Uday Maitra obtained his BSc from Presidency College, Kolkata, and MSc from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur (1981). He did his PhD at Columbia University working on the remote fuctionalization of steroids, and on aqueous Diels-Alder reactions in the group of Ronald Breslow. He subsequently worked on inhibitors of chorismate synthase and purine nucleoside phosphorylase at the University of California, Berkeley, with Paul A Bartlett. After returning to India, he spent a year in the Chemistry Department at IIT Kanpur before moving to the Department of Organic Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in 1989.
Academic and Research Achievements: Maitra initiated a long-term research programme at IISc on the novel chemistry of bile acids. His initial focus was to use the readily available chiral bile acids in asymmetric synthesis and as templates for supramolecular chemistry. Gradually his focus shifted to low molecular mass gelators, which became a hot area of research by the turn of the century. His group is credited with the discovery of donor-acceptor interaction promoted gelation. In addition to his interest on hydro and organogelators, he actively pursues research in the general area of bile acid derived dendritic structures and functional, hybrid nanomaterials. He has published over 90 research papers, contributed chapters in several books, and has mentored 20 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Dr Maitra is greatly interested in Chemical Education, and actively participated in workshops for teachers and students organized by the Indian Academy of Science, JNCASR and other organizations. He is also deeply involved in the activities of the Chemical Research Society of India.
Awards and Honours: Dr Maitra is a recipient of Bronze Medal of the Chemical Research Society of India (2000), Millennium Medal the Indian Science Congress Association (2000), SS Bhatnagar Prize (2001), Professor T Navaneeth Rao National Best Chemistry Teacher Award (2005), CDRI Drug Research Award (2006), AV Rama Rao Foundation Prize Lecture (2007), JC Bose National Fellowship (2008), and MRSI Medal (2008). He was a Young Associate (1989-92) and is presently a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1998).