Group Members


Professor Joel Freundlich running in the Baltimore marathonJoel S. Freundlich, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience and of Medicine at Rutgers University–New Jersey Medical School. Prior to his return to academic research, he spent eight years in the pharmaceutical industry as a medicinal chemist. His undergraduate and master’s degree training were in chemical engineering at Cornell University as a McMullen Dean’s Scholar. He received his doctorate in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the tutelage of 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awardee Richard Schrock.

Link to CV

Link to CDD interview (Collaborative Drug Discovery)

Link to interview at Grosset Symposium














Current members of the Freundlich Group

Anil Shelke, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow who joined the Professor Freundlich's research lab in January 2020 in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at the Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School.

Prior to joining the Freundlich research group, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Cetya Therapeutics working in laboratory space at the Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University (from January 2018 to January 2020) with Prof. Robert M. Williams (University Distinguished Professor) where he was involved in the synthesis of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) based on the natural product Largazole. He also worked on the synthesis of peptide isosteres of Largazole (CT-101) and analogs wherein the thiazole ring was functionalized with a hydroxymethylphenyl moiety for conjugating cancer cell-surface targeting entities.

Before joining Prof. William’s group, He received his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry at CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India in 2018 under the guidance of Dr. Gurunath Suryavanshi (Sr. Principal Scientist and Associate Professor) where his thesis work focused on the total synthesis of bioactive molecules via Organocatalysis and synthetic methodologies involving C-C and C-N bond forming reactions.

Before joining the Ph.D. program, Anil obtained his Master’s degree in Chemistry from N. Wadia College, Pune, (University of Pune) in the year 2010 with First class (67%). Before his Master’s degree, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from B. J. College, Pune (University of Pune) in the year 2008 with First Class with Distinction (83%).

Anil is experienced in synthetic organic chemistry. He published 9 research articles in well reputed journals and has 4 patents.





Pamela Barnett is a PhD student in the Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation track here at Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She is investigating how small molecules are metabolized by gram-negative pathogens and works on the development of antibacterial discovery assays. Prior to joining the Freundlich lab, she earned her BS degree at the University of Rochester (UR). While at UR, under the tutelage of Dr. Paul M. Dunman, she investigated antibacterial resistance of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii in non-traditional lab media. She also helped evaluate the efficacy of hit compounds. Following her time at UR, Pamela worked at Charles River Laboratories and Sanofi Genzyme as a Quality Control Analyst. She later pursued her MS degree at American University. Her thesis research with Dr. Jeffery Kaplan focused on characterizing a novel antimicrobial compound isolated from a marine bacterium. Pamela enjoys communicating her work to those in other fields and is interested in the biological science of drug discovery and development as well as the business side of bringing a drug to market.

Pamela's LinkedIn Profile








Samer Sami Daher is a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Freundlich's research lab in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at the Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School. He received his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from Temple University, under the mentorship of Professor Rodrigo Andrade, where his thesis work focused on synthesis and evaluation of antibiotics targeting resistant pathogens, as well as exploring novel methodologies for accessing diverse structural scaffolds. Before joining the Ph.D. program, Samer obtained his Masters of Science degree in Biotechnology in 2012 from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Before coming to States for graduate studies, Samer obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Biology in 2010 from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Beirut, Lebanon.

Samer is looking to achieve teaching positions in the future at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions, where he could share his expertise with new folks via training and teaching as well as evolve his skills that could mold the "minds' of tomorrow's leaders". Feel free to reach him for any prospective position/opportunity. 

Dr. Daher's LinkedIn profile

Dr. Daher's Researchgate pofile










Yong-Mo Ahn, Ph.D., is a research associate in the lab. He has expertise in biochemistry, enzymology, molecular modeling, structural biology, assay development, micro and molecular biology in drug discovery. Prior to joining the Freundlich research group, he spent 5 years working with Dr. Clifton E. Barry/Dr. Helena Boshoff as an IRTA postdoctoral fellow at tuberculosis research section in National Institutes of Health, where he was involved in various projects within three main categories; drug discovery/assay development targeting essential enzymes, disease diagnostic tool development, and drug target identification and mechanism of action studies.

He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Florida under the guidance of Dr. Nigel G. J. Richards. His doctoral dissertation focused on the inhibition and functional characterization of glutamine-dependent asparagine synthetase from human and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. During his Ph.D., he found human asparagine synthetase inhibitors with potential clinical application in treating leukemia. For undergraduate and master’s degree, he went to Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, where he did BA/MA research with Dr. Rex F. Pratt focusing on synthesis and kinetic studies of novel β-lactamase substrates, to study kinetic and structural consequences of the leaving group in the novel β-lactamase substrates.











Haseeb Mughal is an undergraduate student at Rutgers University-Newark who joined the Freundlich Lab in June of 2018. He is a student in the Honors College who is currently working in pursuit of a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry with a Biology minor. While taking classes as an undergraduate student, he has developed a strong passion for chemistry and biology. Due to his passion for chemistry, he hopes to expand his knowledge of pharmacology and drug synthesis. After completing his undergraduate studies, he hopes to pursue a PhD in organic chemistry and expand his knowledge in medicinal chemistry.














Alumni (former members of the Freundlich Group)

Mr. Matthew Sherwood: Graduate Student, Temple University


Mr. Ethan Morrison: Medical Student


Mr. Amir George: Medical Student


Dr. Andrew Bolinger


Dr. Xin Wang: Post-doctoral scientist, Fortune and Rubin Labs, Harvard School of Public Health


Dr. Alexander L. Perryman: Senior Scientist II, Computational Chemistry, Repare Therapeutics


Dr. Ashley Weng: Physician


Mr. Brendan Law: Data Analyst, Axis Group


Dr. Daigo Inoyama: Senior Scientist, Schrodinger


Dr. Divya Awasthi: Scientist, Seattle Genetics


Dr. Hiyun Kim


Ms. Isabel Navarro: Graduate Student, UPENN


Dr. Janaina Cruz Pereira: Data Scientist, VantAI


Dr. Jimmy Patel: Medical Student, Rutgers – NJMS


Mr. Joseph Bilotta: Field Service Specialist, Metrohm USA


Dr. Justin Roberts: Supervisory Chemist, U.S. EPA


Dr. K. Niccole Fuhr: Scientist, Coty Incorporated


Dr. Kurt Saionz: Senior Scientist, Jacobus Pharmaceuticals


Mr. Mark Jaskowski


Mr. Mike Szymonifka: Retired chemist extraordinaire


Dr. Misun Koo: Patent agent, Mintz Levin


Dr. Monica Anisetti: Physician


Dr. Nisha Mittal: Research Scientist, Bristol-Myers Squibb


Mr. Omar Morale: Instrumentation Chemist, SGS


Dr. Ravindra Jadhav: Scientist, Process Development, Ash Steven LLC


Dr. Ricardo Gallardo-Macias: Principal Scientist, University of Minnesota


Dr. Richard S. Pottorf: Assistant Professor, Anderson University


Dr. Rinki Chauhan


Dr. Shao-Gang Li: Senior Research Scientist, Wilmington Pharmatech Co


Dr. Srinivasan Kandasamy


Dr. Steven Paget: Team Leader, Venenum Biodesign


Ms. Tenesha Boyd


Mr. Tom Stratton: Graduate Student, Baran Lab - The Scripps Research Institute


Mr. Wissam "Sam" Nasser: Medical Student, Rutgers – NJMS