Skip to Content

College of Pharmacy

Faculty and Staff

Chintada Nageswara Rao, Ph.D.

Title: Research Assistant Professor
Department: Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences (DDBS)
College of Pharmacy
Phone: 803-923-2934
Office: College of Pharmacy
715 Sumter Street - CLS 718
Columbia, SC 29208
Chintada Rao portrait


Ph.D.  Organic Synthesis, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India, 2009
M.Sc.  Chemistry, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India, 2002

Junior Research Fellowship, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India (JRF-CSIR, 2003-2008)


Chintada Nageswara Rao, Ph.D., joined in the Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, University of South Carolina as a Research Assistant Professor in May 2022. Dr. Rao has more than 18 years of experience in the field of synthetic organic chemistry.

His doctoral research with Professor Khan at the department of Chemistry, IIT Kanpur culminated the synthesis of complex unnatural products, 1,3-diacyl glycerol based bis-γ-lactones-lactones, and methyl salicylate based polyphenolic aromatic compounds such as benzene, naphthalene, anthracene, styrene, stilbenes and carbazoles (Curaxins) etc. Subsequently, Dr. Rao studied the mechanistic aspects of Samarium Diiodide (SmI2) as an electron transfer reducing agent in organic chemistry with Professsor Hoz at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, as a post-doctoral fellow. Followed by Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin with Professor Reissig. Wherein he conducted SmI2 mediated enantioselective carbon-carbon bond forming reactions by utilizing proline and sulfinamide based chiral auxiliaries to provide various Indole-based carbinamines.

After two post-doctoral research stints, Dr. Rao served as senior research scientist at Jubilant drug discovery services until 2016. From 2016 to 2021, Dr. Rao provided his organic synthesis support to Dr. Sajish Mathew's research group at the University of South Carolina as a visiting researcher. Dr. Rao’s current research focus would be on the development of Kinase inhibitors as a potential target for cancer therapy. 

Research Interests

  • Potential role of natural products-based drugs in cancer research
  • Development of natural/unnatural small molecules targeting neurodegenerative diseases
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Reaction mechanism and the study of new carbon-carbon bond forming reactions
  • Methods development
  • Synthesis of natural and unnatural products


Megha Jhanji, Chintada Nageswara Rao, Jacob C. Massey, Marion C. Hope III, Xueyan Zhou, C. Dirk Keene, Tao Ma, Michael D. Wyatt, Jason A. Stewart and Mathew Sajish: Cis- and trans-resveratrol have opposite effects on histone serine-ADP-ribosylation and tyrosine induced neurodegeneration. Nat. Commun., 13, 3244 (2022).

Chintada Nageswara Rao and Hans-Ulrich Reissig: Samarium(II)-Promoted Cyclizations of Nonactivated Indolyl Sulfinyl Imines to Polycyclic Tertiary Carbinamines. E. J. Org. Chem., 2022,

Chintada Nageswara Rao and Hans‐Ulrich Reissig: Synthesis and Evaluation of Enantiopure HMPA Analogs in Samarium‐Diiodide‐Promoted Dearomatizations of N‐Acylated Indole Derivatives. E. J. Org. Chem., 2021, 46, 6392-6399.

Megha Jhanji, Chintada Nageswara Rao and Mathew Sajish: Towards resolving the enigma of the dichotomy of resveratrol: cis- and trans-resveratrol have opposite effects on TyrRS-regulated PARP1 activation, GeroScience, 2021, 43, 1171-1200.

Ashley Galloway, Adewale Adeluyi, Bernadette O’Donovan, Miranda L. Fisher, Chintada Nageswara Rao, Peyton Critchfield, Mathew Sajish, Jill R. Turner, and Pavel I. Ortinski: Dopamine Triggers CTCF-Dependent Morphological and Genomic Remodeling of Astrocytes, J. Neurosci., 2018, 38(21), 4846-4858.

Kadavergu Sravanthi, Sumit Kumar Agrawal, Chintada Nageswara Rao and Faiz Ahmed Khan: Synthesis of Carbazole Analogues via Grob Fragmentation of Norbornyl α-Diketones. Tetrahedron Lett. 2016, 57, 3449-3452.

Chintada Nageswara Rao, Dieter Lentz and Hans -Ulrich Reissig: Synthesis of Polycyclic Tertiary Carbinamines by Samarium Diiodide Mediated Cyclizations of Indolyl Sulfinyl Imines. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 2750-2753.

Chintada Nageswara Rao, Christoph Bentz and Hans -Ulrich Reissig: Lithium Bromide/Water as Additives in Dearomatizing Samarium-Ketyl (Hetero) Arene Cyclizations. Chemistry -A European Journal 2015, 21, 15951-15954.

Chintada Nageswara Rao and Faiz Ahmed Khan: BF3-Et2O Mediated Skeletal Rearrangements of Norbornyl Appended Cyclopentanediols. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 2768-2775.

Chintada Nageswara Rao and Faiz Ahmed Khan: Et3N-MsCl/SOCl2, a Reagent for Hydrodebromination of Diquinane Based α-bromo-γ-Lactones. Synthesis 2015, 47, 3027-3035.

Chintada Nageswara Rao and Shmaryahu Hoz: Synergism and Inhibition in the Combination of Visible Light and HMPA in SmI2 Reductions. J. Org. Chem. 2012, 77, 9199-9204.

Chintada Nageswara Rao and Shmaryahu Hoz: Photostimulated Reduction of Nitriles by SmI2. J. Org. Chem. 2012, 77, 4029-4034.

Chintada Nageswara Rao and Shmaryahu Hoz: The Effect of Replacing Carbon by Nitrogen in Reductions with SmI2: Reduction of Azobenzene. J. Org. Chem. 2011, 76, 9438-9443. 

Chintada Nageswara Rao and Shmaryahu Hoz: Autocatalysis and Surface Catalysis in the Reduction of Imines by SmI2. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 14795-14803.

Faiz Ahmed Khan and Chintada Nageswara Rao: Grob Fragmentation of Norbornyl α-Diketones: A Route to Six-membered α-Ketoenols and Aromatic compounds. J. Org. Chem. 2011, 76, 3320-3328.

Faiz Ahmed Khan and Chintada Nageswara Rao: Synthesis of 9-oxa-noradamantane derivative, an aesthetically pleasing ‘Oxa-basket’. Tetrahedron Lett. 2009, 50, 5751-5753. 

Faiz Ahmed Khan and Chintada Nageswara Rao: An efficient synthesis of Diquinane based bis-γ-lactones. Tetrahedron Lett. 2006, 47, 7567-7570.

Faiz Ahmed Khan, Rashmirekha Satapathy, Ch. Sudheer and Chintada Nageswara Rao: A new reaction of diazomethane with norbornyl α-diketones. Tetrahedron Lett. 2005, 46, 7193-7196.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.