Sunil Paliwal

School: Schaefer School of Engineering & Science
Department: Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Building: McLean Hall
Room: 211
Phone: 201-216-8211
Fax: 201-216-8196

Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh      

MS, Chemisty, Indian institute of Technology, Kanpur, India            


At Stevens, Dr. Paliwal's research is focused on developing molecules to treat cancer and also developing selective chemical probes for validation of novel targets.



Dr. Paliwal has 15 years experience as a medicinal chemist and project leader performing research in drug discovery for Schering-Plough Research Institute and at Merck where he was Director of Exploratory Medicinal Chemistry. His expertise is in developing small molecules to treat oncology, neurological, cardiovascular and inflammation diseases.  

Dr. Paliwal’s preclinical discovery includes leading teams to discover early drug hits from high-throughput screening (HTS) involving the screening of millions of compounds, optimization of hits and developing program leads through evaluations of chemical structure and biological data to develop key structural-activity-relationships (SAR). Dr. Paliwal’s research experience also include optimization of the DMPK and biological data of the leads to deliver clinical compounds with optimal DMPK/pharmacological properties. He is co-inventor of a drug (Varubi®) and has progressed two other compounds into clinic to treat cancer and neurological diseases.

Professional Service


Merck Research Labs                                           

Director of Exploratory Medicinal Chemistry                2012-Nov.2013

Associate Director of Exploratory Medicinal Chemistry    2011-2012

Schering-Plough Research Institute/Merck Research Labs

Senior Principal Scientist                                               2006-2011

Schering-Plough Research Institute

Principal Scientist                                                         2002-2006

Associate Principal Scientist                                         2000-2002

Senior Scientist                                                           1998-2000

Consulting Service

Provided medicinal chemistry expertise to biotech and academic institutions.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Co-inventor of the drug (Varubi®).

Patents & Inventions
  1. Mcelroy, W.; Li, G.; Ho, G.; Zheng, T.; Paliwal, S.; Seganish, W.M.; Tulshian, D.; Lampe, J.; Methot, J.L.; Zhou, H.; Altman, M.D.; Zhu, L.“Amidopyrazole inhibitors of interleukin receptor-associated kinases” WO 2012129258.
  2. Paliwal, S.; Tsui H.-C.; Gao, X.; Kim, H.M.; Caplen, M.A.; Fischmann, T.; Duca, J.S. “Novel heteroaryl-carboxamide derivatives as PDK1 inhibitors” WO 2012058176.
  3. Tsui, H.-C.; Paliwal, S.; Gao, X.; Hyunjin, H. M.; Doll, R.J. “Novel thiazole-carboxamide derivatives as PDK1 inhibitors” WO 2012058174.
  4. Tsui, H.-C.; Paliwal, S.; Kim, H.M.; Kerekes, A.; Caplen, M.A.; Esposite, S.J.; Mckittrick, B.A.; Fischmann, T.O.; Doll, R.; Rainka, M.P. “N-Phenyl imidazole carboxamide inhibitors of 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK-1)” WO 2011149874.
Selected Publications
  1. McElroy, W.T.; Tan, Z.; Ho, G.; Paliwal, S.; Li, G.; Seganish, W.M.; Tulshian, D.; Tata, J.; Fischmann, T.O.; Sondey, C.; Brian, H.; Bober, L.; Jackson, J.; Garlis, C.G.; Devito, K.; Fossettall, J.; Lundell, D.; Niu, X.. "Potent and selective amidopyrazole inhibitors of the IRAK4 that are efficacious in a rodent model of inflammation” ", ACS Med. Chem Lett. 2015, 6(6), 677-682. 6 (6), 677-682.
  2. Morris, E.J.; Jha, S.; Restaino, S.; Clifford, R.; Dayananth, P.; Zhu, H.; Cooper, A.; Carr, D.; Deng, Y.; Jin, W.; Black, S.; Long, B.; Liu, J.; DiNunzio, E.; Windsor, W.; Zhang, R.; Zhao, S.; Angagaw, M.H.; Pinheiro, E.M.; Desai, J.; Xiao, L.; Shipps. "Discovery of a Novel ERK inhibitor with activity in models of acquired resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibitors", Cancer Discovery 2013, 3, 742. .
  3. Paliwal, S.; Reichard, G.A.; Shah, S.; Wrobleski, M.L.; Wang, C.; Stengone, C.; Tsui, H.C.; Xiao, D.; Duffy, R.; Lachowicz, J.. "Discovery of a novel, potent and orally active series of γ-lactams as selective NK1 antagonists", Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2008, 18, 4168.
  4. Reichard, G.A.; Stengone, C.; Paliwal, S.; Mergelsberg, I.; Majmundar, S.; Wang, C.; Tiberi, R.; McPhail, A.T.; Piwinski, J.J.; Shih, N.-Y.. "Asymmetric synthesis of 4,4-disubstituted-2-imidazolidinones: Potent NK1 antagonists.", Org. Lett. 2003, 5, 4249.
  • CH 245 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
  • CH 246 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II