Srinivasan Chandrasekaran earned his BSc and MSc from Vivekananda College, University of Madras, Chennai, after which he joined the Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Madras to work with Professor S Swaminathan for his PhD degree, in the area of oxy-Cope rearrangement and on the synthesis of novel norbornane derivatives. After graduation, he went to Harvard University, USA (1973-75 and 1976-77) to work as a Research Associate on the (first successful) synthesis of gibberellic acid, a plant growth hormone, with Professor EJ Corey. He worked as a Scientist at the Syntex Research Laboratories, Palo Alto, California (1975-76) on the synthesis of beta-lactam antibiotics.
Academic and Research Achievements: On returning to India in 1977, Chandrasekaran joined as a Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, IIT, Kanpur. He initiated work in the area of development of new synthetic methodology related to oxidative transformations, synthesis of insect pheromones and novel molecular rearrangements. In 1989, he moved to the Department of Organic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, where he served as the Chairman of the Department , Chairman of the Division of Chemical Sciences and Dean, Faculty of Science. His major research contributions are in the area of molybdenum-sulfur and tungsten-selenium complexes as sulfur/selenium transfer agents and study of induced internal redox reactions. Synthetic methodologies developed based on these systems were applied to the synthesis of peptides and carbohydrate derivatives. Important contributions were made to the chemistry of glycoaminoacids, glycosidase inhibitors, urease inhibitors, organometallic chemistry, catalysis and hybrid organic-inorganic materials. He has published over 230 research articles and served as Editor for the Elsevier journal, Tetrahedron Letters. Over the last three decades he has mentored over 100 coworkers that include graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.
Other Contributions: Chandrasekaran has served on the Board of Studies of several universities and the Research Councils of many CSIR labs. He was Chairman of Task Force on Green Chemistry, FIST, DST Committee and also a member of the Council of INSA (1998-2000). He was an elected member of the Bureau and Executive Committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and Chairman of National Committee of IUPAC at INSA. He served as the Secretary and Tresurer of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and also as the President of the Chemical Research Society of India.
Awards and Honours: Professor Chandrasekaran was awarded the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1989), the Basudeb Banerjee Memorial Medal and Prize of the Indian Chemical Society (1988) and the Silver Medal of the Chemical Research Society of India. He received the Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lecture Award (2007) and Golden Jubilee Commemoration Medal (2007) of INSA, Alumni Award of Excellence of IISc, and the JC Bose National Fellowship of DST.Currently he is a Honorary Professor and SERB Distinguished Fellow at IISc, Bangalore He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).