Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BSc, MSc, Organic Chemistry, Kakatiya University; PhD, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)
Manohar Puppala received a B.Sc. in chemistry and biology in 2001 and an M.Sc. in organic chemistry in 2004, both from Kakatiya University, India. He obtained a Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India with Prof. S. Baskaran on the development of novel synthetic methods and their application toward the total synthesis of biologically important natural products in 2012. Afterward, he moved to the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA for postdoctoral studies with Prof. Chengguuo (Chris) Xing, where he studied the structure-activity relationships of dihydromethysticin for the prevention of lung tumorigenesis. In 2014, he returned to India and joined the pharmaceutical industry as a research scientist before joining the Dore Laboratory in December 2016.
Photoactivatable, neurotransmitter-carrying molecules are widely used to study synaptic connections because the release of the neurotransmitter can be precisely controlled, especially when 2-photon excitation (2PE) is employed to drive the photochemistry. One strategy to increase the sensitivity to 2PE of existing photoremovable protecting groups (PPGs) is to attach an antenna highly sensitive to 2PE that can transfer the energy from 2PE to the PPG to drive the photochemistry for tight spatiotemporal control of neurotransmitter release. Antenna-PPG-neurotransmitter conjugates are being developed to activate glutamate and GABA receptors in neurons.