Dr. Jonathan Sexton, Ph.D.

Jonny Sexton is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the department of internal medicine, division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy in the department of Medicinal Chemistry, and is faculty lead for drug repurposing in the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Reseach (MICHR).    The Sexton lab brings together multidisciplinary tool sets from drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, engineering and computer science to address unmet medical needs surrounding the diabetes/obesity epidemic, especially in the context of chronic liver disease.


  • A Seasoned Faculty Member with expertise in translational medicine, drug discovery and development with a specific focus on chronic liver diseases including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.E
  • Expertise in quantitative biology, high-throughput screening, medicinal chemistry, big data mining and multivariate statistical analysis and animal models of diseases relating to diabetes and obesity.
  • Strong Extramural Funding – Have maintained continuous NIH funding  in the area of human metabolism, diabetes and metabolic syndrome & animal models of human diseases.
  • Entrepreneurial Activities – Founded Curl Bio LLC to perform drug development for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
  • Experienced SBIR Research Program – Have been awarded five phase-I and three Phase-II SBIR grants with subcontracts into the University.
  • Effective Leadership – Faculty lead for drug repurposing in MICHR, former director of drug discovery in BRITE and manages a highly active academic lab of 12-15 staff/postdocs/students.

Back Story

Jonny’s scientific training started at Santa Barbara City College as a biology major and then transitioned to computational chemistry at the University of California Santa Barbara.  Graduate school at the University of San Diego is where his interests shifted towards chemical physics, surface science and semiconductor device engineering.  Jonny then joined Roger Kornberg’s lab at Stanford University to perform cryo-electron microscopy on transcription complexes.  After postdoctoral training, Jonny then joined the BRITE institute at NC Central University as an Assistant Professor

Here is the Sexton lab in 2016 at NC Central University:

Pictured from Left to Right: Lhoucine Chdid, Jonny Sexton, Dave Musso, Chris Laudeman, Hassan Shehata, Hiral Bhagat, Lidia Neirobisz, Qingping He and Na Young Yi.