Rakesh Vekariya, II, Ph.D.
Vekariya received his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy in 2008 from JSS College of Pharmacy, India. He then obtained his Master of Science in medicinal chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University. For his dissertation, his work with Professor Richard A. Glennon involved research focusing on understanding the mechanism of action of synthetic cathinones at dopamine transporter. He then moved to University of Kansas, where he earned his doctorate degree in 2016 in medicinal chemistry, working under the supervision of Professor Jeff Aubé. Vekariya’s doctoral work involved synthetic methodology development (tandem allylic azide rearrangement and azide-alkyne cycloaddition to obtain novel triazolo-oxazines and investigations on hexafluoro-2-propanol promoted Friedel-Crafts acylations) and structure-activity relationship studies to develop G-protein biased dopamine D2 agonists. He joined Southern Research in 2016 and is currently engaged drug discovery/lead optimization of mu agonist/delta antagonist opioid ligands as novel analgesics under the direction of Subramaniam (Sam) Ananthan, Ph.D.