Dr. Ajoy Kapat grew up in West Bengal in India and received his undergraduate study from Calcutta University and M.Sc from the Department of Chemistry at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. During his master thesis work in the group of Prof. Sundarababu Baskaran, he was working on total synthesis of alkaloids. As a ESKAS fellow he joined the group of Prof. Philippe Renaud to pursue his doctoral study in the field of radical chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at University of Bern, Switzerland. Central theme of his doctoral thesis was to design new version of intramolecular Schmidt reaction and radical azidation reaction and their application in the synthesis of biologically active natural products. In 2012, he obtained Swiss National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship to carry out his first postdoctoral study in the field of organocascade catalysis and collective total synthesis of natural product in the group of Prof. MacMillan at Princeton. After working on metal – free transformation for a short period of time in the group of Prof. Jyotirmayee Dash at IACS Kolkata, he moved back to Europe to carry out further postdoctoral study in the field of transition-metal catalysis & remote functionalization in the group of Prof. Franziska Schoenebeck at RWTH Aachen University, Germany.
My research interest is mainly focused on the development new environmentally friendly and economically sustainable methodology for the transformation of relatively cheap starting material into valuable building blocks with highest molecular complexity, which can be transformed further to the desired target. To accomplish this goal, my research group will be active on three major areas:
a)Radical Chemistry & Metalloradical Catalysis: Since the historical report on “Triphenylmethyl: An Instance of Trivalent Carbon” by Gomberg, the field of radical chemistry has advanced significantly. Due to the mild reaction conditions, high functional group tolerance and high chemoselectivity radical reactions are becoming viable alternative to it’s ionic counterpart. However, taming organic radicals in required extent is still a challenging task. Part of my research group will be working on the development of new metalloradical promoted catalytic stereoselective radical reactions and understanding the reaction mechanism utilizing both modern synthetic techniques and computational tools.
b) Transition Metal Catalysis: Modern human civilization is constantly facing two major challenges, namely a) global warming b) upcoming shortage of fossil fuels. The amount of green-house gases has steadily been increased since pre-industrial times, and nowadays these components are the main responsible factors for climate change. To address these challenges, part of my research group will be active on designing new transition metal catalysed process for the valorization of CO2 and catalytic functionalization of biomass such as oleochemicals.
c) Natural Product Based Drug Design: Another area of concern in the modern human society is the emergence of more life-threatening disease. To provide environmental friendly and economically sustainable solution to this problem, it is absolutely essential to design new molecules either by natural product based or computer based drug design. Furthermore, according to the FDA guidelines every newly synthesized drug should be enantiopure. Nonetheless, rapid and streamline synthesis of complex organic molecules with very high enantiomeric excess is still a long-standing problem in organic synthesis. My research program will be dedicated to the development of new biomimetic approach for the synthesis of biologically active natural products and their biological activity will be studied in collaboration with the leading expert in this field.
Molecular Science & Engineering Travel Grant from RWTH Aachen University
Best poster presentation award sponsored by European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Post-Doctoral Fellowship from RWTH Aachen University
Swiss National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship
2nd Best poster presentation award, Swiss Chemical Society fall meeting, ETH Zurich, 16th September
SCNAT/SCS Chemistry Travel Award
ESKAS Scholarship from Swiss Federal Commission
Award of Merit cum Means Scholarship from IITM