I am a pharmacist by profession. My training was in synthetic organic chemistry and my present interests are in natural products and medicinal chemistry, more specifically in discovery of small molecules active against different biological targets. I obtained Bachelors (2001) and Masters Degree (2002) in Pharmacy from University of Pune and NIPER, India respectively. After completion of Masters, I worked in the discovery research unit of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Hyderabad, for six months before commencing my PhD, which I completed under the supervision of Dr. Inder Pal Singh at NIPER (India) in January 2007. Subsequently, I worked as a Research Scientist in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Piramal Life Sciences Ltd, Mumbai, for 16 months. Since May 2008, I am working as a Postdoctoral Scientist at The University of Montana, Missoula, USA.
I am a workaholic person, love working in the lab, writing research papers and staying in touch with recent happenings in new drug discovery. I have been actively involved in Medicinal Chemistry research since last 8 years. It is an interdisciplinary research area incorporating synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology and pharmaceutical chemistry in the search for better drugs. In fact, as the discipline has grown, it has embraced several other disciplines. And this is not the end; it is constantly evolving and rapidly expanding its domain. I am proud to be a part of this fraternity where research holds an important key in fulfilling the needs of the society and in helping people live healthier lives. It was during my undergraduate course in Pharmacy when I developed a keen interest in the field of Medicinal Chemistry and I have constantly nurtured it during my Master’s and PhD programs and professional experience.
‘InnoCentive’ is a very innovative way for companies and scientists and ideas to come together. First time I came to know about ‘InnoCentive’ was from my colleague (sometime in 2007). I became curious about it and went to the website homepage to know more about ‘InnoCentive’. I found it very exciting, and realized that this is a great chance to win a reward if my proposal will be chosen by a seeker company. I liked the concept of InnoCentive very much and was excited to submit a solution to atleast a one challenge to test my competence. I found this as a great chance to show my competence, work with my brain without limitations and the possibility to compete with others to find the best solution. Immediately, I got registered as a Solver. During initial two years after joining InnoCentive, I was regularly visiting ‘InnoCentive’ website but never made any attempt to solve any challenge until the start of 2009. I started submitting solutions in 2009, which became an exciting year for me. I won three Challenges and gained recognition as one of the Top Solvers by InnoCentive. My first attempt to solve a Challenge (Cooling compounds) was in February 2009, and it was the perfect challenge for me to start my contribution to InnoCentive.. I was pretty confident about winning this challenge after reading challenge details. Fortunately my first contribution was successful as my proposed solution was selected for the award.
My curiosity and interest in drug discovery led me to actively participate and win another Challenge (Lupus drug development) in the same year (2009) even though I knew very little about the disease ‘Lupus’. The Challenge details seemed attractive because of its clear and specific project criteria. Through this challenge, I was also very much excited to know in detail about the deadly autoimmune disease ‘Lupus’ and further understand hurdles involved in discovering new drug(s) for its treatment. For this challenge, I spent a couple of my weekends to understand the reasons why there were a large number of failures and only few successes in lupus clinical trials. Writing a proposal for this challenge was a challenging job but I found it very interesting. Subsequently, I made a couple of more successful solutions: Olefin to ketone; and Medicinal chemistry leads for crop protection.
‘InnoCentive’ is really a good forum for industries to post their problems, opening them to the whole world and thereby making a brain-storming exercise for researchers to think on these problems in a novel way. Most of the time, I found that, on my first quick look on the posted challenge, several of the problems seem to be simple, but after looking at the challenge details, I realized its complexity. Since this forum is highly competitive, there is always a risk involved in solving challenges but it is a great exercise to the brain and a good reason to know better about that particular research area. Working as a Solver with ‘InnoCentive’ is an opportunity to help change the future of innovation, and in turn create more opportunities for ourselves. I am happy to be a part of this community and look forward to solve more challenges in future.