• B.S., 1962, Idaho State University
  • Ph.D., 1965, University of Kansas

Research Interests

  • Chemical aspects of drug metabolism and drug action.
  • Stereochemical aspects of drug disposition.
  • Putative metabolic intermediates and chemical mechanisms for their formation.

Taking Students: No


Dr. Nelson holds degrees in Pharmacy and Medicinal Chemistry. He teaches both PharmD program courses and Medicinal Chemistry graduate courses. He has served as Chair of Medicinal Chemistry, Senior Editor for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and Chairman of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry, American Chemical Society.

Selected Publications

  • Teitelbaum AM, Scian M, Nelson WL, Rettie AE. “Efficient Syntheses of Vitamin K Chain-Shortened Acid Metabolites.” Synthesis (Stuttg), 2015 Apr;47(7):944-948. PubMed link.
  • Topletz AR, Tripathy S, Foti RS, Shimshoni JA, Nelson WL, Isoherranen N. “Induction of CYP26A1 by metabolites of retinoic acid: evidence that CYP26A1 is an important enzyme in the elimination of active retinoids.” Mol Pharmacol. 2015; 87(3):430-41. PubMed link.
  • Lutz JD, VandenBrink BM, Babu KN, Nelson WL, Kunze KL, Isoherranen N. “Stereoselective inhibition of CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 by fluoxetine and its metabolite: implications for risk assessment of multiple time-dependent inhibitor systems.” Drug Metab Dispos. 2013 Dec; 41(12):2056-65. PubMed link.
  • Shimshoni JA, Roberts AG, Scian M, Topletz AR, Blankert SA, Halpert JR, Nelson WL, Isoherranen N. “Stereoselective formation and metabolism of 4-hydroxy-retinoic Acid enantiomers by cytochrome P450 enzymes.” J Biol Chem. 2012 Dec 7;287(50):42223-32. PubMed link.
  • Peng CC, Shi W, Lutz JD, Kunze KL, Liu JO,┬áNelson WL, Isoherranen N. “Stereospecific metabolism of itraconazole by CYP3A4: dioxolane ring scission of azole antifungals.” Drug Metab Dispos. 2012 Mar; 40(3):426-35. PubMed link.
  • Topletz AR, Thatcher JE, Zelter A, Lutz JD, Tay S, Nelson WL, Isoherranen N. “Comparison of the Function and Expression of CYP26A1 and CYP26B1, the Two Retinoic Acid Hydroxylases.” Biochem Pharmacol. 2012 Jan 1; 83:149-163. PubMed link.
  • Peng CC, Shi W, Lutz JD, Kunze KL, Liu JO, Nelson WL, Isoherranen N. “Stereospecific Metabolism of Itraconazole by CYP3A4: Dioxolane Ring Scission of Azole Antifungals.” Drug Metab Dispos. 2012 Mar; 40:426-435. PubMed link.
  • Nelson WL. “Chapter 32. Antihistamines and Related Antiallergic and Antiulcer Agents.” Foye’s Principles of Medicinal Chemistry, 7th Edition. Williams DA and Lemke TL, Eds; pp 1045-1072 (2012).
  • Babu KN, Kunze KL, and Nelson WL. “Metabolism of Diltiazem. A Short Efficient Synthesis of N,N-Didesmethyldiltiazem – An Important Product of N-Demethylation.” Synthesis 553-554 (2011).