Pradeep Kumar was born and grew up in India. He received both his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from Gorakhpur University Uttar Pradesh. In 1981, he obtained his Ph.D. degree from BHU (Varanasi), UP. Subsequently, he joined the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India in 1982. He is currently working as Chief Scientist & Head of the Organic Chemistry Division, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory Pune. He visited Germany and worked in the group of Professor H. J. Bestmann at the Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg during 1988–1990 as DAAD Fellow and later as an Alexender von Humboldt Fellow with Professor Richard R. Schmidt at the University of Konstanz (1996–1997), with Professor Martin E.Maier at the University of Tubingen (2003) and with Professorn J. Rademann at the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP), Berlin (2006) and (2010). His research interests include development of new methodologies, asymmetric synthesis, total synthesis of biologically active natural products, and solid catalyst induced organic transformations.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Kumar`s research focused in the area of the asymmetric synthesis of a variety of bioactive molecules, development of new synthetic methodologies based on organocatalysis and solid catalyst induced carbon-carbon, carbon-nitrogen bond forming reactions.Dr. Kumar has also made seminal contributions in developing novel methodologies using phosphorus ylides as C-1 or C-2 synthons. The methodologies developed have been successfully utilized via intramolecular Wittig cyclisation towards the synthesis of variety of compounds of biological interest. Dr. Kumar has made enormous contributions in the area of asymmetric synthesis of awide variety of biologically useful compounds with main emphasis on naturally occurring amino alcohols. Dr Kumar`s another innovative contribution has been in developing a novel and general protocol for the construction of both syn- and anti-1,3-polyols using hydrolytic kinetic resolution (HKR) which he has successfully applied to the synthesis of a natural products containing α, b-unsaturated δ-lactones. He also developed a new and novel iterative proline catalysed organocatalytic approach to synthesise both syn- and anti-1, 3-polyols , amino alcohols and 1,3-diamines. The method is potentially useful in the synthesis of natural products containing 1, 3-polyols/amino alcohols. The organocatalytic protocol developed was utilised for the synthesis of a variety of useful compounds. He has published over 185 research articles in different national and international journals of repute.
Other Contributions: Significant contributions in training the scientific personnel. Managerial instinct as demonstrated by successfully running the research group (23 Ph.D. produced so far). Delivered several invited lectures in universities and institutions both in India and Abroad. Initiated several projects in basic research on methodology development and asymmetric synthesis of complex natural products. Over 30 years research experience and leadership in both applied and basic aspects of chemistry. Currently serving as Head of organic chemistry Division, CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. Involved in several administrative activities, capacity building and decision making policies of laboratories.
Awards and Honours: Dr Kumar is a recipient of Alexander von Humboldt fellowship- 1996-97. He is Fellow of Maharashtra Academy of Sciences 1999. He is recipient of several awards and recognitions, such as ICICI Technology of the Year Award 1999 of the NCL research Foundation; Prof. A.S.R. Anjaneyulu 60th
Birthday Commemoration award-2011; Fellow of National Academy of Sciences (FNASc) (2007); CRSI- Bronze medal award (2009-10), OPPI Scientist award- 2012 ,Scientist of the year award of NCL Research Foundation- 2012 ,Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (FNA)- 2014, National Representative of IUPAC, Chemistry & Environment Division, 2016-17, DST-PAC-Organic (Co-opted member (2015-onwards)