Thomas P. Mawhinney, PhD



State Chemist of Missouri

Director of Agricultural Experiment Station Chemical Laboratories

Contact Information

Phone 573-882-2608
Address 4 Agriculture Building
Website MU Agricultural Experiment Station Chemical Laboratories


BS Biochemistry Fairleigh Dickenson University Teaneck, N.J.
PhD Molecular Biology and Forensic Pathology Union University, Albany Medical Center Albany, N.Y.

Research Areas

Carbohydrates in cancer and bacterial infection; cancer prevention and treatment; host-pathogen interactions in cystic fibrosis; analytical methodologies.

Research Description

Research in our laboratories focuses on a number of interrelated topics. In the area of exocrine defense mechanisms, with special emphasis on chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases in man, a sizable effort has been trained on developing a better understanding of mucous glycoproteins as a primary and secondary macromolecular defense response against lung pathogens and irritants. Structural elucidation is yielding significant insight into altered post-translational modifications of the side chain oligosaccharides from these molecules. With structural elucidation of respiratory mucins via classical chemical methodology and techniques involving lectins, 500 MHZ 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR, and fast-atom bombardment mass spectrometry (FAB-MS), we have demonstrated significant increases in glycoprotein sulfation and anionicity, that parallel the severity of the respiratory disease and its chronicity. These findings are particularly pronounced in patients with the genetic disorder known as cystic fibrosis.

Ongoing research, with particular emphasis in modified carbohydrates, focuses our analytical capabilities and chemical expertise on the discovery of structure-function relationships, in human and plant health and disease. In-house tools applied include eukaryotic and microbiological cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, polarimetry, optical emission spectrometry (inductively coupled plasma spectrometry, ICP), gas chromatography (GC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and mass spectrometry (MS). Instruments online this year will include ICP, triple quadrupole GC-MS with mass range capabilities up to 1500 amu, electrospray interfaced LC-ion trap MS with Orbitrap accurate mass detection. Combined with the use of campus facilities for x-ray crystallography, NMR, microarrays, laboratory animal medicine, and electron microscopy, our laboratory and collaborators seek to integrate visual, biological, genetic and chemical data in the discovery process for better understanding human health and disease.

Integrated within the Agriculture Experiment Station Chemical Laboratories, we also strive to improve methods available for compositional analysis of foods, feeds, supplements, fertilizers, and biological specimens.

Current projects

  • Host glycoprotein alterations and host-pathogen interactions in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
  • Co-colonization effects on microorganisms in cystic fibrosis airway infection.
  • Nutraceuticals.
  • Inhibitory effects of amadori compounds and food products in prostate cancer.
  • X-ray crystal structural characterization of synthesized amadori compounds.
  • Food, feed and biological materials analytical methods development.

Notable Honors and Service

  • Director, Analytical Services, Agricultural Experiment Station Chemical Laboratories
  • State Chemist of Missouri
  • Director, Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry Facility
  • American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) Approved Chemist in Laboratory Proficiency Program
  • University Extension Community Resource Development Association (UECRDA) Award, Friend of UECRDA, University of Missouri 2008
  • University of Missouri School of Medicine Curriculum Board Teaching Excellence Award – Outstanding Pre-Clinical Instructor 2007
  • Excellence in Education, Advanced Medical Biochemistry, Medical Students Affairs Council, University of Missouri
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Elected Faculty Member, Lifetime, 2010.
  • Jane Hickman Teaching Award, University of Missouri School of Medicine, 2014

Selected Publications

Chance DL, Mawhinney TP. (2021). Observations of, and Insights into, Cystic Fibrosis Mucus Heterogeneity in the Pre-Modulator era: Sputum Characteristics, DNA and Glycoprotein Content, and Solubilization Time. J. Respir. 1:8-29. doi:10.3390/jor1010002

Mawhinney TP, Li Y, Chance DL, Kelley SP, Mossine VV. (2020). Crystal structure of (R,S)-2hydroxy-4-(methylthio)butanoic acid. Acta Cryst E76, 562-566 doi:10.1107/S2056989020003138.

Waters JK, Kelley SP, Mossine VV, Mawhinney TP. (2020). Structure, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of the (4R)- and (4S)-epimers of S-carboxymethyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide. Pharmaceuticals 13(10):270-285. doi:10.3390/ph13100270

Waters JK, Mawhinney TP, Emerich DW. (2020). Nitrogen Assimilation and Transport by ex planta Nitrogen-fixing Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens Bacteroids is Modulated by Oxygen, Bacteroid Density and L-Malate. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21:7542-7558. doi:10.3390/ijms21207542

Mossine VV, Kelley S, Mawhinney TP. (2020). Crystal structure of (E)-3-methoxy-N’-(1-(pyridin-2-yl)ethylidene)benzohydrazide. Z.Kristallogr. NCS. 235(4):907-909 doi:10.1515/NCRS-2020-0097

Yobi A, Bagaza C, Batushansky A, Shrestha V, Emery ML, Holden S, Turner‐Hissong S, Miller ND, Mawhinney TP, Angelovici R. (2020). The Complex Response of Free and Bound Amino Acids to Water Stress During the Seed Setting Stage in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 2(4):838-855. doi:10.1111/tpj.14668.

Mossine VV, Mawhinney TP, Giovannucci EL. (2019). Dried Fruit Intake and Cancer: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies. Advances in Nutrition, nmz085:1-14. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmz085.

Mossine VV, Barnes CL, Mawhinney TP. (2019). Multicentered hydrogen bonding in 1-[(1-de-oxy-β-d-fructo-pyranos-1-yl)aza-nium-yl]cyclo-pentane-carboxyl-ate (‘d-fructose-cyclo-leucine’). Acta Crystallogr E Crystallogr Commun. 75(Pt 8):1096-1101. doi: 10.1107/S2056989019009253. eCollection 2019 Aug 1. [PubMed]

Mossine VV, Barnes CL, Mawhinney TP. (2018). Crystal structure of the acyclic form of 1-de-oxy-1-[(4-methoxyphenyl)(methyl)amino]-d-fructose. Acta Crystallogr E Crystallogr Commun. 74(Pt 2):127-132. doi: 10.1107/S2056989018000099. eCollection 2018 Feb 1. [PubMed]

Mossine VV, Chance DL, Waters JK, Mawhinney TP. (2018). Interaction of Bacterial Phenazines with Colistimethate in Bronchial Epithelial Cells. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 62(8). doi: 10.1128/AAC.02349-17. Print 2018 Aug. [PubMed]

Mossine VV, Barnes CL, Mawhinney TP. (2018). 1-Amino-1-deoxy-α-L-xylo-hexulopyranose hydrochloride (“L-2 Sorbosamine”). J. Carbohydr. Chem. 37:3, 153-162. doi: 10.1080/07328303.2018.1438455.

Mossine VV, Barnes, CL, Mawhinney TP. (2018). Molecular and crystal structure and the Hirshfeld surface analysis of 1-amino-1-deoxy-α-D-sorbopyranose and 1-amino-1-deoxy-α-D-psicopyranose (“D-sorbosamine” and “D-psicosamine”) derivatives. J. Molec. Structure. 1160:73-79. doi: 10.1016/j.molstruc.2018.01.073

Chance DL, Mawhinney TP. (2017). Using Negative Staining TEM to Study Structure/Function Relationships of Cystic Fibrosis Host-Adapted Opportunistic Pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Microscopy and Microanalysis. 23(S1):1354-1355. doi: 10.1017/S1431927617007437.

Strodtman KN, Stevenson SE, Waters JK, Mawhinney TP, Thelen JJ, Polacco JC, Emerich DW. (2017). The Bacteroid Periplasm in Soybean Nodules Is an Interkingdom Symbiotic Space. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 30(12):997-1008. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-12-16-0264-R. [PubMed]

Mossine VV, Waters JK, Chance DL, Mawhinney TP. (2016). Transient Proteotoxicity of Bacterial Virulence Factor Pyocyanin in Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells Induces ER-Related Vacuolation and Can Be Efficiently Modulated by Iron Chelators. Toxicol Sci. 154(2):403-415. Erratum in: Toxicol Sci. 2017 Feb;155(2):512. [PubMed]

Song H, Lu Y, Qu Z, Mossine VV, Martin MB, Hou J, Cui J, Peculis BA, Mawhinney TP, Cheng J, Greenlief CM, Fritsche K, Schmidt FJ, Walter RB, Lubahn DB, Sun GY, Gu Z. (2016). Effects of aged garlic extract and FruArg on gene expression and signaling pathways in lipopolysaccharide-activated microglial cells. Sci Rep. 6:35323. doi: 10.1038/srep35323. [PubMed]

Wang W, Lester JM, Amorosa AE, Chance DL, Mossine VV, Mawhinney TP. (2015). Facile and Efficient Preparation of Tri-component Fluorescent Glycopolymers via RAFT-controlled Polymerization. J Vis Exp. (100):e52922. doi: 10.3791/52922. [PubMed]

Mossine VV, Waters JK, Hannink M, Mawhinney TP. (2013). piggyBac transposon plus insulators overcome epigenetic silencing to provide for stable signaling pathway reporter cell lines. PLoS One. 8(12):e85494. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085494. eCollection 2013. [PubMed]

Wang W, Chance DL, Mossine VV, Mawhinney TP. (2014). RAFT-based tri-component fluorescent glycopolymers: synthesis, characterization and application in lectin-mediated bacterial binding study. Glycoconj J. 31(2):133-43. doi: 10.1007/s10719-013-9508-4. [PubMed]