Dr. S. Chandrasekhar has displayed a flair for identifying and synthesizing molecules of biological relevance, topical synthetic interest and utility to industry. His research efforts, with an impressive degree of innovation and enterprise, have led to the synthesis of complex and scarcely available natural products and new molecular entities for affordable healthcare. His endeavors have provided cost-effective technologies to the chemical industry through the identification of new reagents / solvents for specific transformations.
Chandrasekhar's group has synthesized several classes of complex natural products in optically pure form employing chiral pool precursors and catalytic asymmetric reactions and his syntheses of pladienolide, azumamide and bengazole bear testimony to the efficacy of such approaches.
His passion and commitment to topical health-related problems is evident in his provisioning for better and affordable access to important drugs. This includes his synthesis of bedaquiline, the first drug approved by FDA in over 40 years for the treatment of multidrug-resistant TB. His team at IICT has developed a scalable synthetic route for misoprostol (a hormone-like biologically important synthetic prostaglandin), used to prevent gastric ulcer, induce labor and / or safely terminate unwanted pregnancies, and this has already been commercialized.
Chandrasekhar has developed methodologies and reagents which help in achieving the synthesis of structurally complex bio-actives in lesser number of steps and avoid the use of hazardous solvents. His contribution in this area has been the promotion of PEG (polyethyleneglycol) as an eco-friendly solvent for processing and recycling expensive metal catalysts based on Palladium, Osmium and Ruthenium in diverse reactions. This work has inspired researchers worldwide to use PEG.