Venkat is currently an Associate Principal Scientist at AstraZeneca (Waltham, USA) in the advanced drug delivery group within Pharmaceutical Sciences department to advance new modalities portfolio such as mRNA, Oligonucleotides, etc. Prior to his position at AZ, he was a chemist at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals where he was involved in the nucleic acid delivery such as siRNA.
He completed a PhD in Organic Chemistry at University of Illinois, Chicago, where he developed a new bioconjugation technique to modify cysteine residues in peptides and proteins and worked on the total synthesis of Pancratistatin – an anticancer natural product. After a brief postdoctoral stint at Princeton University, he was promoted to an Instructor position at Harvard Medical School, where he worked on the synthesis of biocompatible polymers such as poly(lysine)grafted PEG copolymers, protein and carbohydrate based biopolymers to study artificial organs and living engineered tissues all of which will define the evolving field of regenerative medicine.
His work in this area led to several high impact publications such as Nature, JACS etc., and laid ground work for several NIH grant funding amounting >$2million/year in which he served as a Co-Principal Investigator. He is the co-author of over 15 peer-reviewed articles and 5 US patents.