Rajesh Viswanathan

Assistant Professor


Organic Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Genetically-Encoded Natural Products, Microbial Genetics, Bioinformatics, Metabolic Pathways, Drug Discovery



Viswanathan Research Group Site »


Teaching at Case Western Reserve University

Spring 2010 Advanced Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 422)
Fall 2010 Synthetic Methods in Organic Chemistry (CHEM 435)
Fall 2011 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (CHEM 233)
Spring 2012 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (CHEM 234)
Fall 2012 Synthetic Methods in Organic Chemistry (CHEM 435)
Spring 2013 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (CHEM 233)
Spring 2014 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (CHEM 233)
Fall 2014 Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 323)
Spring 2015 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (CHEM 233)


Research in the Viswanathan Group

The Viswanathan laboratory’s contributions to the fields of bio-organic chemistry and natural product biosynthesis are focused on building two synergistic platforms: adeveloping understanding of nature’s molecular construction processes and bdiscovery of new biocatalytic systems. These goals rest on four fundamental disciplines we study, namely: Organic Chemistry, Microbiology, Natural Products and Biocatalysts. For a visual representation, see cartoon below. Using tools such as genomics, asymmetric synthesis, mechanistic enzymology, and microbiology we design platforms that delineate bio-organic mechanisms of enzyme-catalyzed processes. As an application of our research strategies, we develop novel antivirulent therapeutics against infectious diseases, design and construct bio-sensors to detect disease-relevant metabolites, and modulate human enzymes involved in cancer pathways.



Selected Recent Publications

  • Dana M. Bis, Yang H. Ban, Elle D. James, Norah Alqahtani, Rajesh Viswanathan, and Amy L. Lane* “Characterization of the Nocardiopsin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster Reveals Similarities and Differences to the Rapamycin and FK-506 Pathways” ChemBioChem, 2015, Just Accepted.
  • Karthikeyan Thandavamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Suheel K. Porwal, Dale Ray and Rajesh Viswanathan* “Regioselective Cope Rearrangement and Prenyltransfers on Indole Scaffold Mimicking Fungal and Bacterial Dimethyl Allyl Tryptophan Synthases” J. Org. Chem., 2014, 79, 10049–10067. DOI: 10.1021/jo501651z
  • Melinda L. Micallef*, Deepti Sharma*, Brittney M. Bunn, Lena Gerwick, Rajesh Viswanathan§, Michelle C. Moffitt§ “Comparative analysis of hapalindole, ambiguine and welwitindolinone gene clusters and reconstitution of indole-isonitrile biosynthesis from cyanobacteria” BMC Microbiology 2014, 14:213, DOI: 10.1186/s12866-014-0213-7
  • David Kuo, Guanping Yu, Wyatt Hoch, Lisa Long, Mahmoud Ghannoum, Nancy Nagy, Clifford V. Harding, Rajesh Viswanathan, and Menachem Shoham* “Novel quorum-quenching agents promote MRSA wound healing and sensitize MRSA to b-lactam antibiotics”  Antimicrobial Agents and ChemotherapyJust Accepted. DOI: 10.1128/AAC.04767-14
  • Liu, Z.; Reba, S.; Chen, W-D.; Boom, W. H.; Porwal, S. K.; Viswanathan, R.; and Devireddy, L.*“Regulation of mammalian siderophore 2,5-DHBA in the innate immune response to infection.” J. Exp. Med. 2014,  211, 1197-1213. Published May 26, 2014, DOI: 10.1084/jem.20132629.
  • Porwal, S. K.; Furia, E.; Harris, M. E.; Viswanathan, R.*; and Devireddy, L.* “Synthetic, Potentiometric and Spectroscopic Studies of Chelation between Fe(III) and 2, 5-DHBA Supports Salicylate-Mode of Siderophore Binding Interactions.” JInorg. Biochem. Just Accepted. DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2014.12.010
  • Yu, G.; Kuo, D.; Shoham, M. and Viswanathan, R.* “Synthesis and in vitro Evaluation of a Biaryl Hydroxyketone Library as Antivirulence Agents against MRSA.” ACS Comb. Sci. 2014, 16, 85–91. DOI: 10.1021/co400142t
  • Voelker, A. E. and Viswanathan, R.* “Synthesis of a Suite of Bioorthogonal GST Substrates and Their Enzymatic Incorporation for Protein Immobilization” J. Org. Chem. 201378, 9647-9658. DOI: 10.1021/jo401278x
  • Voelker, A. E. and Viswanathan, R. “Self-Catalyzed Immobilization of GST-Fusion Proteins for Genome-Encoded Biochips” Bioconjugate Chem., 2013, 24, 1295-1301. DOI: 10.1021/bc400128g

* corresponding author


Millis Science Building 214