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Principal Scientist-ii
+91-129-2876476  (+91-129-2876476)
dinesh.mahajan [at] thsti [dot] res [dot] in
Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry

Dr. Dinesh is an experienced medicinal chemist and a drug discovery scientist. He has around 15 year of medicinal chemistry experience in academic and industrial setups. Dinesh obtained his Master and PhD in synthetic organic chemistry with emphasis on designing, synthesis and synthetic evaluation of chiral organocatalysts to mimic enzymes for asymmetric synthesis in water. His PhD research work was published in leading journals of organic chemistry and is recognized with high citations. This was followed by a short stay at New Drug Discovery Research (NDDR), Ranbaxy INDIA as a medicinal chemist. While working for Ranbaxy, he got exposed to parallel and library synthesis using combinatorial approach. Dr Dinesh spend two years as a postdoctoral fellow (Dec 2006 - Dec 2008) at University de Strasbourg, France formerly known as Louise Pastuer University. There he worked on the designing and synthesis of cytochrome C oxidase model based on porphyrin core. This involves multistep synthesis of porphyrin based biomimics of Cyt C Oxidase. In late 2008, Dinesh joined a biotechnology based start-up company “Sphaera Pharma” In INDIA as a founder member of drug discovery team. At Sphaera, he led the efforts of establishing a medicinal chemistry laboratory, analytical chemistry lab and a team of dedicated medicinal chemistry scientists starting from scratch. At Sphaera, as drug discovery team leader, his major focus revolves around pre-clinical drug discovery that involves hit identification to lead optimization leading to IND candidate identifications followed by process R&D of leads and their cGMP manufacturing. The pre-clinical discovery efforts involves generation of SAR understanding around identified hit or lead, optimization of identified lead for ADMET properties based on screening across various in vitro and in vivo pharmacology assays and process R&D of the identified lead to support in vivo studies as well as cGMP manufacturing. During his stay at Sphaera Pharma, he got a good hand on experience in designing in vitro and in vivo pharmacology assays while his interactions with pre-clinical pharmacology team along with CMC and cGMP manufacturing. His drug discovery experience spans around different therapeutic areas e.g. oncology, metabolic disorder, host based approach for infectious diseases. He has a successful experience of pushing discovery project from conception of idea to IND candidate discovery in oncology, infectious disease and metabolic disorders. Notably, two of the identified leads by his efforts are under phase 2 clinical development, other two leads are under IND enabling studies and few more are in late stage pre-clinical development. He is inventor in more than 16 patent applications in different therapeutic domains. He is also a key inventor in developing a chemical transformation based drug modification technology, which aids drug development of lead molecules or approved APIs by increasing solubility and altering their pharmacokinetic profiles. His efforts as leader of drug discovery group resulted in identification and development two technologies to aid drug discovery and development. Two of the technologies and 2 IND candidates developed are out-licensed in US which progressed to clinical development. Presently, he is working at THSTI as Principal Scientist-II and leading medicinal chemistry efforts to support translational research for identification and development of drug leads as well as new drug targets.

His group at THSTI is focussed on pre-clinical drug discovery (chemistry and pharmacology) with more emphasis on medicinal chemistry and PK-ADME in the domain of non-communicable disease e.g. NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases) and infectious diseases.

Recent Publications:

  • Direct Conversion of Carboxylic Acids to Various Nitrogen Containing Compounds in One-Pot Exploiting Curtius Rearrangement Arun Kumar, Naveen Kumar, Ritika Sharma, Gaurav Bhargava and Dinesh Mahajan* Journal of Organic Chemistry 2019, 84, 17, 11323-11334 (IF 4.89)
  • Recent Advances in the Development of Integrase Inhibitors for HIV Treatment  J Trivedi, Dinesh Mahajan, RJ Jaffe, A Acharya, D Mitra, SN Byrareddy Current HIV/AIDS Reports 17 (1), 63-75 (IF 4.2)
  • Musa balbisiana Fruit Rich in Polyphenols Attenuates Isoproterenol-Induced Cardiac Hypertrophy in Rats via Inhibition of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress Sima Kumari, Parmeshwar B Katare, R Elancheran, Hina L Nizami, Bugga Paramesha, Sudheer Arava, Partha Pratim Sarma, Roshan Kumar, Dinesh Mahajan, Yashwant Kumar, Rajlakshmi Devi, Sanjay K Banerjee Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2020, Just Accepted (IF 4.8)
  • Nickel (0)-Catalyzed [3+ 2]-Cycloadditions of Bis (alkylidenecyclopropanes) with Diazenes: A Facile Synthesis of Functionalized Pyrazolidine-1, 2-dicarboxylates B Kuila, R Naikoo, D Mahajan, P Singh, G BhargavaSynlett 2000 31 (01), 65-68 (IF 2.3)
  • 11-β-hydroxysterols as possible endogenous stimulators of mitochondrial biogenesis as inferred from epicatechin molecular mimicry S Dugar, F Villarreal, FH Hollinger, D Mahajan, I Ramirez-Sanchez, Pharmacological research 2000 151, 104540 (IF 4.5)
  • NU-6027 inhibits growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by targeting Protein Kinase D and Protein Kinase GSaqib Kidwai, Rania Bouzeyen, Sohini Chakraborti, Neha Khare, Sumana Das, Tannu Priya Gosain, Assirbad Behura, Chhuttan Lal Meena, Rohan Dhiman, Makram Essafi, Avinash Bajaj, Deepak Kumar Saini, Narayanaswamy Srinivasan, Dinesh Mahajan, Ramandeep Singh Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2019, DOI: 10.1128/AAC.00996-19. (IF 5.27)

Publications in 2018:

  • Electrophilic activation of carboxylic anhydrides for nucleophilic acylation reactionsVarun Kumar, Anil Rana, Chhuttan Lal Meena, Nidhi Sharma, Yashwant Kumara & Dinesh Mahajan* Synthesis 2018; Accepted. (IF 2.7);
  • A practically simple, catalyst free and scalable synthesis of N-substituted ureas in water; Lata Tiwari, Varun Kumar, Bhuvesh Kumar and Dinesh Mahajan*;  RSC ADV 8 (38), 21585-21595. (IF 3.1);
  • Triflic anhydride promoted synthesis of primary amides and their conversion to nitriles; Anil Rana, Varun Kumar, Lata Tiwari, Anamika Thakur, Chhuttan Lal Meena, Dinesh Mahajan* SynOpen 2 (02), 0180-01912018;
  • Spermine detection from urine and blood serum using ionic self-assembly of benzimidazolium based dipod and dodecylsulfate; Neetu Tripathia, Prabhpreet Singha, Vijay Luxamib, Dinesh Mahajan, Subodh Kumar Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 2018, 552-561.(IF 5.1);
  • Acetylenic Ester Promoted Tandem Ring Opening and Cyclizations of Dienyl Thiazolidin-4-ones: A Facile and Chemoselective Synthesis of Functionalized Pyridine-2-Carboxylates Bilash Kuila, Dinesh Mahajan, Kapil Kumar, Prabhpreet Singh, Gaurav Bhargava; Synlett 2018; 29(04): 509-512. (IF 2.3)

Publications before 2018:

  • Killing Glioma 'Stem-like' Cells via Drug-Induced Relocation of Endosomal Urokinase Proteins Fredric A Gorin, Nagarekha Pasupuleti, Dinesh Mahajan, Sundeep Dugar; Jun 2016 · Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry. (IF 2.8)
  • A Facile and Chemoselective Synthesis of 1,4-Benzodiazepin-2-ones and Dienyl Thiazolidin-4-onesBilash Kuila, Yogesh Kumar, DineshMahajan, Prabhpreet Singh, Pankaj, Gaurav Bhargava;  RSC Adv., 2016,6, 57485-57489.(IF 3.3).
  • Discovery of Novel and Orally Bioavailable Inhibitors of PI3 Kinase Based on Indazole Substituted Morpholino-Triazines Sundeep Dugar, Frank P. Hollinger, Dinesh Mahajan*, Somdutta Sen, Bilash Kuila, Reena Arora, Yogesh Pawar, Vaibhav Shinde Mahesh Rahinj, Kamal K. Kapoor, Rahul Bhumkar, Santosh Rai, and Rakesh KulkarniACS Med. Chem. Letters 2015 ASAP DOI: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.5b00322; (IF 3.2).
  • New small molecules that kill hypoxically transformed glioma stem-like cells Nagarekha Pasupuleti*, Anthony Valenzuela, Yamini Manohar, Dinesh Mahajan, Sundeep Dugar, Jann Sarkaria, Fredric Gorin,  Neuro-Ooncology 17(SUPPL 5):V31-V31 · NOVEMBER 201. (IF 5.56)
  • Preclinical activity of dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor SPR965 in multiple myeloma Jeremy T. Larsen, Vijay Ramakrishnan, Jessica Haug, Teresa Kimlinger, Somdutta Sen, Dinesh Mahajan, Sundeep Dugar, S. Vincent Rajkumar, Shaji K. Kumar Cancer Research 75(15 Supplement):2653-2653 August 2015; doi: 10.1158/1538-7445.AM2015-2653. (IF 9.33)
  • SPR965: an oral PI3K/ mTOR C1/C2 inhibitor for the treatment of solid tumors Arora,R.; Dutta, B. K.; Goel, R.; Hollinger, F. P.; Kuila, B.; Mahajan, D.; Mahapatra, A. R.; Sagar, M.; Sen, S.; Sharma, A.;  Dugar, S Cancer Res October 1, 2014 74; 4515;doi: 10.1158/1538-7445.AM2014-4515; (IF 9.33)
  • Synthesis and evaluation of pyrrolotriazine based novel small molecules as selective inhibitors for PI3K kinase Sundeep Dugar, Frank Hollinger, Somdutta Sen, Bilash Kuila and Dinesh Mahajan*Bio. Org. Med Chem Letters 2015, 15, 3142. (IF 2.4)
  • A concise and efficient synthetic approach to substituted morpholines. Sundeep Dugar, Amit Sharma, Bilash Kuila and Dinesh Mahajan*, Synthesis 2015, 47, 712-720. (IF 2.7)
  • Nickel catalyzed [3+2] cycloaddition reaction of bis(methylenecyclopropane) with cyclic and acyclic dienophilesBilash Kuila, DineshMahajan, Prabhpreet Singh, Gaurav Bhargava Tetrahedron Letters2015, 56, 1307-1311.(IF 2.4.
  • Metal-free diastereoselective synthesis of diaza-bicyclo[3.2.0]heptan-7-one and its transformation to functionalized proline esters.Yogesh Kumar, Bilash Kuila, DineshMahajan, Prabhpreet Singh, Balaram Mohapatra, Gaurav BhargavaTetrahedron Letters2014, 2793-2795. (IF 2.4)

Inventor in more than 25 filed patent applications. 20 are published online and 15 are issued patents in different jurisdictions (US, China, Europe and Japan).


1.     Novel compounds of 11beta-hydroxy-steroids for use in mitochondria biogenesis and diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction or depletion, WO/2014/115167; PCT/IN2014/000048; National Phase: China, US, EU and JP.

2.     Novel triazine compounds for Pi3K/mTOR pathway, WO2014016849; PCT/IN2013/000458; CN104582707A, EP2874632A4, GrantedUS14/416,140 dated 25/04/2017;Granted JP6175139B2

3.     Novel triazine compounds, PCTIN2012000055 Granted US13/981,579 dated 1/11/2016

4.     Substituted methylformyl reagents and method of using same to modify physicochemical and/or pharmacokinetic properties of compounds (A new technology patent to address low solubility and bioequivalence of APIs and NCEs), PCTIN2012000248; Granted US14/110,373 dated 07/06/2016; Application pending for grant in China, Europe and Japan

5.     Novel compounds, their preparation and their uses, Granted US14/433,485 Dated 31/01/2017  Pending for Grant in China, Europe and Japan (A new technology patent to address low solubility and bioequivalence of APIs and NCEs).

6.     Methods of treating tumoral diseases, or bacterial or viral infections, PCT US20170000789; US 15266802 Granted US14/046,682 dated 08/11/2016;AU2013326850A US15/266,802 Pending in Japan, Europe and China  

7.     A novel process for synthesis of polyphenols (A process patent for non-infringing route of chiral natural product),  PCT/IN2012/000052; CN103582635A, EP2668176A2, EP2668176A4, US9428482, Granted US13/981,279 Dated 30/08/2016JP5890846B2 Dated 22/03/2016 EP2668176B1;

8.     Novel approach for synthesis of catechins (A process patent for non infringing route for a chiral natural product),  PCT/IN2014/000061; CN105026384A, EP2948437A2, EP2948437A4, US9556140, Granted US14/763,018 Dated 31/01/2017; JP6411375B2

9.     Flavonoid compounds, PCT/US2012/049767;CN103987704A,EP2739613A4, Granted US14/237,167 dated 17/11/2015

10.  Novel compounds, their synthesis and their uses, US09487500

11.  Novel compounds and anti-tubercular agents, PCT/IN2015/000226 Granted US15/313,986dated 2018-10-16. Pending in Russia, Europe, China and Japan

12.  Novel compounds and inhibition of AKT kinase, IN2014DEL237 20140128 

13.  Novel analogues of epicatechin and related polyphenols, PCT/IN2014/000213; CN105283179A, EP2981260A2, EP2981260A4, US20160039781; Granted US14/780,214 Dated 22/05/2018

14.  Method of converting carbon dioxide into carbonyl compounds WO2019073484 (A1) 12 Dec 2017

15.  Hydroxy Steroid Compounds,  their intermediates, process of …US publication number 2015/0376225 A1, Also filed in Europe, China and Japan

16.  Novel molecules and their hiv inhibitory activityIndian Pat. Appl. (2018), IN 201711009180 A 20180921.

Preparation of trigonelline based compounds as API prodrugs PCT Int. Appl. (2017), WO 2017158621 A1 20170921

  1. As PI with Funds as Grants from Govt of India and Industry

    1. Development and PoC validation of a novel approach to treat HIV infection by integrating anti-viral activity with stimulation of host cell innate immunity from DBT-BIRAC under CRS (drug discovery scheme); PI and Project Coordinator;; duration May 2017-May 2020.
    2. Chemical investigation and therapeutic evaluation for linking marker compound(s) with anti-diabetic potential of young shoots of Wendlandia glabrata D.C. and fruits of Phoebe cooperiana, used by indigenous ST people of Arunachal Pradesh.[BT/PR24712/NER/95/828/2017 from DBT- NE Twinning program; 2018-2021.
    3. Structure determination and targeting of ubiquitously expressed membrane integrated form of chloride intracellular channels (CLICs) for discovery of small molecular anti-cancer therapeutics (BT/PR28766/BRB/10/1701/2018). Duration 3 years till Jan 2021

    Industry Funded Project

    1. Penam Laboratories Pvt Ltd, sponsored project for Technology Co-Development (Dec 2018-Oct 2019).

    As Co-PI

    1.  Pharmacological Induction of Autophagy as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Japanese Encephalitis (BT/PR27875/MED/29/1302/2018) from DBT. Duration 3 years till 2021




The group is looking for PhD candidates with master degree in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry or pharmcology (MSc or MPharma) to work on drug discovery projects. Email or look for details on THSTI website.