Ajay Kumar Bose received his BSc and MSc degrees from Allahabad University. His academic excellence led to an Overseas Fellowship that brought him to the USA in 1947. Doctoral studies under Professor John C Sheehan earned him the ScD degree from MIT in 1950. His post-doctoral work was conducted at Harvard University (with Professor RB Woodward) and at the University of Pennsylvania (with Professor Charles C Price). After two years of steroid research at the Upjohn Company in Michigan, he became an Associate Professor in 1959 and a Professor in 1963 at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, USA. In 1963 Stevens awarded him the MEng (Hons) degree. He became a Professor Emeritus in 2007.
Academic and Research Achievements: Bose conceived of a new synthesis of beta-lactams (an essential structural feature of penicillin antibiotics). He made industries aware of technological advances in instrumentation. Professor Bose devised a novel arrangement of an NMR Club and a Mass Spec Club that allowed each contributing industrial member confidential access to a specific instrument one day a week. This allowed Stevens valuable access to expensive new technology on open days without going for obtaining new funding on a large scale. Being active in research at Stevens he developed a new area of research named Cold Microwave Chemistry . This technique provided highly selective access to organic and medicinal chemistry compounds while operating at sub-zero temperatures. Of his 350 chemistry publications, papers on beta-lactams research number more than one hundred. A recent review on beta-lactams in Tetrahedron a premier journal of organic chemistry was dedicated to Professor Bose. He mentored 35 doctoral students and collaborated in his laboratory with about 100 post-doctorals and visiting scientists from various countries.
Other Contributions: In 1972 Professor Bose founded UPTAM (Undergraduate Projects in Technology and Medicine), a summer research programme at Stevens that enhanced career opportunities for mainly women and minority students. In 1983 he was the American Principal Investigator of a $2 million grant for an Indo-US programme on Bioactive Substances from the Indian Ocean . Dr Bose was the founder and Director of the Chemical Biology Education Enhancement programme at Stevens that received a $1 million grant (1988-93) from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Awards and Honours: In 1999 Dr Bose won the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring and the Dreyfus Award of the American Chemical Society for encouraging disadvantaged students into careers in chemical sciences . He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004). The Indian Chemical Society gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.