Dr. Mary McCourt

Dr.  Mary McCourt

Professor of Chemistry

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Office Location:
Golisano Center, Room 248


Teaching Interests

Dr. McCourt specializes in the areas of physical and computational chemistry. She also teaches chemistry for nurses, general chemistry lab, and chemistry for non-majors.

Research Interests        

Dr. McCourt is a senior scientist with extensive experience in the implementation of new laboratories, management of technical, professional, faculty, research, legal, architectural and administrative staff. Her critical expert areas include computational chemistry and molecular modeling, cancer-targeted drug design and structural biology with emphasis on lipids.

There are two main areas of research interest in Dr. McCourt’s lab.  The first area concerns the development of Cholestosome TM technology and the second area concerns urine based biomarker analysis for diagnostic screens focused on both Breast Cancer as well as Alzheimer’s disease.  In addition, Dr. McCourt has started a company, MMC Lipid Bioservices, which is concerned with optimization of the formulation technology for Cholestosome TM.

Dr. McCourt brings research experience and expertise in:

  • Integration of computational techniques and experimental methods for product design.
  • Individualized lipid delivery for tissue culture.
  • Small molecule drug design including thyromimetics, substituted hydroxyurea analogs and cantharidin.
  • Development of NMR for matabonomic markers.
  • Technical expertise in SYBYL, DSC, X-ray structure determination using SNB as well as other direct methods and development of 2-D electron diffraction data into 3-D direct methods.
  • Designing nanoscale non-liposomal stealth vehicles, implementing proof of principle experiments using breast cancer cell lines.
  • Designing structural biology and chemistry laboratories from scratch. Proposed vision, obtained funding, developed, designed and implemented from the ground up a computational drug design laboratory and analytical instrumentation laboratory (NMR, DSC, HP-LC, AA, TGA, Uv-Vis).


  • Ph.D. Chemistry (1988). SUNY at Buffalo.
  • M.A. History (1984). SUNY at Buffalo.
  • B.A/B.S. Chemistry/History (1983). SUNY at Buffalo.

Professional Experience

  • Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics, Niagara University, 2012-present
  • President/CEO, MMC Lipid Bioservices, Inc., 2006-present
  • Chair, Dept. of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics, Niagara University, 2004-2012
  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics, Niagara University, 2004-2012
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics, Niagara University, 1999-2004
  • Research Scientist, Hauptman-Woodward, 1989-1999
  • Co-Director, Academic Center for Integrated Sciences, Niagara University, 2005-2012
  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, 1988–1989


42. McCourt, M.; Greene, R.; Smith, C; McClory, H.; Wirth, C.; Sumbler, B.; Emery, M.; Leskew, B.; Krause, J.; McGahan, M.; Vanio, S.; Jordan, M.; Pericozzi, A.; Priefer, R., “Computational Analysis of the Apoptotic Activity of a small library of Novel Substituted HydroxyUreases designed as Inhibitors of Ribonucleotide Reductase”,  Letters in Drug Design and Discovery, 8 (7), 2011, 580-585.

41. Krause, J.; Leskiw, B.; Emery, M*.; McGahan, M*.; McCourt, M.; Priefer, R., “Synthesis of substituted N-hydroxyureas via the in situ generation of t-butoxy isocyanates”,  Tetrahedron Letters, 51 (27), 2010, 3568-3570.

40. Patent.  Cholestesome ™ Platform, Serial No. 60/784,118.

39. Rudzinski, DiAndra M.; McCourt, Mary P.; Priefer, Ronny “Thermolytic decomposition of benzylic dialkoxy disulfides” Tetrahedron Letters, 50, 2009, 5520-5522.

38. Switala,B., King, J., Mack, K., Ashby, J and McCourt, M.P., “Computational Studiesof Cantharidin Analogs Targeting Hep-G2 Cell Lines: Defining the Electrostatic Pharmacophore” North East regional ACS Meeting, Fall 2004.

37. Aricidiacano, C and Mc Court, MP., “Computational Studies of Plant Growth Stimulator Molecule”, North East regional ACS Meeting, Fall 2004.

36. Dorset, D.L. and McCourt, M.P., “Restoration of the Missing Cone Protein Electron Crystallography by Direct Methods: Bacteriorhodopsin” Z. Krist, 1999, 214, 803-807.

35. Dorset, D.L. and McCourt, M.P., “Predicting the Missing Cone in Protein Crystallography Amplitudes From a Structure with High Density Solvent” Z. Krist., 1999, 214, 735-739.

34. Dorset, D.L., and McCourt, M.P., “Phase Determination in Protein X-ray Crystallography at Low Resolution- 6.0  A Data from Rubredoxin Via the Pseudoatom Glob Approximation”  Z. Krist., 1999, 214, 735-738.

33. Dorset, D.L. and McCourt, M.P., “Direct Methods of Structure Analysis in Polymer Crystallography”, Advances in X-ray Analysis, 41, 1999, 614-628.

Prior to joining NU

32. Dorset, D.L., McCourt, M.P., Kopp, S., Schumacher, M., Ohihara, T., and Lotz, B. “Isotatctic Polypropylene, B-Phase: A Study in Frustration” Polymer, 1998, 39, 6331-6337.

31. Dorset, D.L., McCourt, M.P., Li, G. and Voight-Martin, I.G., “Electron Crystallography of Small Organic Molecules – Criteria for Data Collection and Strategies for Structure Solution”, J. Appl. Cryst. 1998, 31, 544-553.

30. McCourt, M.P., and Dorset, D.L., “The Utility of Molecular Modeling as a Criterion for Polymer Structure Determination in Conjunction with Direct Methods” ACS, Div. Polym. Chem, Inc., Polymer Preprints 38 (2), 66. (Invited)

29. Dorset, D.L., and McCourt, M.P., “Direct Phase Determination for Polymer Fiber X-Ray Data  the Structure of Poly (tetramethyl-p-silphenylene siloxane)” Polymer, 1997, 38, 1985-1988.

28. Dorset D.L. and McCourt, M.P., “Fiber Diffraction as a Useful Supplement to Single Crystal Electron Diffraction Data in the Direct Three-Dimensional Structure Analysis of Polymers”, J. Macromol. Sci.-Phys., 1997, B36, 301-313.

27. Dorset, D.L., and McCourt, M.P., “Prospects for the direct Electron Crystallographic Determination of Zeolite Structures”, Microsc. Res. Techn. 1997, 36, 212-223.

26. McCourt, M.P. and Dorset, D.L., “Phase extension of data sets using the Sayre Equation”, Ultramicroscopy, 1997.

25. McCourt, M.P., “Computational Studies of Oxysterols: Development of an Electrostatic Pharmacophore Model for Oxysterol Inhibition of HMG-CoA Reductase”, Theochem, ACA Meeting publication, 1997.

24. McCourt, M.P. and Dorset, D.L., “Adapting DIRDIF to solve polymer structures using electron diffraction data”, Ultramicroscopy, 1997.

23. McCourt, M.P., and Dorset, D.L., “Structural Determination of C37 Paraffin from Electron Diffraction Data Using the Minimal Principle”, 1997.

22. McCourt, M.P., Lakshaman, M., Liu, Y., and Kragie, L., “Computer Graphics Modeling of the Iodothyronine and Amino Acid Transport Site in Mouse Neuroblastoma Cells”, Molecular Endocrinology Society Publications, 1997.

21. McCourt, M.P. and Jacyno, J., “Molecular Modeling Studies of the Nicotinic Pharmacophore, MLA, Tubocurarine at the AchR receptor”, SUNY AB Med. Chem. Symposium, 1997.

20. McCourt, M.P., Miller, R. Weeks, C.M. Hauptman, H., and Dorset, D.L., “Ab Initio Structure Determination of Poly (1-butene) and Poly (Y-caprolactone) from Electron Diffraction Data Using the Minimal Principle”.

19. McCourt, M.P., Ashraf, K., Miller, R., Weeks, C.M. Pangborn, W., and Dorset, D.L., “X-Ray Crystal Structures of Angiotoxic Oxidized Cholesterols: 7-Ketocholesterol and 25-Hydroxycholesterol”, J. Lipid Res., 1997, 38, 47-54.

18. McCourt, M.P., Li, N., Pangborn, W., Miller, R., Weeks, C.M. and Dorset, D.L., “Crystallography of Linear Molecular Binary Solids. X-Ray Crystal Structure of A Cholesteryl Myristate/Cholesteryl Pendadecanoate Solid Solution”, Journal of Physical Chemistry, 1996, 100, 23, 9842-9847.

17. Dorset, D.L., and McCourt, M.P., “Disorder and the Molecular Packing of C60 Buckminsterfullerene: A Direct Electron Crystallographic Analysis”, Acta Cryst, 1994, A50, 344-351.

16. Dorset, D.L., and McCourt, M.P., “Automated Structure Analysis in Electron Crystallography: Phase Determination with the Tangent Formula and Least-Squares Refinement”, Acta Cryst., 1994, A50, 287-292.

15. Kragie, L, Forrester M.L., Cody, V., and McCourt, M.P., “Computer Assisted Molecular Modeling of Benzodiazepine and Thryomimetic Inhibitors of the HepG2 Iodothyronine Membrane Transporter”, J. Mol., Endo., 1994, 8, 382-391.

14. McCourt, M.P., Strong, P., Pangborn, W. and Dorset, D.L., “Structural Determination and Packing Analysis of a Cholesteryl Caprate/Cholesteryl Laurate Solid Solution”, J. Lipid Research, 1994, 35, 583-591.

13. Dorset, D.L., McCourt, M.P., Kopp, S., Wittman, J.C. and Lotz, B., “Direct Determination of Polymer Crystal Structures by Electron Crystallography – Isotatic Poly(butene-1), Form III”, Acta Cryst., 1994, B50, 201-208.

12. Dorset, D.L., McCourt, M.P., Fryer, J. R., Tivol, W.F. and Turner, J.N., “The Tangent Formulas in Electron Crystallography – Phase Determination of Copper Perchlorophthalocyanine”, MSA Bulletin, 1994, 24, 398-404.

11. Dorset, D. L., McCourt, M.P., Tivol, W.F. and Turner, J.N., “Electron Diffraction from Phospholipids-Correction for Dynamical Scattering and Tests for a Correct Phase Determination”, J. Appl. Cryst., 1993, 26, 778-786.

10. Dorset, D.L. and McCourt, M.P., “Electron Crystallographic Analysis of a Polysaccharide Structure – Direct Phase Determination and Model Refinement for Manna I”, J. Structural Biology, 1993, 111, 118-124.

9. Tivol, W.F., Dorset, D.L., McCourt, M.P., and Turner, J.N., “Voltage-Dependent Effects on Dynamical Scattering and the Electron Diffraction Structure Analysis of Organic Crystals: Copper Perchlorophthalocyanine”, MSA Bulletin, 1993, 23, 91-98.

8. Cody, V., Luft, J., Mcourt, M.P., and Irmscher, K., “Conformational Analysis of Flavonoids: Crystal and Molecular Structure of 3’,5’-Dibromo-3-methyl-6,4’- dihydroxyflavone (1:2) Triphenylphosphine Oxide Complex”, Struct. Chem., 1991, 2, 601-606.

7. McCourt, M.P. and Cody, V., “Conformational Analysis of Lipophilic Antifolates: Crystal Structure of 2-Amino-4-oxo-6-adamantylpteridine and A comparison of Its Binding to Bacterial and Avian Dihydrofolate Reductase”, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 1991, 113, 6634-6639 .

6. McCourt, M.P., Shibata, M., McIver, J., “An Alternative Parameterization of Electron Repulsion in MNDO and AM1”, Tetrahedon, 1988, 44, 7509-7515.

5. McCourt, M.P., Shibata, M., McIver, J. and Rein, R., “A Molecular Orbital Study of a Model of the Mg+2 Coordination Complex of the Self Splicing Reaction of Ribosomal RNA”, J. Mol.Structure (Theochem), 1988, 179, 145-152.

4. Denton, J., McCourt, M.P. and McIver, J., “New Formulas for Integrals in Semiempirical Molecular Orbital Methods II. Coulomb Integrals and Their First and Second Cartesian Derivatives in the MNDO Theory”, J. Mol. Structure (Theochem), 1988, 163, 355-388.

3. McCourt, M.P. and McIver, J., “New Formula Integrals in Semiempirical Molecular Orbital Methods I. General Theory and Results for Two Center Overlap Integrals and Their First and Second Derivatives with Respect to Cartesian Displacements”, J. Mol Structure (Theochem), 1988, 163, 343-354.

2. McCourt, M.P. and McIver, J., “Symbolic Algebra Software, A Useful Tool for Code Developers”, QCPE Bulletin 1987, 7, 69-72.

1. McCourt, M.P. and McIver, Jr., J.W., “On the SCF Calculation of Excited States: Singlet States in the Two Electron Problem”, J. Comp. Chem., 1987, 8,454-458.