Martin Burke’s research interests are in organic chemistry with a specific focus on synthesizing and studying small molecules with protein-like functions. His research includes “Lego Chemistry,” which synthesizes small molecules for scientific research through amino acid building blocks. Molecular Prosthetics, another area of his research, uses small molecules to perform protein-like functions to promote physiological restoration. He also studies antifungals, specifically for the fungal pathogens Candida and Aspergillus. His research aims to find a way to make a derivative of the toxic but effective drug AmB to fight off deadly fungal infections.
Burke completed his undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1998 and his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2003. After completing an M.D. at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois in June 2005. Burke is an affiliate of the Department of Biochemistry and an Associate Dean for Research at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He is a Professor at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Biomedical and Translational Sciences, and the Beckman Insitute for Advanced Science and Technology.