Praveen Rao Perampalli Nekkar

Praveen Rao Perampalli Nekkar
Associate Professor
Location: PHR 5002
Phone: 519-888-4567 x21317


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.

Research Interests

  • Drug Discovery
  • Rational Drug Design & Medicinal Chemistry
  • Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • Cancer Therapy
  • Theranostic Materials
  • Molecular Therapeutics and Theranostics
  • Synthetic Chemistry and Catalysis
  • Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery
  • Clinical Pharmacology

Scholarly Research

Drug discovery/rational design Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel organic molecules and peptides/peptidomimics as therapeutic agents


  • 2006-8 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Specialization in Medicinal Chemistry (The Scripps Research Institute)
  • 2004-5 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Specialization in Medicinal Chemistry (University of Alberta)
  • 2004 PhD Pharmaceutical Science (University of Alberta)
  • 1998 MPharm (Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
  • 1995 BPharm (Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences)


  • 2016 Outstanding Faculty Mentor in the Graduate Program
  • 2015 Early Researcher Award, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, Government of Ontario


  • Dr. Nekkar serves as a reviewer to a number of medicinal chemistry journals.
  • He collaborates with researchers from the University of Alberta, Florida Atlantic University and Department of Neurology and Center for Clinical Neuroscience, Daping Hospital, China.

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Cross-appointed to the Department of Biology and the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science


  • PHARM 141 - Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry, Toxicology and Pharmacology
    • Taught in 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • PHARM 220 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 1
    • Taught in 2022
  • PHARM 221 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 2
    • Taught in 2019, 2022
  • PHARM 222 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 3
    • Taught in 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • PHARM 223 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 4
    • Taught in 2019, 2021, 2022
  • PHARM 320 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 5
    • Taught in 2022, 2023
  • PHARM 321 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 6
    • Taught in 2023
  • PHARM 323 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 7
    • Taught in 2019, 2021, 2022
  • PHARM 324 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 8
    • Taught in 2019, 2021, 2023

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • 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

In The News