The top portion of the campus entrance gate showing IISER Pune logo

Past Directors

Prof. K. N. Ganesh

Prof. Krishna N. Ganesh was the Founder Director and Professor of Chemistry at IISER Pune from its inception in July 2006 to October 2017. He is currently the Director at IISER Tirupati.

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

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.

In 1987, he moved to CSIR's 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 CSIR-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), PhD Guide Recognition Committee, Employee Task Assignment Policy Committee, Member Secretary - NCL Research Council, Students Affairs Committee, etc. He led a team of CSIR-NCL scientists in the preparation of “road map” for Organic Chemistry at CSIR-NCL in 2005.


During his stay at CSIR-NCL for 19 years, Prof. Ganesh 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 recognised 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 PhD degrees.


Prof. Ganesh has served on several important national and international committees.

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, U.S.A.)

Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and Oligonucleotides (Mary Ann Liebert Inc, U.S.A.); Nature Scientific Report (NPG, London).

Awards and Honours

Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Chemical Sciences (1998) 

Millennium Medal of Indian Science Congress (2000)

Silver Medal of Chemical Research Society of India (2004)

The TWAS Prize in Chemical Sciences (2006)

SASTRA-CNR Rao Award, SASTRA University (2015)

Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru

Fellow, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi

Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad

Fellow, Academy of Sciences for Developing World (TWAS)

JC Bose National Fellowship, Department of Science & Technology, New Delhi