Venkata Maidhar Yenugonda M.Phil, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics

Venkata Maidhar Yenugonda

M.Phil, Ph.D.

Director of Drug Discovery and Nanomedicine Research Program

Dr. Yenugonda is Associate Professor in the Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at John Wayne Cancer Institute.  He is also Director of Drug Discovery and Nanomedicine Research Program.  He has significant small molecule drug discovery and delivery experience in the fields of oncology and neurosciences. His research and technical expertise have led to the creation of several small molecules that show therapeutic promise in several disease areas and are currently in various stages of development. Disease areas include 1) triple negative breast cancer, prostate cancer, adult and pediatric brain cancer, and liver cancer; 2)  neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and aging; and 3) central nervous system disorders such as alcohol and nicotine addiction.

After receiving his doctoral degree from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (India), Dr. Yenugonda joined the Department of Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) as a postdoctoral research scientist in the programs of Cancer Nanotechnology and Drug Discovery & Development. Subsequently, he became a faculty member in GUMC’s Center for Drug Discovery which allowed him to perform independent research in drug discovery, development, and delivery. He has authored over 20 scientific publications, and is the co-inventor of several US patents and provisional patent applications. He is a member of National Academy of Inventors and a scientific advisor for several biotech startup companies.

Dr. Yenugonda’s long-standing interest is in developing novel small molecules and nano-formulations to maximize the therapeutic index of treatments for patients with cancer and neurological disorders. He believes using an in-depth understanding of the biology of disease to apply precision medicine approaches will advance the discovery of effective drugs and combination therapies. His unique perspective and experience in the fields of drug discovery and nanomedicine will help advance ongoing translational drug discovery projects at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Additionally, he will collaborate with Pacific Neuroscience Institute’s  medical specialists to implement novel therapeutic strategies for treating brain cancer and other neurological diseases.