Vinay Menon

Vinay Menon Profile Picture
Life Sciences

Mentor / Lab:
Dr. Jean Chmielewski

Specific Research Area / Project:
Mechanism of Action of the Synthetic Antimicrobial Peptide P14LRR

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Nevada, Reno

Lab / Personal work-related websites:
Lab Website

Research Profile:

Antibiotic resistant bacteria is a growing concern in this country with the CDC reporting over 11,000 deaths from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, in 2013 alone, making it the leading cause of hospital acquired infections. Adding to this issue is the ability of bacteria like MRSA, Salmonella, and TB to hide within the cells of the immune system where current antibiotics, like penicillin, are not effective. Once inside, these pathogens multiply rapidly eventually killing the immune cell and then spreading to other cells to start the cycle over again.

Over the last 30 years, the Chmielewski Lab has developed a novel class of protein-based antibiotics that combine the best properties of naturally-occurring antibiotics into molecules that we call cationic amphiphilic polyproline helices, or CAPHs. Not only have our CAPHs been shown to be more effective than current treatments against a wide range of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but they can also penetrate immune cells and clear the bacteria that hide inside. We currently know the target of our CAPH molecules in S. aureus bacteria; my main project has been figuring out how our CAPHs interact with this target. With this information we will better understand how our molecules interact with bacteria, which will help in the design of future molecules. My other projects are centered around finding targets in other species of bacteria that our CAPHs have been shown to be effective against, such as E. coli.

About Me:

Vinay Menon About Me Picture

When I started my undergraduate career I was already sure that I wanted a career in science. Although my ideal career was a bit different at that time. I had my heart set on becoming a marine biologist studying electroception in sharks. It was not until I was doing my Master's at the University of Hawaii that I began to realize that marine biology was not for me and I began to gravitate towards biochemistry, and peptides in particular. After completing my Master's thesis in peptide chemistry and working for a little while in industry, I came to Purdue to pursue my PhD. While I still consider myself a biochemist, marine biology, and the ocean in general, still fascinates me.


  • Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology, and Infectious Disease (PI4D) PhD Fellowship (2017-2019)
  • The Governor Kenny Guinn Millennium Scholarship (2009-2012)


  • Zhang, RY., Thapa, P., Espiritu, M., Menon, V., Bingham, JP. From Nature to Creation: Going around in Circles, the Art of Peptide Cyclization. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 26(6) 1135-1150 DOI 10.1016/j.bmc.2017.11.017
  • Thapa, P., Zhang, R., Menon, V., Bingham, JP. 2014. Native Chemical Ligation: A Boon to Peptide Chemistry. Molecules, 19, 14461-14483.


  • Vinay Menon, Jinho Park, Yoon Yeo. (2018) Magnetophoretic Adoptive Transfer of Immunomodulatory Macrophages Via Polymer-Iron Oxide Composite Microparticles (PIMCs). PULSe Annual Spring Reception (Purdue University)
  • Vinay Menon and Jon-Paul Bingham. (2015) Cyclization and Derivatization of the Potassium Channel Antagonist Tertiapin (TPNQ). 27th Annual CTAHR Student Research Symposium (University of Hawaii, Manoa)
  • Vinay Menon, Jeffery Baguley, Kay T. Ho, Lisa Portis, Dina Proestou, Robert M. Burgess, Anthony Chariton, Stuart Simpson, Marguerite C. Pelletier, Monique M. Perron, Anthony Kamikawa. (2012) Using a Sediment Exposure Mesocosm to Determine Effects of Bifenthrin on an Estuarine Meiobenthic Community. College of Science Poster Competition (University of Nevada, Reno)


  • Science in Schools Co-Chair
  • Science in Schools Volunteer

Ernest C. Young Hall, Room 170 | 155  S. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114 | 765-494-2600

© Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by The Purdue University Graduate School

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact The Purdue University Graduate School.