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Dr Chandrashekhar V Kulkarni

Senior Lecturer
School of Natural Sciences

Chandrashekhar (Shekhar) is leading a ‘Lipid Nanostructures Labratory’ at the University of Central Lancashire. He obtained his PhD in 'Chemical Biology' from University of London with a Marie Curie Fellowship (2005-2008) hosted by Imperial College London (UK). Subsequently he worked as a postdoc at University of Graz (Austria), University of Bayreuth (Germany) and University of Cambridge (UK). Shekhar's main research interests include drug nanocarriers, formulations, biomembranes, self-assembly, lipid nanostructures, hybrid nanomaterials and biomaterials.

In the era of bio- and nano-technology there is a strong demand for technological development of novel materials and their applications while it is also important to understand underlying principles, for instance, relevant mechanisms and essential biological processes.

Shekhar's research sits on such an interface of classical and applied research disciplines. His research is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative, based on a common theme of 'lipid self-assembly: significance and applications'. He has published several research articles, edited books and presented in various conferences. Shekhar is a member of editorial board of some journals and book series. He has reviewed more than 100 articles from 30+ journals.

He also acted as a referee for several national and international funding applications. Shekhar teaches and conducts practicals on various topics in Medicinal Chemistry, Nanotechnology based Chemistry, Formulation Chemistry, Material Science and Frontiers in these areas.

Shekhar obtained his doctoral (PhD) degree in “Chemical Biology” on the topic ‘Membrane Protein Crystallization using Lipid Cubic Phases’ at Imperial College London, UK (2005-2008) with Marie-Curie Fellowship. Subsequent post-doctoral work in Graz-Austria involved projects on hierarchically ordered lipid self-assemblies (e.g. nanostructured emulsions) and hydrogels (films). Postdoc projects in Bayreuth-Germany comprised the development of crowded cellular systems using viscoelastic hydrogels. The last Postdoc at Cambridge-UK included work on fabrication of nanobilayers and hybrid nanopores for translocations of biopolymers (DNA).

Prior to PhD, he worked on studying structure-property-processing relationship of complex fluids (polymers, polymer-clay nanocomposites, and dairy foods). Shekhar’s overall research work has resulted into a decent number of publications (40+) and presentations (about 80+) in a relevant scientific community. Shekhar’s research expertise is highly interdisciplinary with specialization in “Applied Materials and Biophysical Chemistry”. His work involves basic research in these areas, but given the timely need, it has evolved into more applied themes having a great potential for spin-off businesses, entrepreneurship and industrial applications. For instance, a work on lipid-based formulations is useful for drug, gene and nutrient delivery for pharmaceutics, food and cosmetics industries (he has published papers in these areas).

His research team’s recent hydrogel-lipid hybrid nanomaterials are useful for sustained drug release as well as edible antimicrobial coatings on fruits and vegetables. Not only materials development and their applications, but projects also involve process development and optimization. For instance, he has developed efficient and user-friendly (3-D printed) set-up to produce vesicles (liposomes), he developed temperature-controlled slides for confocal microscope. Recently his group has developed electroformation method to prepare cubosomes (lipid particles) and also a method to formulate ghee (butter oil), which happens to be a cheap source of food-grade lipids.