University of Nebraska Medical Center

Amar Natarajan, PhD

Ruth Branham Professor, UNMC Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases
Co-Director, Eppley Structural Biology Facility
Research focus: Developing novel target and mechanism specific therapeutics


Laboratory Website

Amar Natarajan

Amar Natarajan is the Ruth Branham Professor in the UNMC Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases.

He joined the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2009 as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 2014. In 2017 he was appointed as a co-program leader and co-director of the Structural Biology facility of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, and appointed as Ruth Branham Professor in 2021.  Dr. Natarajan started his independent career as an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston TX.

Dr. Natarajan also holds courtesy appointments in the UNMC departments of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

  • BS, Madras Christian College, Chennai, India 1994
  • MS, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India 1996
  • PhD, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 2001
  • Postdoc, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, 2005
The Natarajan lab is focused on the development of target- and mechanisms specific small molecules that perturb disease relevant targets. The inter-disciplinary research program has developed reversible inhibitors, covalent binders, molecular glues, and proteolysis targeting chimeras against an array of targets. Several small molecules have been advanced through preclinical developed and have demonstrated in vivo target validation and efficacy in mouse models. The long-term goal is to develop safe and efficacious drugs to treat human diseases.
  • President, UNMC Faculty Senate 2023-24

  • Research Leadership Award UNMC, 2020
  • Panel member Drug Discovery and Pharmacology (DMP) study section NIH, 2016–2020
  • Eppley Faculty Senator, UNMC, 2013–2025
  • Distinguished Scientist UNMC, 2012
  • Emerging Inventor Award, UNeMed, 2010
  • Graduate Program Teaching Honoree, GSBS, UTMB, 2007
  • Translational Young Investigator Award, ECOG, 2006
  • Zinsser Analytical Young Investigator Award, SPSCCL, 1999

Dr. Natarajan discusses cancer therapeutics