Narender Kumar, a senior scientist at the Population Council’s Center for Biomedical Research, has worked in the field of reproductive pharmacology and toxicology for more than two decades. Kumar oversees the preclinical development of the Council’s proprietary contraceptive technologies, with a focus on conducting pharmacological, toxicological, and mechanism-of-action studies to support Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for new drugs and drug-delivery devices for use in clinical trials.
Kumar joined the Council in 1989 as a postdoctoral fellow. He became a research investigator in 1992, a staff scientist in 1994, a scientist in 1999, and a senior scientist in 2005.
Kumar is responsible for preparing preclinical study protocols and selecting medicine doses for preclinical studies, and serves as the representative for the Council’s toxicology studies conducted under the US Food and Drug Administration’s Good Laboratory Practices. He also instituted the Council’s first-of-its-kind diagnostic radioimmunoassay core lab to measure the Council’s investigational drugs in blood samples received from clinical trials and preclinical programs.
Kumar is the lead investigator on studies evaluating investigational contraceptives that rely on MENT®, a synthetic steroid that resembles testosterone. He was responsible for accelerating MENT® into clinical trials after successfully completing multiple pharmacological and toxicological studies over the course of seven years to confirm its safety. Kumar also works to identify potentially beneficial and sometimes unanticipated protective effects of the compounds developed in his laboratory.
Before joining the Council, Kumar was a senior research officer at the National Institute of Health & Family Welfare in New Delhi, India, where he conducted pharmacological studies to support the development of female contraceptives. Kumar is a member of the Endocrine Society, the Society of Toxicology, and the Society of Safety Pharmacology. He holds a PhD in reproductive endocrinology from the University of Delhi, India.