Picture of Jonathan Dimmock

Jonathan Dimmock Emeritus Professor

Thorvaldson 211

Dr. Dimmock is a medicinal chemist. He obtained his Ph. D. on the syntheses of candidate narcotic analgesics from the University of London, England and then worked as a research chemist in the industrial sector in the U.K. He joined the faculty of the College of Pharmacy (as it was then) in 1967 and rose to be a full professor in 1976. His teaching was principally devoted to a required course in medicinal chemistry and he initiated an elective on drug design. Much of this latter course was incorporated into a book entitled “An Introduction to Drug Design” which was published in 1997. In 1998 Dr. Dimmock received the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Award.

In 2002 Dr. Dimmock retired in order to work full time in research principally in conjunction with Dr. Umashankar Das.


The research emphasis of Dr. Dimmock continues to be in the realm of cancer chemotherapy. In practice novel compounds are designed as anticancer drugs which are then synthesised and evaluated for their bioactivity. Specifically the principal group of molecules examined are conjugated unsaturated ketones which have an affinity for thiols and not amino and hydroxyl groups which are found in nucleic acids. An aim is to prepare compounds which demonstrate tumour-selective toxicity which are also effective against multidrug resistant tumours. Use is made of computer software packages which enables the shapes of active and inactive molecules to be compared as well as docking compounds to ascertain the extent of binding of molecules at a binding site of a specific enzyme. The modes of action of bioactive compounds are studied and in particular the effects of the novel compounds on mitochondrial function are noted. X-ray crystallography of representative molecules is undertaken to confirm the proposed structures and to reveal the shapes of molecules.

Other investigations undertaken involved the creation of a number of series of novel anticonvulsants, one of which entered a limited clinical trial. Various antimicrobial and antiparasitical agents have been prepared and a highly effective immunosuppressant was involved in a number of preclinical toxicology experiments.

The supervision or co-supervision of a number of M. Sc. and Ph. D. theses has been accomplished as well as assisting the research of various postdoctoral fellows, Visiting Professors and Visiting Scholars. A number of chapters in books and review articles have also been published. To date these studies have led to approximately 240 refereed articles in a variety of journals along with about 100 Abstracts. In addition Dr. Dimmock has been the external examiner of a number of M. Sc. and Ph. D. theses as well as being a frequent reviewer for manuscripts submitted to various journals.