The Rosania lab studies the microscopic transport properties of small drug-like molecules inside cells. Our overarching hypothesis is that a drug's microscopic distribution within organelles is as important as its macroscopic distribution in organs in determining efficacy and toxicity. We use microscopic imaging instruments to capture the local distribution and dynamics of small molecules inside cells and analyze image data with innovative computational tools and statistical strategies, combining cheminformatics and machine vision to relate the chemical structure of small molecules to their subcellular distribution. We also develop biochemical analysis methods to study the microdistribution and cellular pharmacokinetics of small drug-like molecules. Lastly, we build mathematical models to simulate drug transport and distribution in single cells and higher order cellular organizations, based on biophysical principles governing molecular transport phenomena at the cellular level.

We envision a day when drugs are designed, optimized, and approved based on their site of action, much as drugs today are designed, optimized, and approved based on their molecular mechanism of action. 

Research Interests

  • Exploring the application of in silico models, such as the cell-based molecular transport simulations we use in our experiments, to pharmaceutical discovery and development

  • Exploring cell-based molecular transport simulations as a way to probe the role of microscopic drug transport as a determinant of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion

  • Using mathematical and experimental approaches to explore how specific chemical moieties can be used to massively target small-molecule drugs to specific cell types in animals and humans

  • Dissemination of free modeling and simulation tools to help educate the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists and medicinal chemists and to facilitate the development of drugs neglected by the pharmaceutical industry


  • 2018 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Fellow, AAPS
  • 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, US Government
  • 2004 Exterior Colombia Award for Excellence in the USA, Colombia Exterior

Selected Publications

  • A far-red fluorescent probe for flow cytometry and image-based functional studies of xenobiotic sequestering macrophages.
    Keswani RK, Yoon GS, Sud S, Stringer KA, Rosania GR. Cytometry A. 2015 Jun 24. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.22706. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Chemical Analysis of Drug Biocrystals: A Role for Counterion Transport Pathways in Intracellular Drug Disposition.
    Keswani RK, Baik J, Yeomans L, Hitzman C, Johnson AM, Pawate AS, Kenis PJ, Rodriguez-Hornedo N, Stringer KA, Rosania GR.
    Mol Pharm. 2015 Jul 6;12(7):2528-36. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.5b00032. Epub 2015 Jun 5

  • Phagocytosed Clofazimine Biocrystals Can Modulate Innate Immune Signaling by Inhibiting TNFα and Boosting IL-1RA Secretion.
    Yoon GS, Sud S, Keswani RK, Baik J, Standiford TJ, Stringer KA, Rosania GR. Mol Pharm. 2015 Jul 6;12(7):2517-27. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.5b00035. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

  • Massive Bioaccumulation and Self-Assembly of Phenazine Compounds in Live Cells Kyoung Ah Min, Walajapet G. Rajeswaran, Rudolf Oldenbourg, Grant Harris, Rahul K. Keswani, Mason Chiang, Phillip Rzeczycki, Arjang Talattof, Mahwish Hafeez, Richard W. Horobin, Scott D. Larsen, Kathleen A. Stringer and Gus R. Rosania.  5 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/advs.201500025