Dr. Yenugonda

Venkata Mahidhar Yenugonda

M.Phil, Ph.D.

Director, Drug Discovery and Nanomedicine Research Program
Associate Professor, Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics

A 2018 recipient of the JWCI independent Investigator grant, Dr. Yenugonda has over a decade of experience in drug discovery and nanomedicine (DDNM) research. He is a medicinal chemist with experience in a wide range of therapeutic areas (i.e. Oncology, Neuroscience, Immunology, Anti-Cholesterol and Rheumatology) and has lead multiple interdisciplinary projects, ranging from target identification to clinical proof of concept IND applications. Through these projects he has identified several preclinical leads which remain at various stages of development.  He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, and Director of their DDNMR program. He has authored over 25 scientific publications, and also co-inventor of several US patents and provisional patent applications. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a reviewer of scientific journals of high repute, and a scientific advisor of several biotech startup companies

Dr. Yenugonda’s long-standing interest is in developing novel small molecule therapeutics and nano-formulations to maximize the therapeutic index of treatments for patients with cancer, neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. He believes that deeper understanding of the complexity of human biology early in the drug discovery process, and application of precision therapeutics, will replace the traditional “blockbuster model” and will greatly improve the design of effective drug therapies. His unique perspective and experience in the field of drug discovery and nanomedicine will advance the ongoing translational drug discovery projects at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Additionally, he works in collaboration with Pacific Neuroscience Institute’s medical specialists to devise and implement novel therapeutic strategies for treating brain cancer and other neurological diseases.