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News & Press: Aug 2011

Profile of Professor Goverdhan Mehta

Saturday, August 27, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Raman Garimella
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Prof Goverdhan Mehta is Former President of the International Council for Science (ICSU). He is a Bhatnagar Fellow and former director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, a premier institution in the country. He has made notable and outstanding contributions in Chemical Sciences and specializes in the area of Organic Chemistry. He has also contributed to science education, science policy and planning and R&D efforts in India and abroad in many ways. He is on the Editorial Boards of many leading international journals in Chemical Sciences/Organic Chemistry.

Prof. Goverdhan Mehta earned his Degree and Masters in Science from the University of Rajasthan and Ph.D. from the University of Poona, working at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) under the mentorship of Sukh Dev. His post-doctoral research at the Michigan State University under Don Farnum and at the Ohio State University under Paul Gassman was on the Chemistry of strained polycyclic systems that led to the first preparation of the long sought parent cyclopropenyl cation. He first joined IIT Kanpur and then moved to the newly established University of Hyderabad as Professor of Chemistry (1977) and finally to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore (1998). He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad (1994-98) and Director of IISc (1998-2005). He has received the DSC(hc) from over a dozen universities in India and overseas. At present, Prof. Goverdhan Mehta is the National Research Professor and also he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister of India. Prof. Goverdhan Mehta presently serving as the Chairman of Executive Committee of NAAC since 2006.

Professor Mehta is a leading researcher in the area of Chemical Sciences and is presently CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow at the Indian Institute of Science. Previously, Professor Mehta has been the Director of the Indian Institute of Science (1998-2005) and the President (Vice Chancellor) of the University of Hyderabad (1994-1998), two of India's most prestigious academic institutions. He is known as an institute builder and promoter of innovations in higher education and research. Professor Mehta has broad ranging research interests in organic chemistry with current focus on natural products synthesis and design of new strategies for total synthesis. He has authored over 400 research papers in leading international journals and is a much sought after speaker having delivered over 250 lectures in major conferences and institutions around the world. He has held visitng Chairs in USA, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Japan, Taiwan and served on the Editorial boards of over a dozen leading international Journals in chemistry.  

Academic and Research Achievements:
Prof. Mehta launched his independent research career at IIT Kanpur in 1970 that resulted in the discovery of deep-seated cationic rearrangements in natural terpenes, synthesis of natural products and study of reconstitution of complex polycyclic systems. Over the years, he established a flourishing and productive group exploring diverse areas of organic synthesis, particularly, focused on the total synthesis of complex natural products and design of new molecular entities. At the School of Chemistry in Hyderabad, his group achieved the total synthesis on over 20 natural products and created and introduced new molecular entities like garudane, golcondane, ladderanes and BuckyBalls into the Chemical literature. A notable contribution was the synthesis of triquinanes using only heat and light as the reagents and this is recognized as a seminal example of ‘green synthesis’. At Bangalore, Mehta initiated major programme on the design of carbasugar based glycomimics, conceptualization and realization of a new family of polycyclitols, total synthesis of complex bioactive natural products based on simple ‘global’ strategies and study of supramolecular architecture in solid state.

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