After completing his B.Sc and M.Sc from Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, Santu joined the Department of Chemical Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)-Kolkata for pursuing his doctoral study under the supervision of Prof. Debasish Haldar. Santu’s doctoral research focused on the molecular self-assembly of biological and bio-inspired organic building blocks into novel architectures with fascinating functionalities. After finishing his Ph.D. in 2016 and a short stay in the same group as a postdoctoral fellow, he moved to Israel. Santu has had the great privilege to work with Professor Ehud Gazit for several years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University. He used the concept of the “reductionist approach” to define the minimal modules that promote molecular recognition and drives the assembly processes into diverse nanostructures mimicking the living systems. Such remarkably simple building motifs combine the advantages of small molecules such as easy synthesis at low cost and complex properties of natural proteins. The discovery of minimal biomimetic materials endows with exciting functionalities like ultra-rigidity, and efficient piezoelectric properties comparable to Pb-based inorganic materials. In a continuous position in the Department of Oral Biology, The Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Prof. Lihi Adler-Abramovich, he explored the potential of minimal collagen mimetic peptide-based composite materials for biomedical applications. In 2021, Santu was awarded the highly prestigious Marie-Sklodowska Curie fellowship by the European Research Council (ERC) and joined Prof. Gilles Guichard’s peptidomimetic chemistry lab in the Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie (IECB), Université de Bordeaux, France. Santu was awarded the Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship by the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India in 2022 and the Ramanujan Fellowship from SERB, Govt. of India in 2023. In May 2023, Santu joined the Department of Chemistry, at Ashoka University as a Faculty Fellow.
Santu’s current research interest at Ashoka University is the development of bio-inspired smart materials for nanotechnology. As we know, nature capitalizes on self-assembly to convert chemically simple building blocks into sophisticated materials that function cooperatively in living systems. The backbone conformation and 2D, 3D structure in space of natural components is the key factor behind their specific functions. We would aim to develop artificial biomimetic systems that mimic nature structurally and functionally for emerging applications in diverse areas like green energy harvesting, bioelectricity for disease treatment, catalysis, selective encapsulation, and so on.