- Akshay J Ganesh
Coming to IISER in 2016, Pradeep felt quite special being one of the first few to be fully shifted to Vithura campus. His team was responsible for setting up and organising the Chemistry Foundation Lab. While the faculty are in charge of designing the experiments for the BSMS foundation lab courses, he works on validation and tweaking protocols such that all happens smoothly within a 3-hour session including the introduction, the actual experiment and recording results. Unexpected things can still happen, previously validated protocols may and have failed during sessions. But you take a look and change things accordingly.
He also remains passionate about Mass Spectrometry, which he is currently in charge of at the Central Instrumentation Facility. On top of all his lab management duties, he is actively pursuing his PhD part-time under Bharathiar University and other side projects.
Outside of work, he enjoys farming fruits, including bananas and passion fruits. He started his own little patch near his current quarters, and it is a bonding experience with some of the other families that live nearby. He also used to go birdwatching with his kids while they were staying on campus, as different birds came with changing seasons. He wonders if it is also because he doesn't really care about city life, that he enjoys staying on campus so much.
One thing he finds exceptional about IISER is the energy of the students, always keeping things exciting. Every student has their own strengths, their specialties, which might not always be in Chemistry. So he advises them to find their own path, their own destinies, to grow in their unique way.
As for future plans, if a better opportunity arises, he will pursue it. It isn’t in his nature to remain unnecessarily stagnant at a place. He makes sure to point out that innovation is not restricted to the hifi labs and people in white lab coats, that research is also carried out by curious minds in remote areas to address problems of everyday people.
We hope his journey has inspired you to be passionate in what you pursue, be resourceful under changing circumstances and to keep some side projects that give you joy.