Charles S. Fermaintt, PhD

Assistant Professor

Charles S. Fermaintt, PhDDr. Charles S. Fermaintt was born and raised in Puerto Rico and received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico - Humacao. He later completed his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX where he studied the role of oligosaccharides as modulators of innate immunity. Interested in enhancing his academic training he joined
the SABER*IRACDA at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio for his postdoctoral training. Here, he identified and studied the mechanism of action of natural product-derived compounds with immunogenic and cytotoxic activity against triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of the Incarnate Word where he runs a drug discovery research program while also serving as an educator to undergraduate students.

Contact Information

  • Office: Bonilla Science Hall 110
  • Phone Number: (210) 283-6491
  • Email:
  • 2012-2018 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX Ph.D., Biological Chemistry
  • 2006-2011 University of Puerto Rico at Humacao, Humacao, PR B.S., Chemistry, magna cum laude (GPA: 3.85)
  • 2022-Present Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX
  • 2018-2022 IRCADA Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
  • 2011-2012 PREP Postbaccalaureate Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

University of the Incarnate Word:

  • CHEM 1320 Chemical Biology for Health Professional
  • CHEM 3350 Fundamentals of Biochemistry
  • CHEM 2111 Organic Chemistry I Lab

Our Lady of the Lake University:

  • CHEM 4451 Biochemistry
  • CHEM 4460 Chemical Biology
  • CHEM 2411 Organic Chemistry I Lab
The research in Dr. Fermaintt’ s laboratory focuses on uncovering new targeted drug lead for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This is being accomplished by screening botanical samples for selective cytotoxicity against distinct TNBC subtypes. Among the compounds identified, we are actively investigating the therapeutic properties of 6-epoxy macrocyclic diterpenoids. We have found that this class of compounds displays potent and selective cytotoxicity against the basal like 2 subtype of TNBC both using cell models and in animal models with the epoxide being a critical pharmacophore of activity. We have also found that the cytotoxic effects are mediated by the protein kinase C (PKC) family of enzyme placing these as important druggable targets against TNBC.
  • Takahashi-Ruiz L*., Fermaintt C.S*., Wilkingson N.J., Chan, P.Y.W, Mooberry S.L., and Risinger A.L. The Microtubule Destabilizer Eribulin Synergizes with STING Agonists to Promote Antitumor Efficacy in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Models. Cancers, 14(23): 5962, 2022, PMID: 36497445 *Co-first author
  • Fermaintt C.S., Takahashi-Ruiz L., Liang H., Mooberry S.L., and Risinger A.L. Eribulin triggers the
    innate immune system via mitochondrial DNA-mediated activation of the cGAS-STING pathway. Mol Pharm, 100(4):309-318, 2021. PMID: 34312217
  • Fermaintt C.S., Peramuna T., Cai S., Takahashi-Ruiz L. Essif J.N., Grant C.V., O’Keefe B.R.,
    Mooberry S.L., Cichewicz R.H., and Risinger A.L. Yuanhuacine is a potent and selective inhibitor of the basal-like 2 subtype of triple-negative breast cancer with immunogenic potential. Cancers, 13(11): 2824, 2021. PMID: 34200174
  • Identification of selective anti-triple negative breast cancer daphnane type diterpenoids with
    immunogenic potential from Myrica Inodora and Daphne genkwa, Biochemistry Session Oral Talk, American Chemical Society (ACS) Southwest Regional Meeting, Austin, TX, 2021
  • Immunogenic and Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Selective Daphnane-Type Diterpenoids, American Society for Pharmacognosy (ASP) Younger Members Virtual Symposium, Keynote Talk, Virtual, 2020