015, V. 137, 15322-15329.

    "Sequence-Specific Inhibition of a Nonspecific Protease" Leigh A. Logsdon* and Adam R. Urbach, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013, v. 135, 11414-11416.

    "Molecular Recognition of Insulin by a Synthetic Receptor" Jordan M. Chinai*, Alexander B. Taylor, Lisa M. Ryno*, Nicholas D. Hargreaves*, Christopher A. Morris*, P. John Hart, and Adam R. Urbach, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011, v. 133, 8810-8813. Selected as a Spotlight Article.

    "Determining Protease Substrate Selectivity and Inhibition by Label-Free Supramolecular Tandem Assays" Garima Ghale, Vijayakumar Ramalingam, Adam R. Urbach, and Werner M. Nau, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011, v. 133, 7528-7535.

    "Nanomolar Binding of Peptides Containing Noncanonical Amino Acids by a Synthetic Receptor" Leigh A. Logsdon,* Christopher L. Schardon,* Vijayakumar Ramalingam, Sharon K. Kwee,* and Adam R. Urbach, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011, v. 133, 17087-17092.

    • Synthetic Receptors in Water
    • Biomolecular Recognition
    • Biosensors
    • Protein Engineering
    • Multivalency
    • Drug Formulation
    Research Support

    Urbach's work has been supported by $2.8M in grants from federal agencies and private foundations including the Welch Foundation, the National Science Foundation (CAREER, RUI, and MRI programs), the National Institutes of Health (R15 program), Research Corporation for Science Advancement (Cottrell Scholar, LEAD, and Cottrell Scholar Collaborative programs), the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.

    • Organic Chemistry 
    • Chemical Synthesis 
    • Medicinal Chemistry
    • Supramolecular Chemistry
    • 2019 Trinity University Faculty Award for Outstanding Research 
    • 2016 Research Corporation LEAD Award 
    • 2015 Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar (Inaugural class for PUI professors) 
    • 2009 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award 
    • 2008 National Science Foundation Career Award 
    • 2007 Trinity University Distinguished Junior Faculty Award 
    • 2006 Cottrell College Science Award 
    • 2003 National Institutes of Health NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard 
    • 1996 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, Caltech 
    • 1996 Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellow, Declined 
    • 1996 Dean’s Honored Graduate, UT Austin College of Natural Science 
    • 1996 Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha of Texas, UT Austin 
    • 1995 Pfizer Undergraduate Fellow in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, UT Austin
    • Faculty Workload Task Force, 2018-present 
    • Advisory Board for Impact Magazine, 2015-present 
    • DeCoursey Lecture Committee, 2016-present 
    • Chemistry Summer Research Program Coordinator, 2019-present 
    • Chair, Faculty Search in Organic Chemistry, 2019-present 
    • Editorial Board for Frontiers in Chemistry, 2019-present 
    • Editorial Board for Supramolecular Chemistry, 2011-present 
    • Cottrell Scholar Selection Committee, Research Corporation, 2019-present 
    • Organizer of the COMPASS Program on Student Career Mentoring, 2017-present 
    • International Advisory Board, International Conference on Cucurbiturils, 2019-present 
    • Trinity Tower Scholars Day, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 
    • Co-Organizer of the 6th International Conference on Cucurbiturils, 2019 
    • Faculty Adviser to the Chemistry Club, 2004-2010, 2014-2016, 2019 
    • University Curriculum Council, 2017 
    • Presidential Search Committee, 2014 
    • Chair of the Faculty Senate, 2014-2016 
    • Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate, 2012-2014 
    • Faculty Senator, 2006-2008 
    • Faculty Adviser to the Honor Council, 2010-2011