Toolika Agrawal, Ph.D.
Toolika Agrawal received a Master’s degree from University of Mumbai, India in 2008. She then joined Nycomed Pharma, Mumbai where she was involved in synthesis of compound libraries for drug discovery. In 2015 she completed her Ph.D. under the guidance of Prof. Silas Cook at Indiana University, Bloomington. There she was involved in new methodology development involving use of iron catalysts. Post Ph.D. she worked at Syngenta where she was involved in early stage route scouting and route optimisation towards various agrochemical candidates. In January 2020, she joined Prof. Joshua Sieber’s group at VCU where she is involved in transition metal catalysis for the development of new synthetic methods. Another focus of her research is the development of cost-effective strategies for the synthesis of a tuberculosis drug in partnership with Medicines for All Institute at the VCU Engineering department.
Brenden Derstine, Ph.D.
Brenden P. Derstine, Ph.D., received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Hartford in 2012. He completed his Ph.D. in 2018 under the guidance of Dr. Scott McN. Sieburth at Temple University where he focused on [4 + 4] photocycloadditions and titanium (II) mediated methodologies. In 2018, he joined the Gupton Lab and the Medicines for All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. His current research is focused on improving the synthetic route to access active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) through process intensification and continuous processing.
Kashinath Komirishetty, Ph.D.
Kashinath Komirishetty, Ph.D. received his Ph.D in 2016 from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India, under the supervision of Dr. D. Srinivasa Reddy. During his Ph.D he worked on total synthesis of natural products and was involved in several medicinal chemistry programs. Later, in May 2016 he joined as a group leader at Ahammune Biosciences Pvt Ltd, Pune, India, where he worked on development of a drug candidate to treat Vitiligo, a skin depigmenting disorder. In February 2019, he joined Dr. McQuade’s lab and is currently working on low-cost synthesis of Lamivudine, an antiretroviral drug. His research interests include total synthesis, drug discovery and process development.
Vasudevan Natarajan, Ph.D.
Vasudevan Natarajan completed his Ph.D. in 2017 under the guidance of Dr. D. Srinivasa Reddy at CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India, where he worked on total synthesis of macrocyclic peptides, indole alkaloids and development of continuous flow methodologies for biologically active molecules. In December 2017, he joined as post-doctoral research associate for Dr. François-Xavier Felpin’s research group at University of Nantes, France where he focused on asymmetric synthesis, carbon-carbon bond formation using algorithm directed self-optimizing continuous flow platform. His research interests include multi-step continuous flow chemistry, total synthesis and process development. In December 2019, he joined the Gupton group and is focusing his research on developing new the synthetic routes to access active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) through process intensification and continuous flow operations.
Dinesh Paymode, Ph.D.
Dinesh J. Paymode, Ph.D., received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from University of Pune, Pune, India. In 2012, he associated with Dr. C. V. Ramana research group at CSIR–National Chemical Laboratory, Pune for his doctoral studies. During his Ph.D., he worked on total synthesis of allocolchicine, parvifolal A/B and Ru–catalyzed C–H activation. Later, in 2018, he joined Dr. Sharma’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Oklahoma, where he focused on Rh-carbenoid initiated cascades for the synthesis of diverse heterocycles. Currently, he is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Gupton’s laboratory and Medicines for All. He is working on drug discovery and process development to access active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
Cheryl Peck, Ph.D.
Cheryl L. Peck, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Gupton’s laboratory and Medicines for All. She holds a B.S. in chemistry with a minor in biology from Longwood University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her doctoral work with Dr. Webster Santos focused on the development and optimization of novel synthetic methods for the formation of carbon-boron bonds utilizing inexpensive reagents and environmentally friendly reaction conditions. Her current research at VCU is centered around the development of cost effective strategies for the synthesis of the HIV drug Emtricitabine.