Chairpersons of CRF

Material Science Division & Life Science Division

Prof. Susanta Banerjee is the Chairperson of CRF (Material Science Division) and Professor of Materials Science Centre at IIT Kharagpur. His research areas includes Polymer synthesis, Fluorinated high performance polymers, Conductive polymers, polymeric membranes, Fuel cells.

He has more than 28 years of experience in Research & Development. His research interest includes the development of new polymers for low-k applications, membrane materials for gas and liquid separation, proton exchange membrane materials for fuel cells and polymers for photovoltaic and optoelectronic applications. His research work has resolved many of the key issues in membrane based separation and he has successfully demonstrated new polymers that showed both high permeability and selectivity. His work has given a new direction in developing high proton conductive membranes for fuel cell application.

Prof. Nihar Ranjan Jana is the Chairperson of CRF (Life Science Division) and Head, Department of Biotechnology and Chairperson, School of Bio Science at IIT Kharagpur. His research areas includes Neurodegenerative disorders, Protein quality control mechanisms and Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity.
Prof. Jana with his researchers and associates are working on Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) which affect millions of people worldwide. Regardless of numerous attempts to find a treatment approach, therapeutics for these devastating diseases is yet to be discovered. One of the common pathological hallmarks of most age-related neurodegenerative disorders is the accumulation of mutant disease proteins as inclusion bodies. Appearance of aggregates of the misfolded mutant disease proteins suggest that cells are unable to efficiently degrade them, and failure of clearance leads to the severe disturbances of the cellular protein quality control system. Furthermore, the cellular ability to maintain protein homeostasis declines with age. Therefore the mechanism that restores protein homeostasis either by up-regulating the function of chaperones or enhancing the clearance of mutant disease proteins could be promising therapeutic approach.
In his laboratory, they are using HD and AD as a model system to understand the mechanistic basis of impaired protein homeostasis and how that can be restored. He have reported that Ube3a function as a cellular protein quality control ubiquitin ligase and involved in the clearance of misfolded disease proteins (J. Biol. Chem., 2008, 2009 and Neurobiol. Aging,2013). Deficiency of Ube3a in HD mice brain also increased global aggregate load and aggravated HD pathogenesis (Hum. Mol. Genet., 2014). In collaboration with Scientist at IACS, Kolkata, we are also using nanoparticle-based strategy to prevent fibrillation and aggregation of amyloid proteins (ACS Appl. Mat. Inter, 2016, 2017).
His laboratory also uses biochemical, cell biological and genetic approaches to understand the physiological function of Ube3a and how its gain as well as loss of function is linked with autism and autism spectrum disorders. We are also screening pharmacological inducers of Ube3a, which might be useful in the therapy of learning and memory disorders.

Prof. Narayan Chandra Das is the Vice-Chairman of CRF (Material Science Division) and Professor of Rubber Technology Center at IIT Kharagpur. His research areas includes Carbon dots, sensors and devices, Green Tyre Technology, Conductive polymers, Thermoplastic Elastomers & Vulcanizates, Polymer processing and composites
Das's research focuses on nantotechnology innovations for future energy, electronics, food packaging, different rubber products including tire, cable etc. His interdisciplinary research program integrates nanomaterials synthesis including carbon nanotubes, nanowires, nanoparticles etc., characterization, processing and applications. His recent research activities include synthesizing nanocomposites, thermoplastics elastomers and fabricating flexible sensors, transistors. He is also working on conductive polymer nanocomposites, rheology/morphology and phase behavior of polymer blends, and developing novel techniques in-situ small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and neutron scattering (SANS) on polymer/nanomaterials/protein/virous, etc. Dr. Das has published more than 150 papers in international referred journals, 45 conference papers and 01 books on nanomaterials and their nanocomposites. He has guided 10 PhD students and 19 Master students. Currently 12 PhD students, 4 M.Tech students are working in his group.

Few technological major areas are:
- Development of new generation tire compounds
-Nanocomposites for food packaging, radiation absorbing, sensors, membrane, medical and energy storage applicaitons.
-Smart textile materials for microwave/X-ray absorbing applications.
-Recycle of waste rubber: extraction of oil and carbon black
-TPE/TPV based EMI shielding materials for automatice and aerospace applications.


List of Laboratories