Mary Kay Pflum


Faculty Profile









323 Chemistry


Dr. Pflum received a B.A. degree from Carleton College working with Jerry Mohrig in physical organic chemistry. In Ph.D. training at Yale Univeristy with Alanna Schepartz, she worked on several bioorganic projects focusing on phosphoproteins and transcription factors. In an NIH post-doctoral position at Harvard University with Stuart Schreiber, she worked on chemical biology and cell biology projects focusing on histone deacetylase proteins. Dr. Pflum joined the faculty at Wayne State University in 2001 with a research program at the interface of Chemistry and Biology focusing on two cancer-related proteins - kinase and histone deacetylase enzymes.

Selected Publications

Ramanayake-Mudiyanselage, Vinyda, Embogama DM, and Mary Kay H. Pflum. “Kinase-Catalyzed Biotinylation to Map Cell Signaling Pathways: Application to Epidermal Growth Factor Signaling”, J. Proteomics Research, 2021, 10, 4852–4861.

Al-Hamashi AA, Koranne R, Dlamini S, Alqahtani A, Karaj E, Rashid MS, Knoff JR, Dunworth M, Pflum MKH, Casero RA Jr, Perera L, Taylor WR, Tillekeratne LMV. “A new class of cytotoxic agents targets tubulin and disrupts microtubule dynamics”, Bioorganic Chemistry, 2021, 116, 105297,

Gomes, Inosha D, Ariyaratne, Udana V, and Mary Kay H. Pflum. “HDAC6 Substrate Discovery Using Proteomics-Based Substrate Trapping: HDAC6 Deacetylates PRMT5 to Influence Methyltransferase Activity” ACS Chemical Biology, 2021, 16, 1435-1444.

Bahl, Sonali, Ling, Hongbo, Acharige, Nuwan PN, Santos-Barriopedro, Irene, Mary Kay H. Pflum, and Edward Seto. “EGFR phosphorylates HDAC1 to regulate its expression and anti-apoptotic function” Cell Death and Disease, 2021, 12, 469.

Zhang, Yuchen, Nalawansha, Dhanusha A, Herath, Kavitha E, Andrade, Rafael, and Mary Kay H. Pflum. “Differential Profiles of HDAC1 substrates and associated proteins in breast cancer cells revealed by trapping” Molecular Omics, 2021, 17, 544-533.

*Fouda, Ahmed E, *Gamage, Aparni K, Mary Kay H. Pflum. “An Affinity-Based, Cysteine-Specific ATP Analog for Kinase-Catalyzed Crosslinking” Angewante Chem Int Ed, 2021, 60, 9859-9862. *co-first authors,

Acharige, Nuwan PN, and Mary Kay H. Pflum. “Identification of L‐lactate Dehydrogenase as a Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B substrate using K‐BIPS.” ChemBioChem, 2021, 22, 186-192.


Courses taught

CHM7200 Organic Structure and Mechanism, 3 credit hours, Fall 2019

Research Description

Bioorganic chemistry, synthetic chemistry, biochemistry

Affiliated Departments