Theory of Soft Condensed Matter & Biophysical Systems: Our research area includes an interdisciplinary area of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematical framework which considers the theoretical study of various complex phenomena in biology. Thus, our work is composed of theoretical biophysics, dynamical aspects of bio-polymers, polymer physics, theoretical studies on single-molecule experiments, equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, stochastic processes, thermodynamics of small systems, and fluctuation theorems. In order to approach these different problems we use the concepts of Brownian motion, Generalized Langevin equation, Fokker Planck equation, Fractional Fokker Planck methods, static and dynamic disorder, and path integral methods. This approach is found to have various applications in the field of modeling of complex biological systems, soft condensed matter and polymer physics and experimental biophysics. Using the simple tools of statistical mechanics we try to explain various biophysical events. Thus providing quantitative and testable predictions from these theoretical frameworks, that can capture microscopic details of the complex biophysical events, is the main aim of our study.
Faculty: Dr. Debarati Chatterjee
Theoretical and Computational Chemistry: The research includes the theoretical study of folding mechanisms and disulfide bond-making/breaking mechanisms as those in specific proteins, Calculating and simulating the mechanochemical reactions.
Faculty: Dr. Padmesh A
Supramolecular Material Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry: We are interested in developing next-generation supramolecular materials with multifunctional capability and customize their functional properties for versatile applications in biomedicine to environmental remediation. This can be achieved by employing the concept of “molecular self-assembly” which underlies the formation of several complex biological structures. An overall grand challenge is to exploit the new insights obtained from this research programme to answer “as-yet-unsolved research questions” and to probe some fundamental research questions in supramolecular chemistry. We foresee that the outcome of our research interest would lead to the development of novel materials and devices to support both the existing and emerging technologies, aimed to give a positive impact on the environment and quality of life.
Faculty: Dr. Shanmugaraju S
Design, Synthesis, and Applications of organic materials: We are focused on the design, synthesis, and applications of novel classes of organic macromolecules. In contrast to small molecules, macromolecules have some unique properties that make them perfect fit for various applications which are otherwise challenging to meet. Synthesis of macromolecules in its absolutely pure form is still difficult to achieve. While the current trend in this field is focused on solving this issue, the immediate next goal is how to get a hand on controlling the properties of the macromolecules which is crucial for making them an efficient candidate for a given application. The fact that the properties of a macromolecule are not predictable from the properties of the building blocks adds up another dimension to the complexity of this field. We aim to work on developing novel strategies to synthesize a new class of organic macromolecules and most importantly modulate their properties by the custom synthesis of building blocks and tuning organic reactions. The novelty of our system is that we can precisely control the arrangement of multiple functional groups that leads to its structure, properties, and function. Taking together Porel group is ambitious to develop a platform for the rapid and economic production of manmade materials with tunable properties for enormous applications from material to biomedical science. Currently, we are focused on developing chemo-sensors for toxic analytes and antibacterial and anticancer drugs based on newly developed organic materials.
Faculty: Dr. Mintu Porel
Materials for Environmental Sustainability: We develop new solid materials that can accelerate the rates of chemical reactions that have high relevance to a clean environment. Applications can range from finding a suitable green industrial process or a new catalyst for vehicles to affordable food packages, air, and purifiers. The bottlenecks associated with materials are our research interests. For example, minimizing the heterogeneity in sites and developing catalysts with earth-abundant elements are two important material-related goals that we work on. Our approach is to understand the role of chemical synthesis in tuning surface chemistry and its consequent effects on catalysis.
Faculty: Dr. Dinesh Jagadeesan
Chemical Biology: We are interested in deciphering the role of various protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) in physiological and pathological conditions using the chemical biology toolbox. To date, more than 300 different types of PTMs have been identified and almost all of them are correlated with various human diseases including cardiac diseases, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of how and when those PTMs occur is crucial not only for gaining a perception of broad biological processes but also for developing therapeutics for many life-threatening diseases. We integrate the aspects of chemical synthesis, enzymology, metabolomics, and proteomics along with cellular and animal models as our arsenal. Our long-term goal is to further capitalize on the findings to develop novel therapeutics (such as target-specific small molecule inhibitors) for the treatment of human diseases.
Faculty: Dr. Sushabhan Sadhukhan
Biophysical Chemistry: Protein folding is a critical process and plays a crucial role in its structure and function relationship. Incorrect structure of proteins leads to a number of diseases making it even more important to study its folding dynamics from a therapeutic standpoint. We take an interdisciplinary experimental approach to study this complex mechanism of protein folding misfolding and aggregation using different state-of-the-art single-molecule techniques and thereby identify small drug-like molecules (aggregation inhibitors) to prevent protein misfolding and aggregation.
Faculty: Dr. Supratik Sen Mojumdar
Main Group and Organometallic Chemistry: The central objective of our research lies in the development of a wide range of unprecedented, low oxidation state s- and p-block complexes, radicals, and/or cations. These highly reactive low valent main group compounds will be used for the activation of enthalpically strong molecules such as e.g. CO, H2, N2, ethylene, N2O, and CO2. Further exploration of these reactive compounds’ applicability towards catalysis, materials chemistry, hydrogen storage etc, will be conducted. In addition to the fundamental aspects, further incentives into using main group compounds as sustainable reagents by replacing typically expensive and toxic transition metal compounds will be explored. We will utilize standard Schlenk line and Glove box techniques to handle these highly reactive main group radicals, cations, and/or low valent species. All these compounds will be analysed both in solution and solid state by using various analytical tools such as NMR, FT-IR, EPR, Mass Spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and Single crystal X-ray diffraction.
Faculty: Dr. Yuvaraj K
Theoretical and computational chemistry: The broader theme of our research is chemical bonding across the periodic table. We try to understand the factors deciding the structure, bonding, reactivity, and properties of compounds because that knowledge will allow us to tune these factors in a desirable way. We translate the concepts of molecular chemistry to extended solid-state structures, with the intention to make Material Chemistry friendlier to chemists. This way, we are trying to tackle relevant technological problems such as the instability issues of lead iodide-based perovskites, which hinder the commercialization of perovskite-based solar cells. We also try to design new materials which can be potential solar absorbers and can be a good substitute for unstable and toxic lead iodide-based perovskites. We also work on materials that exhibit the property of photo-induced phase transition and self-healing.
Faculty : Dr. Priyakumari C P
Electro-analytical Chemistry and Nanobiosensors: Selective detection and continuous tracking of small molecules in the biofluids are crucial in health care including early detection of chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes,renal, cardiovascular & neurological disorders) and therapeutic drug monitoring. Rapid on-site monitoring of toxins (e.g., Mycotoxins, Organo-phosphates, Pesticides) in agricultural fields/food products is vital in sustainable farming. Our group research broadly focuses on fundamental and applied/engineering aspects of Electrochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Biosensors, and Energy(conversion and storage), with particular emphasis on the development of “Wearable (microneedle, tattoo, textile, glove) and Point of Care (strip) Sensor Devices - Towards Biomedical, Environmental, Agriculture, Quality control and Security Applications”. Our research efforts are highly multidisciplinary and combine expertise from nearly every traditional and emerging field of technical studies such as electro-analytical chemistry, nano-biotechnology, micro/nanoelectronics, micro/nanofabrication, hybrid-nanomaterials, 2D/3D printing, flexible & wearable sensing systems. Our envision is to design and develop translational laboratory ideas into viable portable/wearable sensing devices that can positively impact Agri/Food/Medical industries and our society.
In silico Catalyst Design: In silico catalyst design was proven to be one of the best and most economically efficient protocols for the design of novel catalytic systems. To this end, numerous transition metal-catalyzed reactions have been successfully developed by tuning the properties of the ancillary ligands to control the reactivity as well as selectivity. We employ state-of-the-art computational techniques of quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics to gather an electronic-level understanding of the inherent mechanistic details of various reactions ranging from small molecule activation, asymmetric catalysis, bio-mimetic reactions, photocatalysis, and C-H activation. These findings will be used to design novel organo- and transition metal catalytic systems and artificial metalloenzymes for generating the key structural motifs in highly demanding natural products and pharmacophores. We follow an environmentally benign and economically attractive research motto to create molecules that are used for the betterment of society.
Faculty: Dr. Rositha Kuniyil