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Aarajana Shrestha is Medicinal Chemist working with Dr. Jon Thorson at UK College of Pharmacy. Before joining Dr. Thorson Group she was a National Research Foundation (NRF) Korea Research Fellow at Daegu-Gyeongbuk Medical Innovation Foundation (DGMIF) and is involved in the discovery of PPARδ antagonists and epigenetic inhibitors for cancer therapy.

She obtained her B.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences with honors from PokharaUniversity-affiliated Central Institute of Science and Technology Kathmandu in Nepal. She then received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Medicinal Chemistry from Yeungnam University College of Pharmacy in South Korea, under the direction of Prof. Eung-Seok Lee. During her Ph.D., she designed and synthesized several heterocyclic small molecules for breast cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

She is the author of over 30 papers, and her primary research interests include discovery of natural product and small molecules inhibitors against cancer and infectious diseases.


  • Medicinal Chemistry of Natural Product and small molecule inhibitors
  • Anticancer and Anti-infectious drug discovery
  • Epigenetic and targeted therapy

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.