Tenure: 12.06.2008 - 04.09.2018
As a Founding Director of IISER Bhopal for more than 10 years (2008-2018), Professor Singh set up the whole campus in 200 acres land from scratch. He served as the Mentor Director of IISER Berhampur, Director of SPA Bhopal (additional charge) and the Chairman of BoG, NITTTR Bhopal. He also held the additional charge of Directorship of MANIT Bhopal and the Mentor Director of IIIT Bhopal. He had been a Member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (SAC to PM) during 2009-2014.
Born on 9th September, 1959 in Anantpur, a village near Nizamabad in the district of Azamgarh (U.P.), Vinod Singh had his early education from his native place. He passed high school and intermediate from the Wesley Inter College and B.Sc. (1978) from D.A.V. College, all from Azamgarh. He did M.Sc. in Chemistry from BHU (1980) and Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr Sukh Dev from Malti-Chem Research Centre, Nandesari, Baroda (Degree awarded in 1986 by M.S. University).
Professor Singh spent 2 years for his postdoctoral work in Canada (1985-1987) at the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia. He subsequently moved to the U.S.A. to do another postdoctoral work (1987-1990) at Harvard University with Professor E. J. Corey, Nobel Laureate. After a brief stint as a Senior Scientist at Neurogen Corporation, CT, USA, Vinod Singh joined IIT Kanpur in 1990 as an Assistant Professor and rose to the rank of Professor, a position he currently holds.
Professor Singh's research falls in the area of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, more specifically, asymmetric synthesis. He has developed several new chiral ligands/catalysts for enantioselective reactions. One of the chiral catalysts developed in his laboratory, called "Singh's Catalyst", is an efficient chiral organocatalyst for enantioselective aldol reaction in aqueous medium. He has accomplished total synthesis of several bioactive natural products. His work is documented in more than 150 research publications. Furthermore, Professor Singh has guided 33 Ph.D. students and currently has more than 12 students and postdoctoral fellows working with him.
Professor Singh has been recognised with several awards and honours such as Swarnajayanti Fellowship Award (1998), Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (2004), and Padma Shri (2014), among others. In addition, he has been elected as a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (FNA), Indian Academy of Sciences (FASc), National Academy of Sciences (FNASc), and The World Academy of Sciences (FTWAS).
Professor Singh is an Editor of an Elsevier journal - Tetrahedron Lett. He is a Member, Editorial Advisory Board of Org. Lett. and J. Org. Chem. He was conferred upon D.Sc. (honoris causa) by Jabalpur University in 2012.