Prof. Krishna N Ganesh (born 1953) obtained his B.Sc (1970) and M.Sc (1972) degrees in Chemistry from Bangalore University and did his Ph.D (1976) in Chemistry at Delhi University. He was awarded a Commonwealth Fellowship to pursue higher studies University of Cambridge, UK that resulted in another Ph.D degree in 1980. He joined the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR) at Hyderabad in 1981 where he established India’s first microsynthesis DNA facility, initiating a vigorous research programme to discover new motifs of DNA-protein interactions. In 1987, he relocated to National Chemical Laboratory (NCL-CSIR) where he became the Head of Organic Chemistry Division in 1994. He was chosen as the First Director of the newly founded Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (www.iiserpune.ac.in) at Pune In 2006. Dr Ganesh has made excellent research contributions to the chemistry and biology of nucleic acids, focusing on therapeutic and diagnostic applications of DNA analogues, structural biology of collagen peptides and the emerging area of DNA nanotechnology. He is internationally recognised for his original and creative contributions to design of Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) analogues for effective cell permeation. He has more than 160 publications in reputed international journals, 2 international patents and guided 45 students for their doctoral degrees.
Prof Ganesh is a Fellow of all 3 Science Academies in India and also a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He served as the President of Division of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry of IUPAC (2012-2013). Prof Ganesh has received innumerable professional awards, the most important ones being Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award of Chemical sciences (CSIR) and TWAS Prize for Chemical Sciences, SASTRA-CNR Rao Award of SASTRA University (2015) and H K Firodia Vijnan Bhushan Award (2015).
He has served as Member of the various policy making and Project Advisory Committees of Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India and past Chairman of Indian Committee of Lady Tata Memorial trust. He is currently a member of Nanoscience Advisory Group of DST Nanoscience mission; Chairman, DBT Taskforce on Nanobiotechnology; Chairman, Finance Committee of India Alliance – Welcome trust DBT, Chairman, Research Advisory Council of Institute of Nanoscience and Technology, Chandigarh; Chairman, Research Advisory Council, Indian Association of Cultivation of Science, Kolkata and a Member of Governing Council of Association of Indian University.
He has served as a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of various journals: Chemistry, An Asian Journal (Wiley), J Organic Chemistry (ACS), Beilsten J Organic Chemistry and Oligonucleotides. He is the Founding Editor for ACS Omega (since April 2016) - the first open Access Journal from American Chemical Society and is currently leading its editorial team. In recognition of his scientific contributions, Prof Ganesh was conferred Degree of Doctorate of Science (honoris causa) by Vidyasagar University (West Bengal) in January 2017.
Foremost, as the First and Founding Director of IISER Pune (www.iiserpune.ac.in, June 2006-October 2017), Prof Ganesh provided great leadership in Institution building to establish IISERs as brand science education and research institutes, now attaining international recognition. He was also the mentor Director of 6th IISER at Tirupati (www.iisertirupati.ac.in) since February 2015 and assumed charge of its full time Director in November 2017. He now has the rare and unique distinction of being the First and Founder Director of two IISERs – Pune and Tirupati.