Dr. Padmalayam is working as Senior Scientist from Drug Discovery Division at Southern Research Institute. She joined Southern Research in August 2010 and currently serves in multiple roles, including Program Manager of the Strategic Initiatives Plan (SIP), an internal research funding program, and Head of the Assay Development/Lead Generation Laboratory. Her laboratory provides research support for various drug discovery programs at Southern Research which span a broad range of therapeutic areas such as oncology, infectious, neurodegenerativeand metabolic diseases. Dr. Padmalayam obtained a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta in 1996. Dr. Padmalayam’s dissertation research, conducted as a collaborative project with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and GSU, focused on investigating the pathogenic mechanisms employed by the Bartonella species and identifying key proteins that are involved in the infection process. She continued her postdoctoral work at the Division of Viral and Ricketssial Diseases at the CDC, conducting further investigations into the pathogenesis of bartonellae and their interactions with host cells during infection. In 2001, Dr. Padmalayam joined Reddy US (RUS) Therapeutics, Inc., a drug discovery company based in Norcross, GA. While at RUS, her research focus shifted to metabolic diseases, and she identified a novel mitochondrial target gene that plays a key role in metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. As a project leader for this program, she directed the project from target identification/validation stages to the lead optimization stage.