scientific team

Scientific Advisory Team

Dr. Jonathan Baell

  • Dr. Baell has almost 25 years of medicinal chemistry experience in the public-private interface. He worked as the COO of Polpharma, a leading Polish generics pharmaceutical company.
  • Currently he is Larkins Fellow & NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Director of the Australian Translational Medicinal Chemistry Facility, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS).
  • He has more than 40 granted patents, representing 25 separate pharmaceutical inventions, many of which are licensed and alive. These include compounds currently in clinical development.
  • In 2005 he was awarded the 2004 Biota Medal, a National Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry for an early to mid-career researcher. He has published >40 papers since 2009, including entries in Nature, Nature Chemical Biology and almost a dozen in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Dr. Moorthy Palanki

  • Over 25 years of drug discovery experience in the pharmaceutical / biotech industry.
  • This seasoned scientist spent 11 years at Celgene managing projects and groups, leading research efforts in inflammation, neuroscience and oncology.
  • He advanced compounds to candidate stage and to Phase I. He furthered his career at TargeGen and managed to advance a compound to Phase 1 for treating age-related macular degeneration.
  • Then he transitioned to Pfizer where he led research projects in metabolic diseases. While at Pfizer, he advanced a compound to Phase I for treating diabetes and nominated two compounds for two other metabolic diseases.
  • In addition to leading research teams, Dr. Palanki also played a vital role in forming teams at Celgene, TargeGen and Pfizer.
  • While at Celgene, TargeGen and Pfizer, Dr. Palanki managed projects at CROs in India, China and Germany.
  • Dr. Palanki received Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from The University of Kansas and completed the post-doctoral training in organic chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego.

Dr. Srikanth Venkatraman

  • Recipient of 2012 Heroes of Chemistry award given by the American Chemical Society for the discovery and development of VictrelisTM, a first-in-class treatment for the Hepatitis C virus.
  • He has over 15 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and was Director at Merck.
  • Designed and evaluated novel asymmetric catalysts for asymmetric reduction of carbocations.
  • Designed novel catalyst for palladium catalyzed cyclopropanation of alkene using diazomethane
  • Strong and deep experience in all aspects of pharmaceutical discovery and development including structure and fragment based drug design, lead identification, lead optimization, medicinal chemistry, process research, pharmacokinetics and intellectual property management.