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Reuben D

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at Brigham Young University


Organic Chemistry, Cancer Biology and Therapeutics, Drug Discovery & Development, Biochemistry, Gene Therapy, Oligonucleotides, Nuclear Medicince


I am a Researcher at the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery. My research focuses on the discovery and development of therapeutics for cancers, viruses and blood related disorders such as Mulitple Myeloma, Breast, Ovarian Cancer, Influenza, HBV, RSV and Sickle Cell Anemia. In addition to cancer research, I also investigate synthetic approaches to making drugs and enhancing their formulations so that drugs are administered safely. I have experience using computer molecular docking software as part of my Structure-Activity-Relationship studies in designing and developing drug candidates. This has resulted in the discovery of two novel approaches to making complex and difficult chemical structures that would make drug making cheaper and eventually, more affordable. I have extensive experience in academic writing, biological assay and screening, synthetic chemistry and medicinal chemistry. My main areas of expertise are Cancer Biology, Viruses and Drug Discovery & Development. In my free time, I like to hike and explore National Parks with my wife and Black Lab! I like watching sitcoms and being outdoors to relax. I'm happy to work with anyone who has an interest in doing research or would just like to expand and enhance their knowledge base in any area of chemistry, cancer and anti-viral research. Extensive knowledge is not a requirement and I would love to guide you and help you identify your niche!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidines: Discovery of a selective inhibitor of JAK1 JH2 pseudokinase and VPS34

A series of novel 3,6-di-substituted or 3-substituted pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidines were prepared via a microwave-assisted approach that generated a broad array of derivatives in good yields (20–93%, ave. = 59%). The straightforward synthesis involved sequential treatment of commercially-available acetonitrile derivatives. Importantly, a simple yet novel compound was equipotent with the more synthetically challenging 3,6-disubstituted derivatives and exhibited a promising and unique selectivity profile when screened against a panel consisting of 403 protein kinases.

Languages I know

Malay, Indonesian - pROFICIENT

Teaching experience

I am a Researcher at Purdue University. I currently mentor 5 undergraduates who are part of my team researching the development of therapeutics against Cancers, Viruses and Blood Related Disorders. Prior to this position, I was a teaching assistant and co-teacher for General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Immunology courses throughout my PhD program. During that time, I also privately tutored college students in Organic Chemistry. I have tutored over 10 students over the timeline described above.


Work experience

Brigham Young University (2017 - 2022)
Graduate Researcher
Simmons Center for Cancer Research (2019 - 2020)
Research Fellow
Purdue University Institute for Drug Discovery (2022 - Current)
Post-Doctoral Associate
Purdue University (2024 - Current)


National University of Malaysia
BS Bachelor of Science (2017)
Brigham Young University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (2022)
Medicinal Chemistry (Oncology)

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