Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Dr. Rajendram Rajnarayanan

Assistant Dean of Research and Associate Professor

Department of Basic Sciences, NYITCOM-Arkansas

Research Interests

The primary focus of Rajnarayanan's research team is to design and develop molecules that target functionally relevant protein interactions and molecular solutions to understand protein circuitry in the endocrine and the neuroendocrine system.

Rajnarayanan's team has developed human computer interface (HCI) devices using 3-D printed protein models to generate functionally relevant clusters of simulated structural interactomics data to accelerate compound discovery. His team is currently exploring an HCI-guided structural ensemble to gain access to dynamic 3-D (temporal) bioactive conformations. These have been inaccessible by X-ray crystallography or NMR. The alpha version of this HCI is already a hit among students and is enriching classroom education. The team hopes to develop an app to solve protein-protein interaction puzzles.

His past research also includes studies on the use of old drugs to treat new and emerging viruses, including the deadly Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of the early 2000s. Through virtual models, his 2004 study centered on the potential for old drugs to target the coronavirus's main enzyme catalyzing the breakdown of proteins into smaller polypeptides or single amino acids, an essential process for the propagation of the coronaviral life cycle.

Recent accomplishments from Rajnarayanan's research team include identifying the first examples of environmental chemicals targeting human melatonin receptor (NIEHS paper of the month in March 2017); identifying novel anthropomorphic molecules targeting multiple receptor conformations; and identifying EF hand protein S100 as a non-classical interactor of estrogen receptors.