Mahesh Pattabiraman, Ph.D.

Professor, Organic Chemistry

Office: BHS 413B   |    Phone: (308) 865-8385   |    Email:

Mahesh Pattabiraman



Postdoctoral Fellow, Florida International University, Miami, FL, (Mentor: Dr. Konstantinos Kavallieratos), 2009
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Miami (Florida), (Mentor: Dr. V. Ramamurthy), 2006
M.Sc., Inorganic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India, 2001 (Mentor: Dr. R. Murugavel)
B.Sc., Chemistry, University of Madras, Chennai, India, 1999

Research Interests and Keywords

Organic and inorganic supramolecular chemistry, photochemistry, host-guest chemistry, green chemistry, micelles, cavitands, binding interactions, toxic metal ion sensing and extraction.

Faculty Appointments

2021-Present Professor, Department of Chemistry, UNK
2016-2021 Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, UNK
2012-2016, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
2009-2012, Assistant Professor, Western New Mexico University, Silver City, NM



  1. Adenosine Receptor Cancer Therapeutics – Photochemical synthesis of incarvillateine analogs
    NIH-DRPP (INBRE), June 2020 to May 2025. $45,000 (per year)
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. Role of chive-derived exosome-like nanoparticles in suppressing inflammation in obesity
    National Institutes of Health – R01, July 2022 to June 2027
    Role: Co-Investigator
  3. Novel Iron-Chelating Agent for Improving Yield and Iron Quantity in Nebraska Pea
    Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Sep 2022 to Aug 2024
    Role: Consultant


  1. Nutritional and functional enhancement of yellow pea for human health
    NU Collaborative Initiative planning grant
    Role: co-investigator
  2. Development of photochemical singlet oxygen disinfection technology
    Nebraska Department of Economic Development
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. Photochemical synthesis of truxillic and truxinic acids - Development of Incarvillateine Analogs for Geriatric Pain Management
    Nebraska-IDeA Clinical Translational Research program
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. Employing γ-cyclodextrin to mediate photo-heterodimerization of alkenes in the solid-state
    American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund
    Role: Principal Investigator
  5. Cavitand mediated photo-heterodimerization of alkenes in the solid-state
    NE-EPSCoR, Research in small colleges and universities
    Role: Principal Investigator


  1. Akshay Kashyap, Vasu Balraj, Vijaykumar Ramalingam, Mahesh Pattabiraman. “Unravelling Supramolecular Photocycloaddition: Cavitand-Mediated Reactivity of 3-(Aryl)Acrylic Acids”. J. Photochem. Photobiol. A. 2022, 425, 113695. 
  2. Debarshi Roy, Brenita Jenkins, Aqeeb Ali, Jacob R Herschmann, Michele Harris, Matibur Zamadar, Laken Simington, Odutayo Odunuga, Prakash Adhikari, Prabhakar Pradhan, Sanjay Sarkar, Mahesh Pattabiraman, Bidisha Sengupta. “Multi-component Redox System for Selective and Potent Antineoplastic Activity towards Ovarian Cancer Cells”. 2022, 592, 38-43. 
  3. Andrea Holmes, Mark Orsag, et al. and Mahesh Pattabiraman. Cannabis – A comprehensive Overview: Volume II. 2021, Amazon Books.  
  4. Kashyap A, Ramasamy E, Ramalingam V, and Pattabiraman M. “Supramolecular Control of Singlet Oxygen Generation.” Molecules, 2021, 26 (9), 2673.
  5. Hamilton LJ, Walker M, Pattabiraman M, Zhong HA, Luedtke B, and Chandra S*. Novel curcumin analog (cis-trans curcumin) as ligand to adenosine receptors A2A and A2B: potential for therapeutics. Pharmacological Research. 2021. PMID: 33401004. DOI: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105410.
  6. Baolong Liu, Yizhu Lu, Xingyi Chen, Philma Glora Muthuraj, Xingzhi Li, Mahesh Pattabiraman, Janos Zempleni, Stephen D. Kachman, Satish Kumar Natarajan and Jiujiu Yu. “Protective Role of ShiitakeMushroom-Derived Exosome-Like Nanoparticles in D-Galactosamine and Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Liver Injury in Mice”. Nutrients, 2020, 12(2), 477.
  7. Treyvon Bokosike, Christopher Cunningham, Cory Kornman, Tanay Kesharwani, Mahesh Pattabiraman, “Iodocyclization in Aqueous Media and supramolecular Reaction Control Using Water-Soluble Host”. ACS Omega, 2019, 4, 18, 17830-17836.
  8. Nikolai A. Tcyrulnikov, Ramkumar Varadharajan, Anastasiia A. Tikhomirova, Mahesh Pattabiraman, V. Ramamurthy, R. Marshall Wilson Journal of Organic Chemistry. 2019, 84, 13, 8759-8765.
  9. Akshay Kashyap, Treyvon Bokosike, Nattamai Bhuvanesh, Mahesh Pattabiraman "Stereo- and Regioselective Photocycloaddition of Extended Alkenes Using γ-CyclodextrinOrganic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8OB01966E.
  10. Megan Hunke, Wuilian Martinez, Akshay Kashyap, Treyvon Bokoskie, Mahesh Pattabiraman, Surabhi Chandra, “Antineoplastic Actions of Cinnamic Acids and Their Dimers in Breast Cancer Cells: A Comparative Study” Anticancer Res. 2018, 38(8), 4469-4474.
  11. Alani Priebe, Megan Hunke, Rachel Tonello, Yogesh Sonawane, Temugin Berta, Amarnath Natarajan, Nattamai Bhuvanesh, Mahesh Pattabiraman,* and Surabhi Chandra. “Ferulic acid dimer as a non-opioid therapeutic for acute pain.” Pain Res. 2018, 11, 1075 - 1085.
  12. Mahesh Pattabiraman,* Vijayakumar Ramalingam “Supramolecular assistance of [2+2] photocycloaddition for cross-photodimerization” (Invited Review), Indian J. Chem. 2018, 57B 271-280.
  13. Mahesh Pattabiraman,* Sivaguru Jayraman, V. Ramamurthy, "Cucurbiturils as Reaction Containers for Photocycloaddition of Olefins", Israel J. Chem., 2018, 58, 3-4, 264 - 275.
  14. Mahesh Pattabiraman,* Murthy V. S. N. Maddipatla, V. Ramamurthy, “pH-induced cucurbit[7]uril hydrogels: Understanding microenvironment of the aggregates through excited state reactivity of dibenzyl ketones”, Journal of Photochemistry Photobiology A, 2016, 234, 53-61.
  15. Heidi L. Sieverding, David E. Clay, Eakalak Khan, Jayaraman Sivaguru, Mahesh Pattabiraman, Ranjit T. Koodali, Mafany Ndiva-Mongoh, James J. Stone. “A Sustainable Rural Food–Energy–Water Nexus Framework for the Northern Great Plains”, Agriculture and Environment Letters, 2016, 1-4.
  16. Nga Nguyen, Aspen Rae Clements, Mahesh Pattabiraman* "Using non-covalent interactions to direct regioselective 2+2 photocycloaddition within a macrocyclic cavitand" New Journal of Chemistry, 2016, 40, 2433-2443.
  17. Aspen Rae Clements, Mahesh Pattabiraman*, “γ-Cyclodextrin mediated photo-heterodimerization between cinnamic acids and coumarins” Journal of Photochemistry Photobiology, 2015, 297, 1-7.
  18. Murthy V. S. N Maddipatla, Mahesh Pattabiraman, Arunkumar Natarajan, Karan Srivastav, Joel T. Mague, V. Ramamurthy, Regioselective photodimerization of pyridyl-butadienes within cucurbit[8]uril cavities, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 2012, 10, 9219.
  19. Nick Carter, Mahesh Pattabiraman*, Luis Albert Arias. Dynamics of Apolar Guest solubilized in Bile Salt Micelles: Photochemistry of Acenaphthylene as a probe to understand the supramolecular characteristics of the Aggregates. American Journal of Chemistry, 2012, 2(3), 131-136.
  20. Murthy V. S. N, Lakshmi S. Kaanumalle; Arunkumar Natarajan, Mahesh Pattabiraman; Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy. Preorientation of olefins toward a single photodimer: Cucurbituril-mediated photodimerization of protonated azastilbenes in water. Langmuir, 2007, 23, 7545-7554.
  21. Mahesh Pattabiraman, Lakshmi S. Kaanumalle, Arunkumar Natarajan and Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy. Regioselective photodimerization of cinnamic acids in water: Templation with cucurbiturils. Langmuir, 2006, 22, 7605.
  22. Mahesh Pattabiraman, Arunkumar Natarajan, Raja Kaliappan, Joel. T. Mague and V. Ramamurthy. Template directed photodimerization of trans-1,2-bis(n-pyridyl)ethylenes and stilbazoles in water. Chemical Communications, 2005, 4542.
  23. Mahesh Pattabiraman, Arunkumar Natarajan, Lakshmi S. Kaanumalle and Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy. Templating photodimerization of trans-cinnamic acids with cucurbit[8]uril and γ- cyclodextrin. Organic Letters, 2005, 7, 529.
  24. Lucy Yehiayan, Mahesh Pattabiraman, Konstantinos Kavallieratos, Xiaotang Wang, Lawrence H. Boise and Yong Cai. Speciation, formation, stability and analytical challenges of human arsenic metabolites. Journal of Analytical and Atomic Spectrometry, 2009, 24, 1397.
  25. Mahesh Pattabiraman, Lakshmi S. Kaanumalle and Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy. Photoproduct selectivity in reactions involving singlet and triplet excited states within bile salt micelles. Langmuir, 2006, 22, 2185.
  26. Lakshmi. S. Kaanumalle, Mahesh Pattabiraman, N. Jayaraman and Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy. Water-Soluble dendrimers as photochemical reaction media: Chemical behavior of singlet and triplet radical pairs inside dendritic reaction cavities. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2004, 126, 8999.
  27. Lakshmi S. Kaanumalle, Arunkumar Natarajan, Karthikeyan Sivasubramanian, Raja Kaliappan, Mahesh Pattabiraman and V. Ramamurthy. Bioinspired green supramolecular nanophotochemistry: Photoproducts control though weak intermolecular forces. Spectrum, 2006, 19, 16.

Presentations (Talks and Posters)

  1. Supramolecular Photochemistry: Cavitand-mediated photocycloaddition of alkenes, Maheh Pattabiraman, Madras Christian College, Chennai, India, July 23, 2017.
  2. Controlling photocycloaddition reactions using host-guest chemistry: Development of the cavitand-mediation method, Mahesh Pattabiraman, Inter-American PHotochemical Society, Sarasota, FL, Jan 2-5, 2017.
  3. Cavitand-mediation approach to controlling chemical reactions, Aspen Clements (Mahesh Pattabiraman), 136th meeting, Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Lincoln, NE, April 222, 2016.
  4. Tuning selectivity in cavitand-​mediated [2+2] photocycloaddition: Role of intermolecular interactions in the photochemistry of alkyl cinnamates, Nga Nguyen, Mahesh Pattabiraman, American Chemical Society – 49th Midwest Regional Meeting, St. Joseph, Mo, Oct 21-23, 2015.
  5. Cavitand mediated supramolecular control of bimolecular photochemical reactions. Inter-American Photochemical Society, Tampa, FL, Jan 1-4, 2015. (Invited Talk)
  6. γ-Cyclodextrin mediated photo-heterodimerization between cinnamic acids and coumarins. 49th Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Columbia, MO, Nov 12-15, 2014.
  7. Emily Brestin, Mahesh Pattabiraman, and Brock Madsen, Binding interactions between dopamine and water-soluble hosts, Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Apr 22, 2014.
  8. γ-Cyclodextrin mediated photo-heterodimerization between alkenes in the solid state American Chemical Society – NE chapter, Doane College, Crepe, NE, April 1, 2014.
  9. Green chemistry, Celebration of WNMU writers - talk series, Miller Library, Western New Mexico University, Silver City, NM, Feb 18, 2011. (Invited Talk)
  10. Conducting and controlling photochemistry in water with cucurbiturils and cyclodextrins. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, Fall 2010. (Invited Talk)
  11. Toxic metal ion coordination and selective extraction by disulfonamide ion exchangers. 235th American Chemical Society National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 6 -10, 2008.
  1. Shava Parkinson, Nga Nguyen, Aspen Clements, Mahesh Pattabiraman, “Cvitand-mediated supramolecular control of bimolecular photochemical reactions”Council on Undergraduate Research, Spokane, WA, April 2015.
  2. Aspen Clements, Mahesh Pattabiraman, “Hetero-photodimerization between cinnamic acids and coumarins mediated by macrocyclic cavitands” 249th National American Chemical Society Conference, Denver, March 2015.
  3. Aspen Clements, Mahesh Pattabiraman*, γ-Cyclodextrin mediated photo-heterodimerization between cinnamic acids and coumarins. 48th Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Springfield, MO, Oct 16-19, 2013.
  4. Emily Brestin, Mahesh Pattabiraman*, and Brock Madsen, Binding interactions between dopamine and water-soluble hosts, Neuroscience Symposium – NE-EPSCoR, Sep 24, 2014.
  5. Mahesh Pattabiraman*, Luis Albert Arias, Alec Lutzke. Bile salt micelles: Exploring the aggregates for green media and opportunities for reaction control and product selectivity. 242nd American Chemical Society national meeting, Denver, CO, Aug 28 - Sep 2, 2011.
  6. Luis Albert Arias, Mahesh Pattabiraman*, Selectivity in organic reactions conducted within bile salt micelles. WNMU research symposium and career fair. Silver City, NM. May 3rd, 2011.
  7. Yong Cai, Lucy Yehiayan, Mahesh Pattabiraman, Konstantinos Kavallieratos, Xiaotang Wang, Lawrence H. Boise. Analytical Challenges of Human Arsenic Metabolites. 3rd International Congress [on] Arsenic in the Environment, Tainan, Taiwan, May 17th-21st, 2010.
  8. Sarrah N. Babb, Alec C. Lutzke and Mahesh Pattabiraman. Supramolecular Control of Photochemical Process of Olefins Using Cucurbiturils. 65th Southwest regional meeting of the American Chemical Society, El Paso, TX, Nov. 4th- 7th, 2009.
  9. Konstantinos Kavallieratos, Mahesh Pattabiraman, Robert J. Alvarado, Ferran Ross, Peta-Gaye R. Samuda, Richard A. Middleton and Sharon Britton. Aspects of Coordination Chemistry, Extraction, and Sensing of Pb(II) and Cd(II) by Sulfonamide and Peptide Ligands. 61st Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 21st-24th 2009.
  10. Murthy V. S. N. Maddipatla, Lakshmi S. Kaanumalle, Arunkumar Natarajan, Mahesh Pattabiraman and Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy. Controlling bimolecular photocycloaddition reactions in confined media. 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting, Chicago, IL, United States, Mar. 25th-29th, 2007.
  11. Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy, Lakshmi S. Kaanumalle, Arunkumar Natarajan, Anand Parthasarathy, Arunkumar Sundaresan, Raja Kaliappan and Mahesh Pattabiraman. Controlling photochemistry with weak non-covalent forces and confined spaces. 232nd American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, United States, Sept. 10th-14th, 2006.
  12. Raja Kaliappan, Mahesh Pattabiraman, and V. Ramamurthy. Photochemistry within water soluble calixarenes, cucurbit[n]urils and γ-cyclodextrin. Inter-American Photochemical Society - Winter Conference, Tampa, Jan. 3-8th, 2005. 


Nga Nguyen (Sophomore)
Ashley Lopez (Junior)
Nguyen Voughn