I received my PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India. My doctoral thesis described the design and synthesis of heterocyclic molecules with antitubulin and xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity that can be useful in cancer and gout, respectively. These compounds were rationally designed using molecular hybridization approach based on the combination of pharmacophoric moieties of different bioactive substances to produce a new hybrid compound with improved affinity and efficacy. An extensive library of compounds were synthesized and evaluated in a number of in vitro assays designed to measure antitubulin activity and inhibition of xanthine oxidase. These results led to establishment of structure activity relationship within azacarboline and naphthopyran class of compounds as tubulin and xanthine oxidase inhibitors, which were further rationalized by molecular modeling studies.
Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Gabriela Chiosis at MSKCC. Broadly speaking, my research involves the rational development of probes that selectively target Hsp90 networks, which are present as multi-chaperone complexes in cancer cells and play a critical role in the development of cancer and potentially other diseases. One of the aims of my project is to develop fluorescent probes that target oncogenic Hsp90 networks and can be used for intraoperative visualization of cancer cells during surgical procedures. Since, surgical removal of operable tumors remains the gold standard care in the treatment of many tumors, a method for the detection of the extent of malignancy is key for an optimal surgical outcome and to reduce surgery related complications.