Our DDNM research program allies with top level academic institutions and Custom Research Organization companies to bring our ideas to fruition. Listed below are some of the major activities of the DDNM program in collaboration with academia, pharma and biotech companies.

Virtual Screening

We are exploring modern in silico methods, such as ligand and structure based drug design strategies, to scan libraries of small molecules for protein receptor or enzyme interactions of interest. Our DDNM program is collaborating with computational scientists at Molsoft LLC (San Diego, CA), The University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN), and UCI (Irvine, CA), to execute our computational drug design projects.

Structure-Based Drug Design

Medicinal Chemistry

Structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies are necessary for identifying hit compounds. In order to speed up the chemical synthesis process,  the DDNM program has collaborated with both academia and pharma custom research organization companies to synthesize a number of different analogs for efficient SAR studies, for multiple drug developmental projects.

Agilent 1260 II HPLC

Assay Development and Screening Assays

We have a strong team of departmental scientists and technicians performing the biological experimentation components of our drug target ID engagement studies. Our lab also collaborates with other institutes  and biotech companies for specific biological assays.

Drug Discovery and Nanomedicine researcher

Drug Metabolism, Pharmacokinetics and Efficacy Studies

In the process of identifying drug-like small molecules, pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) studies are key experiments to understand the drug’s safety and efficacy profile. We will perform these studies in collaboration with various pharma CRO companies.

Drug metabolism graphic

Liposomal Nano Formulations

We have state-of-the-art equipment in our Nanomedicine Laboratory at Saint John’s Cancer Institute to design and characterize nano-formulations, for our drug delivery projects.

Liposomal Nano


The DDNM research program is constantly seeking new collaboration opportunities in drug discovery and nanomedicine research in a wide range of therapeutic areas. We welcome informal discussions with Saint John’s Cancer Institute and PNI faculty on both basic and translational research ideas, and the development of novel therapeutics. When discussing a new collaborative project we consider several key points: clinical significance, drugability of the targets, fundability, and compatibility with our expertise and capabilities.

If you would like to initiate discussions with our team, please contact us at

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Two researchers working together


The DDNM program has strong support from the following sources:

  • Providence Saint John’s Medical Center and the Foundation
  • Department of Translational Neurosciences, Saint John’s Cancer Institute
  • Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies (ABC’s)
  • Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY)
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Dr. Yenugonda and Team