Dr Anitha Kopinathan is Research Fellow (Medicinal Chemistry) within the Centre for Fragment-Based Design (CFBD), based at Monash University. Anitha has worked on a number of projects throughout her career, which have moved on to more advanced stages of the drug-development pipeline and this has motivated her interest in research with real potential to benefit the wider population.
For Anitha, working as a postdoctoral researcher in the CFBD means the opportunity to try and bridge the gap between academia and industry by engaging both sectors – to expand knowledge and capabilities in REFiL and demonstrate its versatility across a variety of biologically-relevant targets.
“After my postdoc I would love to be equipped with the skills to facilitate industry-academia partnerships and foster more translational research in medicinal chemistry, particularly in academic settings,” she says.
The research projects Anitha has been involved within the CFBD have focused on Escherichia coli DsbA (EcDsbA), an antivirulence target, and using fragment-based drug design to fight antibiotic resistance through the development of novel inhibitors. The aim of this work is to facilitate the expansion of synthetic Rapid Elaboration of Fragments into Leads (REFiL) capabilities but recently has expanded to investigating the application of liquid handling systems and how that can be utilised in REFiL protocols.
“I really enjoy multi-disciplinary research and like that the work that I do on any given day is so varied. During my PhD I was lucky enough to do all of my own synthesis and in vitro pharmacology which meant I was able to learn and appreciate the intricacies of both fields,” Anitha says.
Her postgraduate research was predominantly centred around G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), traditional organic synthesis and molecular pharmacology with a particular focus on the dopamine D2 receptor and its implication in disease states such as schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.
View Dr Kopinathan’s latest Orcid publication listing here.
Anitha completed her undergraduate degree at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), Monash University. She then worked as a Research Scientist at CDCO for two years before deciding to pursue a career in science research. Anitha returned to Monash University completing post graduate studies in Pharmaceutical Sciences (with Honours) followed by a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry, both within MIPS.
- Monash Postgraduate Publication Award (2017)
- Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 3-MT, 1st place (2015)
- Monash University Jubilee Honours Scholarship (2012)