Naresh Kumar

Naresh Kumar

Naresh Kumar

M.Sc. Punj., Ph.D. W'gong., CChem, MRACI


Contact details

Phone: +61 2 9385 4698


Room 733, SEB Building E8
UNSW, Kensington, 2052

Research Group Website


Biographical Details

PhD in Organic Chemistry from Wollongong University, 1983; Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Organic Chemistry, University of New South Wales, 1983 - 1985; Professional Officer, Organic Chemistry, UNSW 1985 - 1995; Project Scientist 1995 - 2003; Lecturer 2003 - 2008; Associate Professor 2008 - 2012; Professor 2013 - present.

Research Interests and Projects

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 is multi-disciplinary in nature and involves a combination of synthetic organic chemistry, molecular modelling, analytical chemistry, surface characterisation and biological screening.

Projects currently running in our group include (see our research group website for details):

  • Natural products and heterocyclic chemistry - development of new synthetic methodologies for the preparation of biologically important natural products and their analogues. (with Prof D. Black)
  • Design and synthesis of novel antimicrobial agents
    • Quorum-sensing inhibitors
    • Antimicrobial peptide mimics (with Prof M. Willcox)
    • Inhibitors of Bacterial Transcription Initiation (with Prof P. Lewis, University of Newcastle)
  • Design and synthesis of novel anticancer agents
    • Novel anticancer heterocyclic analogues of isoflavones
    • Discovery and development of Ubiquitin Specific Protease (USP5) inhibitors(with Dr B. Cheung and Prof G. Marshall)
    • Developing anticancer compounds that activate glucose oxidation(with Dr F. Byrne and A/Prof K. Hoehn)
  • Antimicrobial biomaterials and disinfective strategies
    • COVID19 - New disinfection systems to overcome PPE shortages and provide long term protection against infection in Hospitals and Public Settings. (with Prof W. Walsh, Prof M. Willcox, Prof. R. MacIntyre)
    • Antibacterial bone grafts and orthopaedic implants (with Prof W. Walsh, Prof M. Willcox)
    • Microbiologically Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking in Mines (with Prof S. Saydam and Prof M. Manefield)
    • Tackling hospital acquired infections with peptide mimics (with Prof M. Willcox and others)
    • Antimicrobial hydrogels based on ultra-short peptide mimics (with Dr R. Chen and Prof P Thordarson)

Research Group and Outputs

The research group is typically around 15 people in size with 2-3 post-docs, 10 or so Ph.D/MPhil. students and 2-3 honours students and visitors. New students are well mentored and supported by post-docs and senior PhD students in their area of research, as well as by Prof Kumar and Prof Black. We have a diverse and inclusive group with members from all over the world, creating a supportive environment for all to excel in their studies.

The group research has been well supported by ARC grants, NHMRC grants, and commercial research contracts, totalling $3.6M over the past 5 years.

Selected Publications

(Career total publications = 230)

  1. Aldilla VR; Chen R; Martin AD; Marjo CE; Rich AM; Black DSC; Thordarson P; Kumar N, 2020, 'Anthranilamide-based Short Peptides Self-Assembled Hydrogels as Antibacterial Agents', Scientific Reports, vol. 10,
  2. Kuppusamy R; Willcox M; Black DSC; Kumar N, 2019, 'Short cationic peptidomimetic antimicrobials', Antibiotics, vol. 8,
  3. Wenholz DS; Bhadbhade M; Kandemir H; Ho J; Kumar N; Black DS, 2019, 'Substituent effects in solid-state assembly of activated benzotriazoles', CrystEngComm, vol. 21, pp. 835 - 842,
  4. Taunk A; Chen R; Iskander G; Ho KKK; Black DSC; Willcox MDP; Kumar N, 2018, 'Dual-Action Biomaterial Surfaces with Quorum Sensing Inhibitor and Nitric Oxide to Reduce Bacterial Colonization', ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering, vol. 4, pp. 4174 - 4182,
  5. Kuppusamy R; Yasir M; Berry T; Cranfield CG; Nizalapur S; Yee E; Kimyon O; Taunk A; Ho KKK; Cornell B; Manefield M; Willcox M; Black DSC; Kumar N, 2018, 'Design and synthesis of short amphiphilic cationic peptidomimetics based on biphenyl backbone as antibacterial agents', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 143, pp. 1702 - 1722,
  6. Aldilla VR; Martin AD; Nizalapur S; Marjo CE; Rich AM; Ho KKK; Ittner LM; Black DSC; Thordarson P; Kumar N, 2018, 'Glyoxylamide-based self-assembly hydrogels for sustained ciprofloxacin delivery', Journal of Materials Chemistry B, vol. 6, pp. 6089 - 6098,
  7. 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. 85: 142-51
  8. Nizalapur S, Ho KKK, Kimyon O, Yee E, Berry T, Manefield M, Cranfield CG, Willcox MDP, Black DStC, Kumar N, (2016) Design, synthesis and evaluation of N-arylglyoxylamides derivatives as structurally novel bacterial quorum sensing inhibitors, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 14:3623-3637.
  9. 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, 35:2336-2345
  10. Kutty SK, Barraud N, Pham A, Iskander G, Rice SA, Black DStC, Kumar N. (2013) Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Fimbrolide-Nitric Oxide Donor Hybrids as Antimicrobial Agents, J Med Chem. 56:9517-9529  

For a full list of publications please see: