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Rao Vippili

I am a postdoc in Fredrik Almqvists group focusing on developing drugs that are inhibiting gram-positive bacterial infections.




Works at

Affiliated as postdoctoral position at Department of Chemistry
KBC-huset (KB), Linnaeus väg 10, C4-41-07 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

I completed my doctoral studies in Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi), India, under the guidance of Prof. Ravi P. Singh. During my doctoral studies, I worked on organo-catalysis and developed novel methodologies for the selective synthesis of molecules. I have designed novel processes for the stereoselective synthesis of 3-hydroxy/3-amino oxindoles, which are the common structural core in natural products and pharmaceuticals. In brief, I dealt with the enantioselective vinylogous Mannich reaction, Michael reaction, and stereoselective cyanomethylation reactions. Apart from those aforementioned methodologies, we also demonstrated a novel method to construct phenanthroindolizidine alkaloids core structures via intramolecular dehydrogenative coupling of 2,3-diaryl acrylic compounds and also tested the biological activity of our designed compounds against Hepatitis A virus (HAV) 3C protease activity and experimental validation was undertaken and a few of them were identified which, at low micromolar concentrations could inhibit HAV 3C activity.

After completing my doctoral studies, I joined as a postdoc in September 2018 at Max-Planck Dortmund with Prof. Herbert Waldmann and Dr. Loh (Group Leader), As a postdoc I have started investigating novel catalytic systems to do selective carbohydrate polyol functionalization and chemical biology of its derivatives, published my research results in high-quality reputed journals such as Nature Chemistry 2023, 15, 424-435, Nature Communications 2020, 11, 4911, etc.

In February 2022, I moved to Prof. Fredrik Almqvist lab at Umeå University in Sweden, to solve a real-life problem in medicinal chemistry, actively developing drugs that are inhibiting gram-positive bacterial infections. Pathogens have developed resistance to most of the classes of approved antibiotics creating an urge to develop new therapeutics to treat troubling AMR infections. 2-Pyridones, a new class of synthetic scaffold with specific substitution patterns, are proven to target various aspects of bacterial physiology. I am a part of designing and synthesizing a series of novel 2-pyridones scaffolds (GMPcides) and studying their structure-activity relationship (SAR) against cultures of gram-positive pathogens, which resulted in the identification of potent GMPcide molecules. I also actively develop novel synthetic methodologies to selectively functionalize thiazolo-2-pyridones via photocatalysis.

Research groups

Group member