School of Pharmacy
The University of Mississippi

Dr. Sudeshna Roy

Posted on: July 10th, 2017 by
Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy and Research Assistant Professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Faser Hall 413


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, KU School of Pharmacy
  • Ph.D., University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • M.Sc., University of Delhi, India
  • B.Sc., St. Stephen’s College Delhi, India


  • Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
  • Research Assistant Professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Career Highlights:

Sudeshna Roy received her Bachelor in Science in chemistry from St. Stephen’s College in India and Master of Science in organic chemistry from University of Delhi in India. She obtained her Ph.D. in organic chemistry under the supervision of Professor Christopher Spilling at the University of Missouri-St. Louis working on total synthesis of complex natural products with anti-cancer activity. Her dissertation focused on “Studies toward Tetrahydrofuran-containing Natural Products: Total Synthesis of Amphidinolide C and Oxylipids”. Sudeshna expanded her focus to a more applied field of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery during her postdoctoral tenure under the mentorship of Professor Jeffrey Aubé at the University of Kansas and then at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her postdoctoral tenure at the NIH-funded University of Kansas Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network Specialized Chemistry Center, she was instrumental in developing highly valuable small-molecule probes with picomolar inhibitory activities targeting the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mtPTP) and potential for further development as treatments for a variety of mtPTP-related diseases, such as, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease, to name a few. At the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, she worked on developing chemotherapeutic agents against Hu antigen R and Musashi-1 RNA-binding proteins that are overexpressed in breast and pancreatic cancers. She began her independent academic career in July 2017 as an Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy in the Department of BioMolecular Sciences at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.


My research program is focused on developing new technologies at the interface of chemistry and biology. To this end we explore and develop new methods to synthesize small molecules and apply them in various drug discovery and chemical biology programs. We are particularly interested in the following areas:

Target-based discovery of chemotherapeutics against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Drug-resistant infections present a global health risk that need urgent scientific interventions. In the United States alone, two million people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria leading to 23,000 deaths each year. Unfortunately, our arsenal of new drugs is insufficient to combat the multi-drug resistant and extreme-drug resistant bacteria, commonly known as “superbugs”. To this end, we are working on developing new antibiotics or chemotherapeutic agents to combat this growing challenge of antibacterial resistance utilizing a structure-based drug design approach targeting MraY, a membrane-bound protein that plays a key role in peptidoglycan biosynthesis.

Synthesis and library construction of chemical scaffolds for screening against therapeutic targets. We are also interested in developing technologies around fluorine-containing compounds as well discovering new chemical reactivity. Fluorinated molecules confer unique pharmacokinetic properties and binding interactions and contain 100% abundant 19F natural isotope. We are creating new technologies to synthesize new chemical entities, both fluorinated and non-fluorinated molecules, that could be used in various drug discovery platforms. We are developing a library comprising of fluorinated molecules that will be screened against new and existing targets using 19F NMR assay platform.


  1. Roy, S.*; Sileikyte, J.; Neuenswander, B.; Hedrick, M. P.; Chung, T. D. Y.; Aubé, J.; Schoenen, F. J.*; Forte M. A.*; Bernardi, P.* “N-Phenylbenzamides as Potent Inhibitors of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition PoreChemMedChem, 2016, 11, 283–288.

*corresponding author

  1. Roy, S.; Sileikyte, J.; Schiavone, M.; Neuenswander, B.; Argenton, F.; Aubé, J.; Hedrick, M. P.; Chung, T. D. Y.; Forte M. A.; Bernardi, P.; Schoenen, F. J. “Discovery, Synthesis, and Optimization of Diarylisoxazole-3-carboxamides as Potent Inhibitors of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition PoreChemMedChem, 2015, 10, 1655–1671.

{Designated as Very Important Paper (VIP)}

  1. Roy, S.; Sutivisedsak, N.; Hamper, B. C.; Lyss, A. M.; Spilling, C. D. “A Practical and Scalable Synthesis of (S)- and (R)-1-(Dimethoxyphosphoryl)allyl Methyl CarbonatesSynthesis, 2015, 47, 3669–3672.
  1. Sileikyte, J.; Roy, S.; Porubsky, P.; Neuenswander, B.; Wang, J.; Hedrick, M.; Pinkerton, A. B.; Salaniwal, S.; Kung, P.; Mangravita-Novo, A.; Smith, L. H.; Bourdette, D. N.; Jackson, M. R.; Aubé, J; Chung, T. D. Y.; Schoenen, F. J.; Forte M. A.; Bernardi, P. “Small Molecules Targeting the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition” Probe Reports from the NIH Molecular Libraries Program. Submitted in April, 2014; Peer-reviewed in July, 2014.
  1. Schroeder, C. E.; Yao, Y.; Sotsky, J.; Smith, R. A.; Roy, S.; Chu, Y-K, Guo, H.; Tower, N. A.; Noah, J. W.; McKellip, S.; Sosa, M.; Ramussen, L.; Smith, L. H.; White. E. L.; Aubé, J.; Jonsson, C. B.; Chung, D.; Golden, J. E. “Development of (E)-2-((1,4-dimethylpiperazin-2-ylidene)amino)-5-nitro-N-phenylbenzamide, ML336: Novel 2-Amidinophenylbenzamides as Potent Inhibitors of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus.” Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2014, 57, 8608–8621.
  1. Chung, D.; Schroeder, C. E.; Sotsky, J.; Yao, T.; Roy, S.; Smith, R. A.; Tower, N. A.; Noah, J. A.; McKellip, S.; Sosa, M.; Rasmussen, L.; White, E. L.; Aubé, J.; Golden, J. E. “ML336: Development of Quinazolinone-Based Inhibitors Against Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEEV)” Probe Reports from the NIH Molecular Libraries Program. Submitted in December, 2012; Peer-reviewed in February, 2013.
  1. Roy, S.; Spilling, C. D.* “An Expeditious Total Synthesis of Both Diastereomeric Lipid Dihydroxytetrahydrofurans from Notheia AnomalaOrganic Letters, 2012, 14, 2230–2233.
  1. Roy, S.; Spilling, C. D. “Synthesis of the C(18)-C(34) Fragment of Amphidinolide C and the C(18)-C(29) Fragment of Amphidinolide FOrganic Letters, 2010, 12, 5326–5329.
  1. Ranu, B. C.; Banerjee, S.; Roy, S.A Task Specific Basic Ionic Liquid, [BmIm]OH-promoted Efficient green and One-pot Synthesis of Tetrahydrobenzo[b]pyran DerivativesIndian Journal of Chemistry, 2008, 47B, 1108–1112.


  1. Roy, S.; Bernardi, P.; Forte, M. A.; Schoenen, F. J.; Sileikyte, J. “Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore (mtPTP)” PCT Int. Appl. (2016), WO 2016073633 A1 20160512.