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Tina Morgan Ross

Tina Morgan Ross

Co-director, Forensic Science Program

Department: Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies


  • PhD in Organic Chemistry - Bryn Mawr College
  • MS in Organic Chemistry - University of Pittsburgh
  • BS in Chemistry - University of Maryland

Memberships / Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society, Forensic Toxicology, Chemical Education, Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Divisions
  • Philadelphia Organic Chemistry Club
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Sigma Xi

Tina Morgan Ross, PhD, serves as co-director for the Master of Science in Forensic Science Program in the Graduate School of Biomedical and Professional Studies. She joined the College of Medicine faculty in 2018 to develop the research component of the program. She has supported the Graduate School's premedical and professional evening programs for the past few years, teaching organic chemistry and biochemistry.

Dr. Ross received an MS in organic chemistry from University of Pittsburgh, and earned her PhD in organic chemistry from Bryn Mawr College. Prior to joining Drexel, she held discovery research positions at Johnson & Johnson and Hoffman-La Roche, resulting in several pre-clinical and clinical drug candidates. She has held several adjunct teaching appointments, and operated a company providing consultation services for technology. She has numerous publications and patents in the fields of CNS, analgesia and oncologic chemistry.


Dr. Ross is focused on utilizing nociceptin (NOP) research as a tool for educating forensic students about drug synthesis, opioid addiction, alcohol dependence, pharmacology and clinical human safety, in order to prepare them for their roles in forensic medicine and public health. This research builds upon prior work published on NOP partial agonists. Nociceptin is a peptide ligand that is homologous with other opioid receptors; however, it has particular differences that make it safe to use as a teaching tool with students.

Other areas of research include senescence and its implications in cell death, assessment of trauma to bone, improving technology for assessing hazards for first responders, and creating a pathway for more precise DNA testing, with the aim of shortening the timeline between a crime and acquisition of evidence that can be used to justify holding a suspect for prosecution.


Dr. Ross is the author or co-author of over 50 publications, patents and presentations.

Selected Publications

“A Selective Small Molecule NOP (ORL-1 receptor) Partial Agonist for the Treatment of Anxiety” 
Ross TM,
Battista K, Bignan GC, Brenneman DE, Connolly PJ, Liu J, Middleton SA, Orsini M, Reitz AB, Rosenthal DI, Scott MK, Vaidya AH
Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 25, 602-606, 2015

“Enantioselective Synthesis of Decalin Structures with All-carbon Quaternary Centers via One-pot Sequential Cope/Rauhut-Currier Reaction”
Ross TM, Burke SJ, Malachowski WP
Tetrahedron Lett., 55, 4616-4618, 2014

“Discovery of RG7388, a Potent and Selective p53-MDM2 Inhibitor in Clinical Development”
Ding Q, Zhang Z, Liu JJ, Jiang N, Zhang J, Ross TM, Chu XJ, Barkovitz D, Podlanski FJ, Janson C, Tovar C, Filipovic ZM, Higgins B, Glenn K, Packman K, Vassilev L, Graves B,
J. Med. Chem.
, 56 (14), 5979-5983, 2013

Selected Patents

“Novel  N-Substituted  5-Hydroxymethylpyrrolindines  as  Inhibitors  of  MDM2-p53 Interactions”
Liu JJ,  Ross TM, Hoffmann-La Roche
U.S. Patent Appl. Publ., 20120149660 (June 14, 2012)

“N-Substituted-pyrrolidines as Inhibitors of MDM2-p-53 Interactions”
Bartkovitz DJ, Chu X-J,  Liu  JJ,  Ross  TM,  Zhang Z, Hoffmann-La Roche
U.S. Patent #8,017,607 (September 13, 2011)

“Hydroxy alkyl substituted 1,3,8- triazaspiro[4.5]decan-4-one derivatives useful for the treatment of ORL-1 receptor mediated disorders”
Battista K, Bignan, G., Connolly PJ, Ross TM, Johnson & Johnson
U.S. Patents 8,778,956 (July 15, 2014) and 7,582, 649 (September 1, 2009)


Selected Presentations

"A Selective Small Molecule Nociceptin Receptor (NOP) Agonist for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders"
Lecture, 254th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Washington, D.C. (August 23, 2017)

"Molecular Diversity to Develop Novel Pharmaceutical Compounds"
Poster presentation by A. Wise, 79th Annual Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention, Muhlenberg College (April 11, 2015)

"Undergraduate Chemical Education Using Hexahydroazepine Core Synthesis for Innovation"
Poster presentation, undergraduate researchers, National American Chemical Society Meeting (March 2014)

Contact Information

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
245 North 15th Street
Room 4211
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215.762.7176