Professor Naresh Kumar

Professor Naresh Kumar

BSc (Hons) PAU, PhD (Wollongong)

School of Chemistry

Prof Naresh Kumar completed his PhD in organic chemistry at Wollongong University in 1983, and after working as a Research Scientist at the School of Chemistry, University of NSW was appointed a Lecturer in 2003. He moved through the ranks to become Professor of chemistry in 2009. Prof Kumar has a full-time research and teaching appointment at the University of New South Wales.

During the past ten years, he has carried out both vigorous independent and strong collaborative research in organic synthesis, natural products chemistry and biomaterials. This activity is reflected in 7 book chapters, and 250 publications that have appeared in major peer-reviewed international journals of chemistry. The major emphasis of his research has been in the area of heterocyclic chemistry and, more recently, in the areas of medicinal chemistry and biomaterials.  These projects have been well supported by ARC grants, NHMRC grants, and commercial research contracts.

Prof Kumar’s group has access to state-of-the-art research facilities through the School of Chemistry and the UNSW Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre. The School is co-located with the Centre, which together have all the major scientific infrastructure required to perform cutting edge chemical research including high-field nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and X-ray diffraction. Further, the School of Chemistry enjoys state-of-the-art laboratories housed in Australia’s newest chemistry building.

Keywords: Biologically active molecules, Flavonoids, Antimicrobials, Fimbrolides, Peptidomimetics, Heterocyclic chemistry, Natural products chemistry, Biomaterials

9385 4698
School of Chemistry, Science and Engineering building (E8) Room 733
  • Book Chapters | 2010
    Kumar N; Black D, 2010, 'Biindolyls', in Alan R; Katritzky FRS (ed.), Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry, edn. Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Elsevier Inc., USA, pp. 97 - 123,
  • Journal articles | 2022
    Amaldoss MJN; Pandzic E; Koshy P; Kumar N; Sorrell CC; Unnikrishnan A, 2022, 'Detection and quantification of nanoparticle-induced intracellular ROS in live cells by laser scanning confocal microscopy', Methods, vol. 207, pp. 11 - 19,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Sun J; Jennepalli S; Lee M; Jones A; O'Carroll DM; Manefield MJ; Bhadbhade M; Åkermark B; Das B; Kumar N, 2022, 'Efficient Reductive Defluorination of Branched PFOS by Metal-Porphyrin Complexes', Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 56, pp. 7830 - 7839,
    Journal articles | 2019
    Jumina J; Wenholz DS; Kumar N; Black DS, 2019, 'Synthesis of a Variety of Activated Pyrrolo[3,2,1- ij ]quinolines', Synthesis (Germany), vol. 51, pp. 1989 - 1994,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Chen R; Willcox MDP; Ho KKK; Smyth D; Kumar N, 2016, 'Antimicrobial peptide melimine coating for titanium and its in vivo antibacterial activity in rodent subcutaneous infection models', Biomaterials, vol. 85, pp. 142 - 151,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dutta D; Kumar NARESH; Willcox M, 2016, 'Antimicrobial activity of four cationic peptides immobilised to poly-hydroxyethylmethacrylate', Biofouling, vol. 32, pp. 429 - 438,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Nguyen TK; Selvanayagam R; Ho KKK; Chen R; Kutty SK; Rice SA; Kumar N; Barraud N; Duong HTT; Boyer C, 2016, 'Co-delivery of nitric oxide and antibiotic using polymeric nanoparticles', Chemical Science, vol. 7, pp. 1016 - 1027,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Chen Y; Cass SL; Kutty SK; Yee EMH; Chan DSH; Gardner CR; Vittorio O; Pasquier E; Black DSC; Kumar N, 2015, 'Synthesis, biological evaluation and structure-activity relationship studies of isoflavene based Mannich bases with potent anti-cancer activity', Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, vol. 25, pp. 5377 - 5383,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Das T; Kutty SK; Tavallaie R; Ibugo AI; Panchompoo J; Sehar S; Aldous L; Yeung AWS; Thomas SR; Kumar N; Gooding JJ; Manefield M, 2015, 'Phenazine virulence factor binding to extracellular DNA is important for Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation', Scientific Reports, vol. 5,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Mielczarek M; Thomas RV; Ma C; Kandemir H; Yang X; Bhadbhade M; Black DS; Griffith R; Lewis PJ; Kumar N, 2015, 'Synthesis and biological activity of novel mono-indole and mono-benzofuran inhibitors of bacterial transcription initiation complex formation', Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 23, pp. 1763 - 1775,
    Journal articles | 2014
    Ho KKK; Chen R; Willcox MDP; Rice SA; Cole N; Iskander G; Kumar N, 2014, 'Quorum sensing inhibitory activities of surface immobilized antibacterial dihydropyrrolones via click chemistry', Biomaterials, vol. 35, pp. 2336 - 2345,
    Journal articles | 2013
    Sinha S; Mishra P; Amin H; Rah B; Nayak D; Goswami A; Kumar N; Vishwakarma R; Ghosal S, 2013, 'A new cytotoxic quinolone alkaloid and a pentacyclic steroidal glycoside from the stem bark of Crataeva nurvala: Study of anti-proliferative and apoptosis inducing property', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 60, pp. 490 - 496,

ARC Discovery and Linkage projects

  • 2018: New scaffolds for antimicrobial discovery $297,500
  • 2019: Microbiologically induced stress corrosion cracking in underground mines, $675,318
  • 2018: Development of electrochemically activated sorbents for PFAS defluorination, $1,103,883
  • 2016: Novel antimicrobial surface coatings for Cochlear implants, $333,470
  • 2016: Effect of a novel immobilised antimicrobial peptide on bacteria, $392,500
  • 2014: Novel peptide mimics for the disruption of chemical communication in bacteria, $390,000


NHMRC Ideas/Project and Development grants

  • 2019: Tackling hospitial acquired infections with peptide mimics, $1,177,905
  • 2017: Innovative antimicrobial treatments for successful bone allografts, $475,000
  • 2014: Development of antimicrobial contact lenses, $694,000

1979:  University Medal in BSc (Hons) Chemistry

2012:  University Staff Award for Excellence in Community Outreach

2016:  Science Teachers' Association of NSW Outstanding Service Award

2016:  Visiting Professor, Gifu University, Japan

2018:  Visiting Professor, Gajdah Mada University, Indonesia

2019:  Editorial Board of "Bioorganic Chemistry" section of Molecules

Our group's research interests intersect the boundaries between chemistry, biology and medicine leading to a diverse range of research projects at the forefront of medicinal chemistry and antimicrobial biomaterials. The research multidisciplinary in nature and involves a combination of synthetic organic chemistry, molecular modelling, analytical chemistry, surface characterisation and biological screening.

Project currently running in the group include:

  • Natural products and heterocyclic chemistry - development of new synthetic methodologies for the preparation of biologically important natural products and their analogues (with Prof David Black)
  • Design and Synthesis of novel antimicrobial agents
    • Quorum sensing inhibitors
    • Antimicrobial peptide mimics (with Prof Mark Willcox)
    • Inhibitors of bacterial transcription initiation (with Prof Peter Lewis, University of Newcastle)
  • Design and synthesis of novel anticancer agents
    • Novel heterocyclic analogues of isoflavones
    • Development of novel USP5 inhibitors (with Dr Belamy Cheung - Children's Cancer Institute)
  • Antimicrobial biomaterials
    • Antimicrobial bone grafts and orthopaedic implants (with Prof Bill Walsh and Prof Mark Willcox)
    • Tackling hospital acquired infections with peptide mimics (with Prof Mark Willcox)
    • Antimicrobial hydrogels based on peptide mimics (with Dr Renxun Chen)
  • Disinfective strategies for medical and industrial applications
    • Inhibiting microbiologically induced stress corrosion cracking in mines (with Prof Serkan Saydam and Prof Mike Manefield)
    • New disinfection systems against microbes and viruses for hospital and public settings (with Prof Mark Willcox and Dr Renxun Chen)

My Research Supervision

Our team is currently supervising the research work 10 PhD, 1 MPhil and 2 honours students. The group is supported by 3 postdoctoral researchers who also mentor the research students. We have a diverse inclusive group with members from all over the world, creating a supportive environment for all to excel in their studies.