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Appu Rathinavelu, M.S., M. Phil., Ph. D.

Appu Rathinavelu
Executive Director, Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research
Associate Dean, Institutional Planning and Development
Professor & Fulbright Scholar

College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Honors Engagement

  • Mentors students in honors thesis research

Research Focus

  • Cancer Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genomics and Pharmacogenomics
  • Phytochemicals and Natural Products Research


  • Sc., University of Madras, India
  • Sc., University of Madras, India
  • Phil., University of Madras, India
  • D., University of Madras, India
  • Postdoctoral Training, Purdue University, USA

Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D., has served as executive director of NSU’s Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research (RGI) since 2007. Rathinavelu is leading RGI’s efforts to develop new therapeutics and treatment strategies for curing cancer. His research team at RGI is actively engaged in drug discovery research, genomics research, and making good strides in identifying the active compounds naturally found in plants and other sources that might enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

In addition to his role with RGI, Rathinavelu is an Associate Dean of Institutional Planning and Development at NSU’s College of Pharmacy, where he holds the rank of professor. Rathinavelu received his doctoral degree from the University of Madras in India, and conducted his post-doctoral training at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, before he joined NSU in 1992.

Some of his noteworthy accomplishments are, Rathinavelu was awarded the Fulbright Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research in 2015. Rathinavelu has also received U.S. patents for two anti-angiogenic agents that were designed to fight breast, ovarian, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers. One of his newly discovered drugs has received patents from Japan, Korea, the European Union, and Canada. Some of his other achievements include publishing more than 70 peer-reviewed research articles, serving on the editorial boards of scientific journals, co-authoring a textbook, authoring several book chapters, and delivering more than 100 presentations at national and international conferences. Since 1992, he has mentored more than 200 undergraduate students, professional degree students, graduate students, and postdoctoral research fellows. In 2016, Rathinavelu received the Distinguished Professor award from the president of Nova Southeastern University.

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