The primary focus of Rajnarayanan's research team is to design and develop molecules that target functionally relevant protein interactions and molecular solutions to understand protein circuitry in the endocrine and the neuroendocrine system.

Rajnarayanan's team has developed human computer interface (HCI) devices using 3-D printed protein models to generate functionally relevant clusters of simulated structural interactomics data to accelerate compound discovery. His team is currently exploring an HCI-guided structural ensemble to gain access to dynamic 3-D (temporal) bioactive conformations. These have been inaccessible by X-ray crystallography or NMR. The alpha version of this HCI is already a hit among students and is enriching classroom education. The team hopes to develop an app to solve protein-protein interaction puzzles.

His past research also includes studies on the use of old drugs to treat new and emerging viruses, including the deadly Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of the early 2000s. Through virtual models, his 2004 study centered on the potential for old drugs to target the coronavirus's main enzyme catalyzing the breakdown of proteins into smaller polypeptides or single amino acids, an essential process for the propagation of the coronaviral life cycle.

Recent accomplishments from Rajnarayanan's research team include identifying the first examples of environmental chemicals targeting human melatonin receptor (NIEHS paper of the month in March 2017); identifying novel anthropomorphic molecules targeting multiple receptor conformations; and identifying EF hand protein S100 as a non-classical interactor of estrogen receptors.

Recent Projects/Research

  1. Discovery of Circadian Modulators Selectively Targeting Melatonin Receptors
  2. Estrogen Receptor-Calcium Binding Protein Interfaces As Targets for the Discovery of Novel Therapeutics

Publications

  • Singh, R.R., Rajnarayanan, R. V., and Aga, D.S. (2019) “Binding of iodinated contrast media (ICM) and their transformation products with hormone receptors: Are ICM the new EDCs?” Science of The Total Environment. 692:32–36.
  • Badal, S., Trufus, R., Rajnarayanan, R. V., Wilson-Clarke, C., and Sandiford, S. L. (2018) “Analysis of Natural Product Regulation of Opioid Receptors in the Treatment of Human Disease.” Pharmacology and Therapeutics. pii: S0163-7258(17)30271-1.
  • Asare, B. K., Yawson, E., and Rajnarayanan, R. V. (2017) “Flexible Small Molecular Anti-estrogens with N,N-dialkylated-2,5-diethoxy-4-morpholinoaniline Scaffold Targets Multiple Estrogen Receptor Conformations.” Cell Cycle. 16(15):1465–1477.
  • Badal, S., Smith, K. N., and Rajnarayanan, R. V. (2017) “Analysis of Natural Product Regulation of Cannabinoid Receptors in the Treatment of Human Disease.” Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 180:24–48.
  • Popovska-Gorevski, M., Dubocovich, M., and Rajnarayanan R.V. (2017) “Carbamate insecticides target human melatonin receptors.” Chemical Research in Toxicology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.6b00301.
  • Lee, D.H., Asare, B.K. and Rajnarayanan, R.V. (2016) “Discovery at the Interface: Towards Novel Anti-Proliferative Agents Targeting Human Estrogen Receptor\S100 Interactions.” Cell Cycle. 15(20):2806–18.
  • Chakraborty. S., Asare, B. K., Biswas, P. K and Rajnarayanan,R.V. (2016) “Designer Interface Peptide Grafts Target Estrogen Receptor Alpha Dimerization.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 478(1):116-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.07.083.
  • Chadha, K., Nair, B. K., Godoy, A., Rajnarayanan, R. V., Nabi, N., Zhou, R., Patel, N., Schwartz, S., and Smith, G. (2015) “Anti-angiogenic activity of PSA-derived peptides.” Prostate 75(12):1285–99.
  • Rajendram V. Rajnarayanan, Sivanesan Dakshanamurthy, Nagarajan Pattabiraman, “Teaching old drugs to kill new bugs: structure-based discovery of anti-SARS drugs,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 321 (2004) 370–378.

Professional Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Teaching Award, Pharmacology and Toxicology, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY (2010, 2012, 2014, 2015)
  • President Emeritus and Mrs. Meyerson's Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY (2014)
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Promoting Inclusion and Cultural Diversity, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY (2013)

Courses I Have Taught

  • Supervised Research I, II, III (Academic Medicine Scholars Program)

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