Dr. SteVan Pecic, Chemistry AND BIOCHEMISTRY


Dr. Stevan Pecic received a Dipl. Pharm. degree from The University of Belgrade in Serbia. He then obtained his doctorate degree in Biochemistry with concentration in Medicinal Chemistry from The Graduate School and University Center of The City University of New York advised by Dr. Wayne W. Harding. During his graduate work, Dr. Pecic studied natural products aporphines as serotonin receptor antagonists and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. For the next 8 years, he continued his career as an Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics where he gained experience in the designing nucleic acid-based biosensors. He has also been a lead chemist on soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors (sEHI) project. During this period Dr. Pecic has authored many peer-reviewed publications and holds a patent related to the inhibitors of the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH). Dr. Stevan Pecic joined The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at California State University, Fullerton in 2018. as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Research Areas


Inhibitors of sEH and FAAH

Our main research interests and assignments are focused on identification of novel inhibitors of enzymes involved in lipid metabolism and their evaluation as potential therapeutics. In particular, we are interested in two enzymes, soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Through traditional medicinal chemistry techniques, including in silico drug design, organic synthesis, structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies and in vitro biological evaluations, our goal is directed toward elucidation of the pharmacology and biochemistry of lipid metabolism and pathophysiology of related diseases.

Development of DNA-based aptamer biosensors

We are using optimized procedure (SELEX) that directly yields DNA-aptameric sensors for small molecules in so-called structure-switching format. We are in particular interested in small molecules such as steroids and drugs that regulate pain and inflammation. Aptamers generated via SELEX hold promise for diverse biomedical applications, such as drug development, bioimaging, drug discovery, disease diagnosis, hazard detection, food inspection, etc. 


Lu, R; Zeki, A; Ram-Mohan, S; Nguyen, N; Bai, Y; Chmiel, K; Pecic, S; Ai, X; Krishnan, R; Ghosh, C. Inhibiting Airway Smooth Muscle Contraction Using Pitavastatin: A Role for the Mevalonate Pathway in Regulating Cytoskeletal Proteins.   Frontiers in Pharmacology , (2020), 11: 469.


Wilt, S; Rodriguez, M; Thanh LN; Baltodano, EV; Salas, A; Pecic, S.   ​Design, Microwave‐Assisted Synthesis, Biological Evaluation and Molecular Modeling Studies of 4‐Phenylthiazoles as Potent Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Inhibitors.   Chemical Biology & Drug Design , (2020), 95:534–547. 


Pecic, S;   Milosavic, N; Rayat, G; Maffei, A; Harris, PE. A novel optical tracer for VMAT2 applied to live cell measurements of vesicle maturation in cultured human β-cells.   Scientific Reports , (2019) 9:5403.

Pecic, S; Zeki, AA; Xu, X; Jin, GY; Zhang, S; Kodani, S; Halim, M; Morisseau, C; Hammock, BD; Deng, SX. Novel piperidine- derived amide sEH inhibitors as mediators of lipid metabolism with improved stability  Prostaglandins and Other Lipid Mediators , (2018), 136, 90-95.

Katz, FS; Pecic, S; Schneider, L; Zhu, Z; Hastings, A; Luzac, M; Macdonald, J; Landry, DW; Stojanovic, MN. New therapeutic approaches and novel alternatives for organophosphate toxicity  Toxicology Letters  (2018), 291, 1-10.

Yang, KA; Chun, H; Zhang, Y; Pecic, S; Nakatsuka, N; Andrews, AM; Worgall, TS; Stojanovic, MN.   High- Affinity Nucleic- Acid- Based Receptors for Steroids  ACS Chemical Biology  (2017), 12(12), 3103-3112.

Tang, J; Ma, D; Pecic, S; Huang, C; Zheng, J; Li, J; Yang, R. Noninvasive and Highly Selective Monitoring of Intracellular Glucose via a Two- Step Recognition- Based Nanokit  Analytical Chemistry   (Washington, DC, United States) (2017), 89(16), 8319-8327.

Terzic, N; Konstantinovic, J; Tot, M; Burojevic, J; Djurkovic-Djakovic, O; Srbljanovic, J; Stajner, T; Verbic, T; Zlatovic, M; Machado, M; Albuquerque, IS; Prudencio, M; Sciotti, RJ; Pecic, S; D'Alessandro, S; Taramelli, D; Solaja, BA. Reinvestigating Old Pharmacophores: Are 4- Aminoquinolines and Tetraoxanes Potential Two- Stage Antimalarials?   Journal of Medicinal Chemistry  (2016), 59(1), 264-281.

Katz, FS; Pecic, S; Tran, TH; Trakht, I; Schneider, L; Zhu, Z; Ton-That, L; Luzac, M; Zlatanic, V; Damera, Macdonald, J; Landry, DW; Tong, L; Stojanovic, MN. Discovery of New Classes of Compounds that Reactivate Acetylcholinesterase Inhibited by Organophosphates  ChemBioChem  (2015), 16(15), 2205-2215. (Featured on the cover of the October Issue)


Yang, KA; Barbu, M; Halim, M; Pallavi, P; Kim, B; Kolpashchikov, DM; Pecic, S; Taylor, S; Worgall, TS; Stojanovic, MN. Recognition and sensing of low- epitope targets via ternary complexes with oligonucleotides and synthetic receptors  Nature Chemistry  (2014), 6(11), 1003-1008.

Pecic, S; Pakhomova, S; Newcomer, ME; Morisseau, C; Hammock, BD; Zhu, Z; Rinderspacher, A; Deng, SX. Synthesis and structure-activity relationship of piperidine- derived non- urea soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors   Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters  (2013), 23(2), 417-421.


Pecic, S; Deng, SX; Morisseau, C; Hammock, BD; Landry, DW. Design, synthesis and evaluation of non- urea inhibitors of soluble epoxide hydrolase  Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters  (2012), 22(1), 601-605.

Pecic, S; McAnuff, MA; Harding, WW. Nantenine as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor: SAR, enzyme kinetics and molecular modeling investigations  Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry  (2011), 26(1), 46-55.

Pecic, S; Makkar, P; Chaudhary, S; Reddy, BV; Navarro, HA; Harding, WW.   Affinity of aporphines for the human 5- HT2A receptor: Insights from homology modeling and molecular docking studies  Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry  (2010), 18(15), 5562-5575.

LeGendre, O; Pecic, S; Chaudhary, S; Zimmerman, SM; Fantegrossi, WE; Harding, WW. Synthetic studies and pharmacological evaluations on the MDMA ( Ecstasy') antagonist nantenine  Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters  (2010), 20(2), 628-631.

Chaudhary, S; Pecic, S; Le Gendre, O; Navarro, HA; Harding, WW. (±) - Nantenine analogs as antagonists at human 5- HT2A receptors: C1 and flexible congeners  Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters  (2009), 19(9), 2530-2532.

Chaudhary, S; Pecic, S; Le Gendre, O; Harding, WW. Microwave-assisted direct biaryl coupling: first application to the synthesis of aporphines  Tetrahedron Letters  (2009), 50(20), 2437-2439. 

Chaudhary, S; Thomas, V; Todaro, L; LeGendre, O; Pecic, S; Harding, WW.   New drimane sesquiterpenoids from Tidestromia oblongifolia  Natural Product Communications  (2008), 3(11), 1747-1750.