Anthony Bell, PhD

Anthony Bell
Phone: (619) 260-4285
Office: Shiley Ctr for Science & Techn 489

Assistant Professor

  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Columbia Medical School
  • Ph.D., New York University, Chemistry and Biophysics
  • B.S., Millsaps College, Chemistry

Anthony (Tony) Bell, Ph.D., joined the University of San Diego faculty in 2016. Dr. Bell’s teaching interests focus on Biochemistry lecture and laboratory courses. Tony’s current research interests focus on developing novel nucleic acid ligands against the DNA-binding cytokine, HMGB1. HMGB1 is an abundant multifunctional protein that is linked to a plethora of diseases including atherosclerosis, cystic fibrosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.


Scholarly Work

The focus of Dr. Bell’s research laboratory is to develop nucleic acid ligands against the DNA-binding cytokine, HMGB1 (High Mobility Group B1). HMGB1 was originally classified as a highly abundant (106 copies/cell) architectural nuclear protein. In this capacity, HMGB1 binds cruciform DNA with high affinity to remodel chromatin. It is now clear that HMGB1 can also function in the extracellular matrix (ECM). In disease states such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, necrotic cells passively release or “leak” HMGB1 into the ECM. In this capacity, HMGB1 functions as a proinflammatory cytokine that drives chronic inflammation. Dr. Bell hypothesizes that DNA ligands can be delivered to the ECM to sequester HMGB1 to effectively shut off harmful proinflammatory signaling. The Bell lab is currently developing nucleic acid ligands composed of DNA and peptide nucleic acids (PNA). PNA are used to enhance the in vivo stability of the resultant ligands.



"New Wave of Scientist join San Diego Universities"


Areas of Interest

Professor Bell enjoys teaching Biochemistry and Introductory Chemistry courses. He focuses on incorporating current biological chemistry topics into all of his courses. He is a member of the Protein Society, the E.E. Just Society, and the American Chemical Society.