Dr Rajesh Patkar joined the Biological and Life Sciences division at the School of Arts and Sciences as an Assistant Professor in the summer of 2020. A biologist by training, he first worked with Professor Bharat Chattoo on ‘Genetically Engineered Disease Resistance in Rice Plants’ while completing his PhD at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India.
During a successful postdoctoral stint with Professor Naweed Naqvi at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory in Singapore, he developed an interest in chemical biology. Here, he made a breakthrough discovery on how a fungal pathogen has evolved to make molecular mimicry in order to hijack host plant immunity.
Professor Patkar returned to MS University of Baroda in August 2016 with a prestigious Ramalingaswami Fellowship to continue his research in understanding ‘Chemical Communication involved at the Plant-Pathogen Interface’. Alongside his fundamental research activity at MS University of Baroda, his team successfully engineered a scientific technology towards enhanced yield of a crop plant. Lately, he has been awarded a DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Intermediate Fellowship to work on understanding the molecular basis of interspecies interaction in an animal model of fungal disease.