Phanindra Venukadasula, Ph.D.
Associate Research Chemist
Venukadasula earned his doctorate from the University of Kansas and his master’s from the University of Hyderabad, where his work involved the development of several phosphate-tether mediated one-pot metathesis processes and their application in synthesis of bio-active small molecules. At SR, his accomplishments include: synthesis of a variety of target compounds; structure-activity relationships; and scientific findings shared via peer-reviewed publications and patent applications. One his major contributions is the identification of inhibitors of three proteases – matriptase, hepsin and HGFA, as potential anticancer agents. This work resulted in the only known small molecule inhibitor of HGFA. These inhibitors were also selective against off-target enzymes, such as thrombin and factor Xa. He worked on small molecule inducers of 14-3-3Ө expression as a potential therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Venukadasula designed and synthesized a series of compounds of which one analog has been identified as a potent lead compound, which is currently being pursued further. His current research involves the design, synthesis and development of small molecule inhibitors of HIV-Vif dimerization and inhibitors of Vif-mediated degradation of A3G as novel targets for development of HIV-targeted drugs.