Center for Clinical Pharmacology
Center for Clinical Pharmacology
Susruta Majumdar, PhD
As an Assistant Attending Chemist at the same institution, he designed MP1104, a ligand later used to crystalize kappa opioid receptor in its active conformation (Cell 2018). The structure is aiding efforts as well as others in academia and industry to design non-addictive opioids. Finally he used natural products chemistry to evaluate, mitragynine pseudoindoxyl as analgesic templates with attenuated dependence and abuse potential (JMedChem 2016, Nature 2018) seen with opioids.
At St Louis he heads a multidisciplinary, multicultural and diverse group interested in the Chemical Biology of opioid receptors. We probe the structural basis of receptor function (agonism/antagonism) and signaling (arrestin biased, G-protein biased, balanced agonism and/or allosterism) integrating chemical synthesis, computation based design, pharmacology, and structural biology based approaches to design next generation of opioids. His group is highly collaborative and works with scientists across the country.
He has close to 71 publications in peer-reviewed journals and holds several patents. He is the co-founder of Sparian biosciences. He has trained several undergraduate students and three post-doctoral fellows until date.
In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his wife, Antara and their two kids-Raahil and Aabir and gardening and fusing cuisines from various parts of the world-sometimes the food he cooks is edible. He has travelled extensively through the Caribbean islands and hopes to more of Eastern European nations.
Dr. Balazs Varga, Postdoctoral Fellow
Born in Rev-Komarom, Slovakia, Dr. Varga obtained his Masters degree from Dartmouth College in 2013 and his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest in 2015. His previous research focused on biorthogonal chemistry, while currently he is working in the field of opiate analgesics with the Majumdar lab. Besides chemistry, Dr Varga is also passionate about cooking and gastronomy in general.
Dr. Arghya Polley, Postdoctoral Fellow
Arghya Polley is from Kolkata, India. He received his B.Sc. (undergraduate) degree in Chemistry from Vivekananda College under the University of Calcutta. He pursued his master’s degree in Organic Chemistry at Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur (affiliated to the University of Calcutta). Arghya qualified for CSIR NET fellowship and joined Dr. Ranjan Jana’s research group in CSIR- Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata. During his Ph.D., he worked as a synthetic organic chemist and became an expert in fluorination chemistry, diazonium chemistry, hypervalent iodine chemistry and total synthesis of biologically active carbazole alkaloids. He continued his research work after getting a doctorate degree in 2019 for the synthesis of potential therapeutics targeting COVID 19 as a research associate. Currently, he is working as a postdoctoral research associate in collaborative research work with Dr. Susruta Majumdar and Prof. Baron Chanda at Washington University School of Medicine. Along with the synthesis of novel candidates in the lab, Arghya enjoys the synthesis of new dishes in the kitchen. He also likes playing cricket and chess and listening to music.
Dr. Barnali Paul, Postdoctoral Fellow
Barnali Paul is from Raiganj, India. She completed her B.Sc (undergraduate) degree in chemistry with first class first from Raiganj College (University of North Bengal). Barnali received her master’s degree from the same university in Organic Chemistry. After successfully qualifying for CSIR NET exam (conducted by Govt. of India), she joined Dr. Arindam Talukder’s medicinal chemistry group at CSIR- Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata. Her doctorial study was focused on design, synthesis, structure-activity relationship (SAR) development and biological evaluation of small-molecule immunomodulators targeting endosomal Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and Piezo-type mechanosensitive ion channels. She got her doctorate degree in 2018 and then she joined as a research scientist in a CRO company, TCG Lifesciences Private Limited, Kolkata, India. Currently, she is working as a postdoctoral research associate with Dr. Susruta Majumdar at Washington University School of Medicine and UHSP. In addition to taking challenges in the research lab, Barnali enjoys exploring new places, loves to read books, and is fond of watching movies and web series.
Dr. Rohini Ople, Postdoctoral Fellow
Rohini Ople is from Maharashtra, India. She completed her B.Sc. (undergraduate) degree in Chemistry, Botany, Microbiology from Yogeshwari College, Ambejogai (Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University). Rohini received her master’s degree from the Dr. BAMU, Aurangabad in Organic Chemistry. After successfully qualifying for CSIR-NET exam and GATE exam, she has pursued Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Srinivasa Reddy from CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory, Pune and Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi. Her doctoral study was focused on "Design, Synthesis and Biochemical Studies of FadD and Type III PKS Inhibitors towards Developing Anti-tuberculosis Agents" and received her doctorate degree in 2018. Further she gained industrial experience of 3 years and 3 months tenure while working with in CRO-MNC companies Curia (formerly AMRI) and Aragen Lifesciences (formerly GVK-biosciences) Hyderabad, India. Currently, she is working as a postdoctoral research associate with Dr. Susruta Majumdar at Washington University School of Medicine and UHSP. Along with interest in the research field, Rohini likes travelling, painting, making new food dishes, and photography
Dr. Manoj Uphade, Postdoctoral Fellow
Manoj Uphade is from Nashik, India. He completed his B.Sc (undergraduate) degree in chemistry with first class with distinction from K. K. W. Arts, Science and Commerce College, Pimpalgaon-Baswant, Nashik (Savitribai Phule Pune University). Manoj received his master’s degree from the same university in Organic Chemistry. After successfully qualifying for GATE exam (conducted by Govt. of India), he joined Dr. K. R. Prasad’s organic chemistry group at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. His doctorial study was focused on “Nucleophilic addition reactions of 2-Aza-ally anion: Application to the Total Synthesis of Natural Products”. He got his doctorate degree in 2020 and then he joined as an associate scientist in a CRO company, Aragen Lifesciences, Bangalore, India. Currently, he is working as a postdoctoral research associate with Dr. Susruta Majumdar at Washington University School of Medicine and UHSP. In addition to taking challenges in the research lab, Manoj enjoys exploring new places, loves to read books, and is fond of watching Cricket.
Dr. Nokomis Ramos-Gonzalez, Postdoctoral Fellow
Nokomis Ramos-Gonzalezis from Devon, United Kingdom. She completed a BSc in Pharmacology at the University of Bristol, in 2018, with first-class honours. For her PhD, Nokomis was part of the South-West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership, and she joined the labs of Eamonn Kelly, Graeme Henderson and Richard Sessions at the University of Bristol. During her PhD Nokomis used in vitro cell signalling and molecular dynamics to explore how fentanyls interact with the mu opioid receptor. She was awarded her PhD in 2023 and is now working as a postdoctoral research associate in the Majumdar lab at Washington University in St Louis, her work focuses on molecular and structural pharmacology of opioid receptors. Aside from lab work, Nokomis enjoys art, reading, walking in nature and growing house plants.
Dr. Vipin Rangari, Postdoctoral Fellow
Vipin Rangariwas born in Nagpur, India. He obtained his postgraduate degree in Organic Chemistry from Nagpur University in 2012. For doctoral studies he joined Prof. K. R. Prasad at Indian institute of Science, Bangalore India and worked on the total synthesis of alkaloids natural products. After a brief industrial experience, he joined the research group of Dr. Susruta Majumdar as a postdoctoral research associate in Jan 2022 at Washington University School of Medicine and UHSP. Currently, he is working on the synthesis of peripherally restricted cannabinoid receptor agonists. In his spare time, he loves watching movies and playing badminton.
Sarah Bernhard, Graduate Student
Sarah is a Neuroscience graduate student who joined the Majumdar lab in 2021 as a co-mentorship with Tao Che. In 2020, Sarah received a B.S. in Neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University where she worked in Alison Barth’s lab to build automated behavioral cages for mice. In the Majumdar lab, her research is focused on how opioids bind to opioid receptors and the signaling transducers they activate. Outside of lab, Sarah loves rock climbing, hiking, gardening, and reading.
Emily Wells, Graduate Student
Emily Emily Emily is from Shawnee, Kansas. She received her associates degree in Chemistry from Cloud County Community College and a Bachelors degree from UHSP in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. She’s pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Health Science and Pharmacy in Medicinal Chemistry, and she plans on pursuing a Doctorate's in Medicinal Chemistry. She chose to get involved in research to gain knowledge and experience. In her free time, she enjoys playing softball, listening to music, and reading.
Kevin Appourchaux, Research Technician
Kevin was born in Epinay-sur-Seine, France. He studied and received his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from University Grenoble Alpes in 2005 and he joined Polytech Annecy-Chambéry, an Engineering school specialized in Civil engineering until 2008. Follow his study, he joined an engineering and design company (CEH) in France to pursue his career in engineering. In April 2014, he changed his path and trained to manage a team and supplies in a pharmacy retail company in USA. He joined the research groups of Dr. Susruta Majumdar and Dr. Tom Burris in Washington University School of Medicine as a research technician. Currently, he is working on screening and characterizing new compounds targeting opioid receptor in cell based assays and he oversees the LC/MS-MS instrument for ADME or quantification studies. In addition, he is playing the role of lab management in the Dr. Susruta Majumdar team. In his spare time, he loves watching animation and sport, playing board games, and practicing CrossFit.
Post-doctoral fellows supervised