Robert J DeVita, PhD
img_Robert J Devita
PROFESSOR | Pharmacological Sciences
Research Topics
Addiction, Brain Imaging, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Drug Design and Discovery, Infectious Disease, Inflammation, Neuroscience, Obesity, Positron Emission Tomography, Protein Structure/Function, Receptors, Transporters
Multi-Disciplinary Training Area
Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutics (DMT)

Drug discovery target identification and validation to meet the needs of patients has become even more challenging in spite of the huge amounts of genomic and metabolomic data available today.  Close collaboration between biological and chemical sciences is vital to determine biological mechanisms of disease and to discover approaches to positively impact the disease state through intervention using molecular therapeutics. The research program of our laboratory is to develop novel chemical and biological tools in collaboration with our colleagues across the wide variety of therapeutic areas of interest to the Mount Sinai Research Community.  Targets meeting sufficient criteria of validation have the opportunity to enter into the drug discovery portfolio of the Experimental Therapeutics Institute. 

The DeVita Laboratory supports many drug discovery and development activities including:

-      evaluation of high throughput and virtual screens

-      hit validation and follow-up

-      lead identification

-     chemical tools for in vivo studies in preclinical animal models of disease

-  lead optimization with the eventual goal of  identification of candidates for clinical studies. 

In addition, an important focus of the laboratory is to develop key chemical and biochemical tools necessary to create translational and target engagement biomarkers, including imaging agents, to further understand the impact on disease states and underlying biology to effectively intervene in the designated disease pathway. 

The laboratory works toward the identification of novel chemical matter by developing new chemical processes and syntheses in the areas of heterocyclic chemistry and carbon-carbon bond forming reactions to access unexploited chemical space.

BA, Rutgers College

MS, University of Rochester

PhD, University of Rochester

Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Geneva


U.S. National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

U.S. National Science Foundation


Elon Huntington Hooker Fellow

University of Rochester


American Chemical Society Fellow

American Chemical Society Division of Organic Chemistry


Sherman Clarke Fellow

University of Rochester


Selected Publications

Development of indazole mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists and investigation into their selective late-stage functionalization. Kun Liu, Ravi Kurukulasuriya, Kevin Dykstra, Lisa DiMichelle, Jinchu Liu, Petr Vachal, Anthony Ogawa, Robert J. DeVita, Dong Ming Shen, Qiang Tan, Yili Chen, Don Gauthier, Andreas Verras, Alejandro Crespo, Beata Zamlynny, Jeffrey Madwed, Maarten Hoek, Thomas Bateman, Yun Fang Yang, K. N. Houk, Shane Krska, Tim Cernak. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters

Benzimidazole-based DGAT1 inhibitors with a [3.1.0] bicyclohexane carboxylic acid moiety. Shuwen He, Zhong Lai, Qingmei Hong, Jackie Shang, Mikhail Reibarkh, Jeffrey T. Kuethe, Jian Liu, Deodial Guiadeen, Arto D. Krikorian, Timothy A. Cernak, Kevin D. Dykstra, Donald M. Sperbeck, Zhicai Wu, Yang Yu, Ginger X. Yang, Tianying Jian, Andreas Verras, Lisa M. Sonatore, Judyann Wiltsie, Christine C. Chung, Beth A. Murphy, Judith N. Gorski, Jinqi Liu, Jianying Xiao, Michael Wolff, Sharon X. Tong, Maria Madeira, Bindhu V. Karanam, Dong Ming Shen, James M. Balkovec, Shirly Pinto, Ravi P. Nargund, Robert J. DeVita. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters

Microscale High-Throughput Experimentation as an Enabling Technology in Drug Discovery: Application in the Discovery of (Piperidinyl)pyridinyl-1H-benzimidazole Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase 1 Inhibitors. Tim Cernak, Nathan J. Gesmundo, Kevin Dykstra, Yang Yu, Zhicai Wu, Zhi Cai Shi, Petr Vachal, Donald Sperbeck, Shuwen He, Beth Ann Murphy, Lisa Sonatore, Steven Williams, Maria Madeira, Andreas Verras, Maud Reiter, Claire Heechoon Lee, James Cuff, Edward C. Sherer, Jeffrey Kuethe, Stephen Goble, Nicholas Perrotto, Shirly Pinto, Dong Ming Shen, Ravi Nargund, James Balkovec, Robert J. DeVita, Spencer D. Dreher. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

View All Publications

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. DeVita during 2022 and/or 2023. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Company Founder:

  • Certego Inc


  • St. John's University
  • TARA Biotherapeutics (2021)
  • Forkhead Therapeutics
  • Concarlo LLC
  • Paul Hastings LLC
  • Ritrova (April 2021)
  • Haug Partners LLP
  • NeoTx Therapeutics Ltd.
  • Stellate Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Intellisyn
  • Mitokinin, Inc
  • Rumi Scientific Inc.
  • Medic Life Sciences, Inc.
  • Certego Inc
  • Sprint Bioscience AB
  • Accelerator Services Corp.
  • NYU Langone Medical Center

Equity (Stock or stock options valued at greater than 5% ownership of a publicly traded company or equity of any value in a privately held company)

  • Certego Inc.
  • Circumvent Inc
  • Concarlo Holdings LLC
  • Mitokinin, LLC
  • Vibliome LLC
  • Biosymetrics Inc.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.