I'm a Solver - Kana Sureshan

Posted by Connie French on Dec 9, 2008 10:38:31 AM

Dr. Sureshan, an InnoCentive Solver from India, was one of the winners of the TB Alliance Challenge seeking new methods to cost-effectively manufacture tuberculosis drug candidates.

I am a scientist by profession. My training was in organic chemistry and my present interests are in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology, more specifically in cellular signaling. Recently I have joined as a senior scientist in the Institute of Life Sciences, Hyderabad, India. I did my PhD from National Chemical Laboratory Pune, India working in the group of Dr. M. S. Shashidhar. After my PhD, I moved to Japan to work in the group of Prof. Yutaka Watanabe, Ehime University availing JSPS fellowship from Govt. of Japan.  After two years of postdoctoral stay in Japan, I joined Prof. Barry Potter's group (University of Bath, UK) as a Research Officer. After spending two years in England, I have received Alexander von Humboldt fellowship from the Federal Govt. of Germany and joined the group of Prof. Herbert Waldmann at the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany.  I have published my research accomplishments, till date, in more than 35 international publications.  In recognition of my scientific achievements, my biography has been incorporated in three books by Marquis Whos Who, U.S.A namely, Who is Who in the World, Who is Who in Science and Technology and Who is Who in Asia. Among other academic activities, I am a frequent reviewer of different international journals and I am editorial board member of the journal OPEN GLYCOSCIENCE, a forum for publishing chemical and biological aspects of carbohydrates and related biomolecules.

Apart from chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, I am also interested in asymmetric synthesis, total synthesis of biologically active natural products and analogues, development of methodologies for novel chemical transformations etc.  Such novel methodologies could have potential as tools to study biology.  Another interest of mine is the use of enzymes for novel chemical transformations, which are otherwise difficult to achieve.  In an era when the boundaries between the subjects are disappearing, I believe, working at these closely related, complimentary and interlinked areas of sciences will be exciting.

The challenge by Rockefeller foundation for designing the most economical and safest route to PA-824, the candidate drug for tuberculosis attracted my attention. Why? My mother was the only breadwinner of my family and during my school days (when I was 14) she had to stop working due to tuberculosis and I had to take the responsibility of breadwinning during my school days and college days and I often had to work on weekends and after-school-hours to provide her medication and feed my family.  This was the particular reason I was interested in this challenge of developing an economical route for the anti-TB drug. I am happy and excited that my contribution of developing a cost effective process will be benefited by millions suffering from TB especially from developing and underdeveloped countries.  I am looking forward to hear the success story of my process.

The relation with innocentive has always been encouraging. I am looking forward for future challenges, where my contribution can make a difference.

I am a workaholic person and I often wonder why there are only 24 hours for a day! During free time (which hardly or very rarely turns up) I like to play chess and listen to carnatic music, a form of Indian classical music.

Topics: Solvers

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