Sam Ananthan, Ph.D., is a fellow in the Chemistry Department in Southern Research’s Drug Discovery division. In 1987, he joined SR as a research chemist, where he served as a group leader and manager of computational chemistry & CNS drug discovery chemistry before assuming his current position.
Ananthan is one of the founding members of the Center for Neuromolecular Research. His main research interests include lead discovery and lead optimization using rational drug design and medicinal chemistry approaches for development of novel preclinical candidates. Additional areas of interest include GPCRs (dopamine receptors, opioid receptors), transporters (biogenic amine transporters), kinases, polymerases, ligand-gated ion channels (GABAA-benzodiazepine receptors), and inhibitors of protein-protein interactions targeting cancer, infectious diseases, and CNS disorders.
Ananthan is a principal investigator on several grants and contracts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
He received his doctorate in synthetic organic/medicinal chemistry from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India, in 1984, after which he completed a three-year, post-doctoral study investigating bioreductively activated anticancer agents with Professor Donald T. Witiak in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
Ananthan is also an adjunct professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.