Subhabrata Sen and GVK Bioscience, the company where he works, have won five Novel Molecule Challenges in less than one year, and are currently working on four more. The largest request he received was for over 100 compounds! Subhabrata became a Solver in 2009.
I’m an associate director specializing in parallel medicinal chemistry at GVK Bioscience, a contract research organization in Hyderabad, India. I was born in Kolkata, India, where I grew up very interested in science. My hobbies include painting (acrylic on canvas), reading, and collecting currencies of different countries.
GVK Bioscience is an extremely innovation-driven company, so we – particularly Dr. Balaram Patro, our senior vice president, and myself – were intrigued by InnoCentive’s Novel Molecule Challenges (NMC) program as another means of acquiring business for our company. The NMC program complemented our division’s core strength: combinatorial library design and synthesis of biologically active compounds. InnoCentive’s NMC program offers a new way of solving problems for companies by reaching out to an extensive audience of different backgrounds. At the end, innovation propagates and promotes the progress of our society and it’s very gratifying to be part of it.
Our library design and synthesis department designs and synthesize the compounds we upload for NMC challenges. Apart from initial guidelines from the Seeker, we utilize our in-house software to understand the synthetic feasibility of the molecules before uploading them to the InnoCentive platform. We also work toward novel routes for these compounds which can provide us access to a variety of molecules with new substituents pertaining to the scaffolds.
Being a son of a chemical engineer and a physics professor, I have followed my passion for science to the fullest. I obtained a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, mentored by Dr. Shon R Pulley, who first helped me realize the importance of innovation in science. I then had a fantastic opportunity to pursue post-doctoral studies with Dr. Albert I. Meyers at Colorado State University who truly expanded my scientific horizons. While working there, my belief in innovation strengthened all the more. I realized it was an integral aspect of science, and I began looking for applications of my scientific knowledge in industry. I developed my core competencies in combinatorial chemistry and natural product synthesis.
Following my post-doctoral studies, I have held a number of industrial positions. I initially joined Chemocentryx Inc., a biotech company located in the San Francisco Bay area in California. After a couple of years and several patents, I returned to India in 2004. Since then I have worked for contract research organizations like Syngene, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and the chemical company, BASF-India.