About the Dhanvanthri Laboratory

The Dhanvanthri Laboratory, is an organic chemistry research laboratory, nested in the scenic Coimbatore campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. The research focuses on the syntheses and development of new small molecules, with various biological applications, including anti-cancer and markers for DNA recognition. Establishment of medicinal properties of endangered plants has also been a very important research area.

Over the years, the laboratory has developed various new small molecules, which exhibit potent anti-cancer activity, new methods to synthesise PNA monomers withvarious markers. The laboratory has also, established the medicinal properties of multiple endangered plants, by studying the extracts of the plant’s various parts. The lab is also involved in the development of new carriers as alternatives to gelatin in sustained drug release systems.


Doctoral Students

  1. Modified Arecoline Derivatives: Synthesis and Preliminary Anti-Cancer Studies”, Baladhandapani A.,(Ongoing)
  2. Identification, extraction, purification and biological analysis of medicinal plants”, Selvakumar S., (Ongoing)
  3. Synthesis, characterization and biological studies of pyrrole based imidazole scaffolds.”, Bharathi H. G., (Ongoing)

Master’s Students

  1. 2-in-1 marker: Synthesis and analytical characterization of labelled glycine PNA monomer”, Saranya Sudheer (M.Sc., Chemistry) – 2020 (Ongoing)
  2. “Development of SPEEK membranes for sustained drug release”, Srikrishna M. (M.Sc., Chemistry) – 2020 (Ongoing)
  3. Substituted Chromenesand its pharmacological evaluation”, Sree Bhadra N. R. (M.Sc., Chemistry) – 2020 (Ongoing)

Bachelor’s Students (B.Sc., Chemistry)

  1. Synthesis and characterization of substituted Chromenes”, Varsha K. M.(B.Sc., Chemistry) – 2020 (Ongoing)


Research Interests

The research team targets on the synthesis of new molecules that can target cancer. Cancer results from mutation of certain genes that allow the cells to begin their uncontrolled growth. These mutations are inherited or acquired. The group members intend to find a possible solution towards a cancer free world. The following are our Research interests:

  • Peptide Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Heterocyclic chemistry
  • Combinatorial Chemistry
  • Polymer chemistry

Peptide Nucleic Acids

The remarkable binding properties of ‘Peptide Nucleic Acids’ (PNA), the so called artificial DNAs, have spawned a rapidly expanding new field of research and their applications as therapeutics, DNA diagnostics, tools in biotechnology and much more. PNA is linked to various scientific disciplines, a few including medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology and drug development. Our focus is to improve the solubility and sensitivity to detect complementary natural nucleobases. 

Combinatorial chemistry

In this, our research has been focused on the design and synthesis of small molecules towards human carcinoma. This work is in collaboration with Dr. Krishnan Namboori of the Computational Chemistry Group. Molecules generated through computer-assisted molecular design will be screened for synthetic feasibility. Selected molecules will be synthesized in our laboratory and subjected to biological evaluation.

Polymer chemistry

Sustained Drug Delivery refers to approaches, formulations, technologies, and systems for transporting a pharmaceutical compound in human system as needed to safely achieve its desired therapeutic effect. This can be attained by maintaining a constant drug concentration for a specific period of time with minimum side effect. Most pharmaceutical drugs in the market are encapsulated with gelatin, which is manufactured from the collagen of animal skin or bone. The target in this research is to find an alternative means of encapsulating those drugs for sustained release. 

Heterocyclic Chemistry

Organic heterocycles, such as substitutedchromenes, pyrroles, imidazole and pyridine, are molecules, whose biological activity has been established over time, with extensive research. The group focuses on the application of this statement, by trying to synthesize new molecules, based on one scaffold, and synthesize molecules with other biologically active units, and study their anti-cancer activity.


Medicinal Chemistry

Endangered Plants

Herbal medicines are assumed to be of great importance in the primary health care of individual and communities. The World Health Organization has estimated that 80% of the population of developing countries still relies on traditional medicines, mostly plant drugs, for the primary health care needs. The high degree of efficacy and safety with herbal medicines make them more acceptable compared to other therapeutic invention. Plant-based traditional knowledge has become a recognized tool in search for new sources of drugs and nutraceuticals. Our basic aim is to identify the plants which are on the verge of extinction and find the medicinal value of that plant, which can be used in our day-to-day life.

Anti-Cancer molecules

Alkaloids are a class of naturally occurring organic nitrogen containing compounds. Typical alkaloids are derived from plant sources, they are basic, they contain one or more nitrogen atoms (usually in a heterocyclic ring) and they usually have a marked physiological action on man or other animals. Alkaloids have potent anticancer activity against various cancers. Our intentions are to synthesis some alkaloids and study their biological properties.



  • Carmelo Drago, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) – Catania, Italy.
  • Luisella Verotta, University of Milano, Milan, Italy
  • Anju Gupta, University of Toledo, USA
  • MaheswaranShanmugam, IIT Bombay, India


  • Vera Salus Ricerca S.r.l., Augusta, Italy

Lab Alumni

  1. Modified Chromenes – Synthesis, characterization and biological evaluation, Archana D. Nair (M.Sc., Chemistry), 2019
  2. Membranes and Nalidixic acid, Aiswarya P. (M.Tech.Biomedical Engineering), 2019
  1. Synthesis of labelled amino acids for biological applications”, Athira C. K. (M.Sc.Chemistry), 2018.
  2. Investigation of endangered plants of Western Ghats”, Rosemol (M.Sc.Chemistry), 2018
  3. Iron Tungstate-Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites For Microwave Absorption”, Sanjay Krishna, Vadamalai Raj and Balaji (B.Tech chemical engineering), 2018 
  4. Polymers for sustained drug release”SrikrishnaM and Narayanan C V, (B.Sc Chemistry), 2018
  1. Experimental Investigation of Emission and Performance Characteristics of DI Diesel Engine with Tyre Pyrolysis oil and Diphenyl ether blends”, H. Udaykumar (M.Tech. Automotive Engineering) 2016.
  2. Design of Polymeric Materials for Sustained Drug Release – A Preliminary Study”, Shashank Suresh, (B.Tech chemical engineering),2016
  3. Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Evaluation of Anticancer Molecule”, ShobhanaMeenakshi,(B.Tech chemical engineering),2016
  4. Phthalimide labeled Cbz protected serine – synthesis and characterization”, Yohalakshmi, (B.Sc Chemistry), 2016.
  5. Alkylation of methyl bromoacetate with thymine – synthesis of modified nucleobase for biological applications”, Alifia C.Jafar, (B.ScChemistry), 2016.
  1. Synthesis of 3-isopropyl-2-methoxymethyl pyrrole for anti-pancreatic cancer”,AthiraRajan K.V. (M.Sc.Chemistry), 2015
  2. Synthesis of Labeled Peptide Nucleic Acid Monomers and its analytical studies”, Silpa K. (M.Sc.Chemistry), 2015
  1. Design, Synthesis and Biological Analysis of modified Arecoline”, Kirti G. Pillai, Varun S. K., (B.Tech chemical engineering),2014.
  2. Continuous Pyrolysis of Plastic in a Catalytic Fixed Bed Reactor”, Anirudh S., Arun M., Muthubalaji Vishwanath S.M., Pavithra E.R., (B.Tech chemical engineering),2014.
  1. Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Anti-Prostate Cancer Agents”, Harikrishnan K. V. (M.Pharm. Pharmaceutical Chemistry), 2013.
  2. Fragment Based Drug Design, Synthesis and Evaluation of Anti-Cancer Drugs Targeted on Breast Cancer Proteins”, Vijith V.S. (M.Pharm. Pharmaceutical Chemistry), 2013.
  1. Novel Pathway ToSynthesise Key Intermediate To Benzophenanthridines: Photoreduction Of Nitro Naphthalenes”, Atulya Varma, HimanshuGoyal, ManojSundar C. A., (B.Tech chemical engineering),2012.
  1. Synthesis and modelling of Labelled Peptide Nucleic Acids”, Sharmila S., Sindhura Reddy N., SreeVinojaa T., Nandhini M., (B.Tech chemical engineering),2011.


Journal Articles & Conference Papers / Proceedings

Year Publication
2020 Selvakumar S and Prasanna Ramani, “Antioxidant and Cytotoxic activities of Indian Caper (Capparis Brevispina DC (Capparaceae)) Leaf extracts”, European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 33 (2020) 101038.
2019 Archana D. Nair, Athira C. K., PriyadharshiniManikandan and Prasanna Ramani, “One-pot synthesis of modified 4-aryl-4H-chromenes and their preliminary anti-cancer studies”, Journal of Indian Chemical Society, Vol.96, 2019, 19-22.
2018 Sudhakar Reddy Malamgari, PriyadharshiniManikandan, Prasanna Ramani, Vishweswar Rao Katta, “Synthesis of Peptide Nucleic Acid Monomers via N-Alkylation of Nosyl-protected Amino Acids with N-BocBromoethyl Amine”, Chemistry Select, 2018, 3, 1 –6.
2018 Prasanna Ramani, Silvia Cauteruccio, EmanuelaLicandro, Clara Baldoli, “Synthesis of luminescent 2,3-diphenylmaleimide-labelled peptide nucleic acid oligomers”, Tetrahedron Letters”, 2018, 59 (23), 2229-2231.
2018 A.Baladhandapani, ShashankSuresh, S.Sindhu, PrasannaRamani, “Physico-chemical studies of amoxycillin loaded sulfonated polymer”, Materials Today: Proceedings, 2018, 5, 16146-16151.
2018 Pavithra E.R, Arun M, AnirudhSwaminathan R, MuthubalajiVishwanath S.M, Prasanna Ramani, “An alternate method to synthesize zeolites for biological applications” Materials Today: Proceedings, 2018, 5, 16461–16465.
2018 S.Selvakumar, K.S.Vaishnav Raj, S.Vignesh, Prasanna Ramani, “Invitro anti-inflammatory activity of Kleinia Grandiflora leaves”, Materials Today: Proceedings, 2018, 5, 16539-16542.
2018 SruthiSivakumar, Prasanna Ramani, G.S.Shilpa, “Phthalimido protected peptide nucleic acid monomer – Synthesis and Characterization”, Materials Today: Proceedings, 2018, 5, 16580-16584.
2018 NancyThomas, SubinMary Zachariah, PrasannaRamani, “Synthesis, Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Studies of Substituted Chromene – A Preliminary Anti-Cancer study”, Materials Today: Proceedings, 2018, 5, 16689-16694.
2016 Nancy Thomas, Subin Mary Zachariah, Prasanna Ramani, “4-Aryl-4H-chromene-3-carbonitrile derivates: Synthesis and preliminary anti-breast cancer studies”, Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry, 2016, 53 (6), 1778-1782.
2013 Vijith, V.S., Harikrishnan, K.V., Krishnapriya, S.,Veena Varma, Asha Jose, Prasanna Ramani, Kumar, E.P., Krishnan Namboori P.K., “Design of Novel Drug Molecules for the Treatment of Breast Cancer”, International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, 20(2),113-117, 2013.
2008 Ramani, P., and Fontana, G, A., “New Synthetic Approach to 7-Hydroxynitidne”, Tetrahedron Letters, 49, 5262-5264, 2008.
2007 Baldoli, C., Oldani, C., Licandro, E., Ramani, P., Valerio, A., Ferruti, P., Falciola, L. Mussini, P., “Ferrocene derivatives supported on Poly(N-vinylpyrrolin-2-one) (PVP): Synthesis of new water soluble electrochemically active probes for biomolecules”, Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 2007, 692 (6), 1363-1371.
2004 Baldoli, C., Falciola, L., Licandro, E., Maiorana, S., Mussini, P., Ramani, P., Rigamonti, C., Zinzalla, G., “A new ferrocene Conjugated of a tyrosine PNA monomer synthesis and electrochemical properties”, Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 2004, 689, 4791-4802.

Books and Book Chapters

Year Publication
2015 Prasanna Ramani, (book chapter) Engineering Chemistry, Tata McGraw-Hill Publisher, India (2015).
2011 Prasanna Ramani, Peptide Nucleic Acids and Markers, Lambert Academic Publishers, Gmbh, Germany (2011).

Patents Published and Filed

Year Publication
2019 Prasanna Ramani, “Peptide Nucleic Acid monomers and a preparation method”, US-Non provisional Patent application, Published, US 2018 / 0354911 A1 (2019).
2017 Prasanna Ramani, “Peptide Nucleic Acid monomers and a preparation method thereof”,Indian Patent application, Filed, application No. 201741020193, (2017)
2017 Prasanna Ramani and Bipin Nair, “An Improved Process To Prepare Malonic Acid Derivatives Using Meldrum’s Acid”, Indian Patent application, Filed, application No. 201741018917, (2017)
2016 Prasanna Ramani and Krishnan Namboori, “Methods of Screening, Methods of Treatment and Formulations for Prostate Cancer”. Indian Patent application, Filing No. 5417/CHE/2015. Published online (2016).