Q. The master’s program which you have attended belongs to which domain of chemistry?
- I have done my master’s in the year 1981, in the domain of Organic Chemistry.
Q. Did you change your previous field? If yes why?
- Absolutely not. It was MSc. Chemistry and there were Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry to choose from. So I chose Organic Chemistry as my domain because I liked it very much.
Q. Why did you like Organic Chemistry?
- Organic is close to my heart because it is all about living things and stuff. But I’m not against any other field. As my career went on I worked on other different things. I liked Organic Chemistry much more as my master’s went on because I was fascinated by all the carbon compounds, structures and reactions. Also they were famous those days, so that also helped me in taking up this domain of Chemistry .
Q. In what field did you carry out your PhD?
- When I went to my PhD I changed my area of research from organic to physical organic chemistry. I did my PhD in photochemistry. I purely worked on Physical organic chemistry which included designing various multichromophoric systems, study of various rearrangements in organic reactions, comparing chromophores, bringing selectivity in the reactions using chromophores. My study was not only limited to rearrangements but also included isolation, characterizing and looking at the mechanism of formation in a reaction, and how intermediates like radicals, radical anions, radical cations play a major role in determining the reaction pathways.
Photochemistry has a lot to offer in solar cells and photochromic materials, I was fascinated with all these things and so I took up phytochemistry.
Q. What fields did you work in after completing your PhD?
- I was also interested in Biology and after PhD I joined as a scientist in CSIR. I also had a post-doctoral position from IIT Kanpur. As my heart was in Biology I was looking for a biology-related work.
I had an opportunity to visit Germany as a Gold Fellowship in 1991 and there I looked at the biological aspects of photochemistry like designing Photo Fenton reagents related to peroxide compounds. After returning back to India I dedicated my work to Bio-Inorganic Chemistry.
Q. What is your current field of research based on?
- My main area of research is “Chemistry and Material Interface” as well as “Chemistry and Biological Interface” which include synthesis of novel molecules and which can be used as potential applicants in Biomarkers and also about molecules which can be used to treat cancer and its related diseases.
Q. What type of projects have you planned for the students? Are there any prerequisites for taking them?
- Since I have recently joined BITS, currently I don’t have any PhD student under me,which is essential for me before I start giving out projects. So due to this constraint, I am currently offering SOP’s only. Few of the students under me are currently working on areas which have a lot of futuristic applications like- Water Splitting in the presence of visible light, generation of industrially important compounds using visible light and Photosensitizers for the Photodynamic Therapeutical Applications.
Q. Are there any prerequisites for the students who want to take these Projects?
- Research is something where the dedication and the commitment of the student matters a lot. I do not have any pre-requisite in general but I expect the students to give their best in the project they take under me despite what the final result could be.
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