Dr. Varadarajan teaches courses in the areas of organic and medicinal chemistry as outlined below. In addition, Dr. Varadarajan also teaches students in his laboratory, and trains them in research methodology, critical thinking and evaluation of scientific information, use of research instrumentation and interpretation of data, and scientific writing. Dr. Varadarajan is a recipient of the UNCW Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award (2012).

Current Courses


Organic Chemistry I (CHM 211)

This course is an introduction to the chemistry of carbon compounds, including structure, reactions, mechanisms and the concepts of organic synthesis. At the end of the course students are expected to have working knowledge of the language of organic chemistry (including nomenclature and structure symbols), understand fundamental chemical structure (electronegativity, polarity, Lewis structures) and fundamental chemical reactions of specific organic functional groups (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alkyl halides), acids and bases, have the ability to write mechanisms for fundamental organic reactions, and be able to use spectroscopic techniques to determine organic structures.


Organic Chemistry II (CHM 212)

This course is the follow up to the CHM 211 course. In this second semester organic chemistry course, students learn fundamental chemical reactions of the major classes of organic molecules (aromatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, phenols, ethers, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives, amines, carbohydrates and lipids) including multi-step syntheses, reaction mechanisms for fundamental organic reactions, and spectroscopic determination of organic structures.


Physical Organic Chemistry (CHM 415)

The main goal of this course is to develop an understanding of the relationship between structure and reactivity of organic molecules and provide exposure to modern aspects of physical organic chemistry.  The course is designed to stimulate creative thinking about organic molecules and organic chemistry. Upon successful completion of the course, students will have a good understanding of how structure affects the reactivity of organic molecules, and will have a working knowledge of the various methods and tools that can be used to determine and/or verify organic reaction mechanisms.

Medicinal Chemistry (CHM 417, CHM 517 Online)

The goal of this course is to give the student an insight into the various principles involved in, and the multidisciplinary nature of, modern drug design. The course focuses on the chemical and biological principles that are fundamental to “medicinal chemistry”. Upon completion of the course the student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of modern drug discovery process, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of drug molecules, and the different biological targets for drugs. This course is taught both as a traditional lecture (for local undergraduate students) and as a fully online course at the graduate level.