Rebecca Miranda Romero, PhD


Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information

Rebecca Miranda Romero

Research Interest

Dr. Romero's research interests lie in the analysis of the structure of DNA and trinucleotide repeat DNA associated with Fragile X syndrome, a genetic disease that results in mental impairment. She is involved in the development of a novel chemical probe to understand how these DNA structures might contribute to the development of Fragile X. She is also interested in the prediction of nucleic acid structures and the design of nucleic acid based therapeutics. Some of the techniques she uses to analyze these structures are computational (molecular mechanics, molecular dynamics, Ab initio and semiempirical methods) and experimental. The experimental work involves electrophoresis and chemical probing with alkylating and anti tumor agents, such as nitrogen mustards.


Dr. Romero received her Ph.D. in 1999 from the School of Medicine, USC, in biochemistry and molecular biology with emphasis in computational chemistry. She is a lecturer in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and her focus is to teach and help coordinate the pharmaceutics courses for students in levels I and II. Dr. Romero?s lecture topics have included: Pharmaceutics I- functional group chemistry, acids and bases, buffer solutions, kinetics and stability of pharmaceuticals, and pharmaceutical formulations (solutions and tablets); Pharmaceutics II - aerosols, intestinal drug transporters (influx and efflux), ointments, creams and lotions, and transdermal delivery; Pharmaceutics III - liposomes, nanoparticles/microparticles, polymers, nasal and pulmonary delivery, nucleic acids.

Dr. Romero is also interested, and has been active, in helping to convert the basic science Pharm.D. curriculum from the 'traditional' lecture only format to a more learner-centered, problem-based approach.

Selected Projects/Publications

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Romero, R. M., Rojsittisak, P., Haworth, I.S. Electrophoretic Mobility of Duplex DNA Cross-linked by Mechlorethamine at a Cytosine–Cytosine Mismatch Pair, Electrophoresis, 2013; Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 917–924

Rojsitthisak P, Jongaroonngamsang N, Romero RM, Haworth I.S., HPLC-UV, MALDI-TOF-MS and ESI-MS/MS analysis of the mechlorethamine DNA crosslink at a cytosine-cytosine mismatch pair; PLoS One, 2011;6(6):e20745. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

Romero RM, Rojsitthisak P, Haworth IS. DNA interstrand crosslink formation by mechlorethamine at a cytosine-cytosine mismatch pair: kinetics and sequence dependence. Archives in Biochemistry and Biophysics, 2:143-153, 2001.

Rojsitthisak P, Romero RM, Haworth IS. Extrahelical Cytosine Bases in DNA Duplexes Containing d[GCC](n).d[GCC](n) Repeats: Detection by a Mechlorethamine Crosslinking Reaction, (2001) Nucleic Acids Research, 22, 4716-4723.

Romero, RM, Mitas, M. and Haworth, I.S. Anomalous Crosslinking by Mechlorethamine of DNA Duplexes Containing C-C Mismatch Pairs. Biochemistry, 38: 3641-3648, 1999.

Yu , A., Barron, MD, Romero, RM, Dill, J, Christy, M, Gold, B, Gray, DM., Haworth, I.S., and Mitas., M. At Physiological pH, d(CCG)15 Forms a Hairpin Containing Protonated Cytosines and a Distorted Helix. Biochemistry, 36: 3687 3699, 1997.

Romero, R.M., Eriksen, S.P. and Haworth, I.S., A Decade of Teaching Pharmaceutics Using Case Studies and Problem-Based Learning, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2004; 68 (2) Article 31.

Sutch, B.T., Romero,R.M, Neamati, N., and Haworth I.S,  Integrated Teaching of Structure-Based Drug Design and Biopharmaceutics: A Computer-Based Approach,  Journal of Chemical Education (J. Chem. Educ.), 2011; 89 (1), pp 45-51

Romero, R.M., Eriksen, S.P. and Haworth, I.S., Quantitative Assessment of Assisted Problem-Based Learning in a Pharmaceutics Course. Manuscript Accepted in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (AJPE), 2010; 74 (4) Article 66.