Dr. Nekkar Rao specializes in medicinal and bioorganic chemistry; exploring rational drug design aided by molecular modelling techniques and small molecule synthetic organic/medicinal chemistry.
His work includes method development; solid phase peptide synthesis of bioactive peptides / peptidomimics; modern analytical techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy and high performance liquid chromatography; and development of high-throughput biochemical screening protocols to discover lead candidates.
Office: PHR 5002
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext.21317
Website: Medicinal and Bioorganic Chemistry Lab
- Drug Discovery
- Rational Drug Design & Medicinal Chemistry
- Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders
- Cancer Therapy
- Drug discovery/rational design
- Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel organic molecules and peptides/peptidomimics as therapeutic agents
For more information see Dr. Nekkar’s Research Website.
Dr. Nekkar teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Course offerings have included:
- PHARM 141 Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry, Toxicology and Pharmacology
- PHARM 220-223 Integrated Patient Focused Care 1-4
- PHARM 320-324 Integrated Patient Focused Care 5-8
- PHARM 603 Selected Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
- PHARM 607 Advanced Pharmaceutical Analysis
- PHARM 610 Topics in Drug Development
- Gary Tin, Tarek Mohamed, Arash Shakeri, Amy Trinh Pham, Praveen P. N. Rao, Interactions of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors with β-amyloid. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 9, 226-234, 2019.
- Tarek Mohamed, Sarbjeet Singh Gujral, Praveen P. N. Rao, Tau derived hexapeptide AcPHF6 promotes beta-amyloid (Aβ) fibrillogenesis. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 9, 773-782, 2018.
- Tarek Mohamed, Praveen P. N. Rao, 2,4-Disubstituted quinazolines as amyloid-beta aggregation inhibitors with dual cholinesterase inhibition and antioxidant properties: Development and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 126, 823-843, 2017.
- Tarek Mohamed, Arash Shakeri, Praveen P. N. Rao, Structure-activity relationship studies of isomeric 2,4-diaminoquinazolines on β-amyloid aggregation kinetics. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 7, 502-507, 2016, (featured on the Cover page).
- Tarek Mohamed, Arash Shakeri, Praveen P. N. Rao, Amyloid cascade in Alzheimer's disease: recent advances in Medicinal Chemistry. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 113, 258-272, 2016.
- Tiago Silva, Tarek Mohamed, Arash Shakeri, Praveen P. N. Rao, Loreto Martinez-Gonzalez, Daniel I. Perez, Ana Martinez, Maria Joao Valente, Jorge Garrido, Eugenico Uriarte, Paula Serrao, Patricia Soares da Silva, Fernando Remiao, Fernanda Borges. Development of blood-brain barrier permeable nitrocatechol-based catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitors with reduced potential for hepatotoxicity Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 59, 7584-7597, 2016.
- Tin G, Mohamed T, Gondora N, Beazely M. A. Praveen P N Rao Tricyclic phenothiazine and phenoselenazine derivatives as potential multi-targeting agents to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Medicinal Chemistry Communication 6, 1930-1941, 2015, (featured on the Cover page and hot article for the year).
- Xian-Le Bu, Praveen P N Rao, Yan-Jiang Wang. Anti-amyloid aggregation activity of natural compounds: Implications for Alzheimer's drug discovery. Molecular Neurobiology 53, 3565-3575 2015.
- Tarek Mohamed, Tuan Hoang, Masoud Jelokhani-Niaraki, Praveen P N Rao. Tau-derived-hexapeptide 306VQIVYK311 aggregation inhibitors: Nitrocatechol moiety as a pharmacophore in drug design. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 4: 1559-1570, 2013.
- Indolizine derivatives, WO2013116948, 2013
Awards and Distinctions
- 2016 Outstanding Faculty Mentor in the Graduate Program
- 2015 Early Researcher Award, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, Government of Ontario
University of Waterloo Affiliations
- Cross-appointed to the Department of Biology and the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science
Professional Associations and Service
The following news stories have featured Dr. Nekkar's research:
Global Impact 2018-2019: New discovery could slow Alzheimer’s in its tracks
Oct 23, 2018: This common medication can help overcome dementia
June 22, 2015: Prof. Nekkar Rao receives an Early Researcher Award
1995 BPharm (Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
1998 MPharm (Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
2004 PhD Pharmaceutical Science (University of Alberta)
2004-5 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Specialization in Medicinal Chemistry (University of Alberta)
2006-8 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Specialization in Medicinal Chemistry (The Scripps Research Institute)