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In July 2006, Prof. K. N. Ganesh was appointed as the first Director and Professor of Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune

About the Director

Krishna N Ganesh (born 1953) obtained his B.Sc. (1970) and M.Sc. (1972) degrees in Chemistry from Bangalore University and later did his Ph.D. (1976) in Chemistry at Delhi University (Guide: Prof. GBV Subramanian). He was awarded a Commonwealth Fellowship to pursue higher studies at University of Cambridge, UK which resulted in the award of a second Ph.D. degree to him in 1980 (Guide: Prof. JKM Sanders).

CCMB, (Hyderabad): Prof. Ganesh joined Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad in 1981 where he established a microsynthesis facility for oligonucleotide synthesis and started a research programme to investigate new motifs of DNA-protein interactions.

NCL, (Pune): In 1987, he moved to National Chemical Laboratory, Pune to establish a Bioorganic Chemistry research group. He became the Head of Organic Chemistry (Synthesis) Division in 1994. During his tenure at NCL till 2006, he was involved in policy development; resource generation; and design, execution and evaluation of institutional research programmes in Organic Chemistry. He also served as a member of several important internal institutional committees of the laboratory such as Medical Committee (Chairman, 1991-1994), Ph.D. Guide Recognition Committee, Employee Task Assignment Policy Committee, Member Secretary - NCL Research Council, Students Affairs Committee, etc. He led a team of NCL scientists in the preparation of “road map” for Organic Chemistry at NCL in 2005.

Research: During his stay at NCL for 19 years, he established an internationally reputed school of research in therapeutic and diagnostic applications of oligonucleotide analogues, especially Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNA). He has also worked on the structural biology of collagen peptides and in the emerging area of DNA nanotechnology. His work has been well recognized internationally through invitations to lecture at prestigious scientific meetings such as Gordon Conferences, IUPAC Symposia, IRT in Nucleosides and Nucleotides, Pacifichem Meetings, etc. He has published around 150 research papers in internationally reputed journals and guided 23 students for their Ph.D. degrees.

Memberships:  Prof. Ganesh has served on several important national and international committees such as Programme Advisory Committee (Organic Chemistry); Committee for Funds for Infrastructure Development in Science and Technology, New Delhi; Thrust Area Programme in Basic Biology; Scientific Advisory Committee on Resource-specific Network Programme, Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi (2005-2008); Chairman, Indian Advisory Committee, Lady Tata Memorial Fellowship, Mumbai; Editorial Committee of Proceedings (Indian Academy of Sciences); Indian Journal of Chemistry, CSIR, New Delhi; Member, Expert Committee on DST Initiative on Nanoscience and Technology (since 2005); President, Division III (Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry) of International Pure and Applied Chemistry (2012-2013); Member, Editorial Advisory Board of Journal of Organic Chemistry (American Chemical Society); Member, Editorial Board, Chemistry-Asian Journal (Wiley, Germany); Artificial DNA: PNA & XNA (Landes Biosciences, USA); Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and Oligonucleotides (Mary Ann Liebert Inc, USA); Nature Scientific Report (NPG, London).

Awards and Honours: Prof. Ganesh has received a number of recognitions in the field of science including the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Chemical Sciences (1998) (highest scientific recognition in India for scientists below the age of 45 years); Millennium Medal of Indian Science Congress (2000); Silver Medal of Chemical Research Society of India (2004); the TWAS Prize in Chemical Sciences (2006); and the SASTRA-CNR Rao Award, SASTRA University (2015). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi; National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad; Academy of Sciences for Developing World (TWAS); and the JC Bose National Fellowship, Department of Science & Technology, New Delhi.