Our Team

Vijay Chandru

Vijay Chandru

Vijay Chandru is an academic and an entrepreneur. He co-founded and led Strand Life Sciences.

Vijay Chandru (PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is an academic and an entrepreneur.

He co-founded Strand Life Sciences in 2000 and served as its executive chairman till 2018. Strand was India’s first example of academic entrepreneurship. Under his leadership, Strand developed from a company focused on data science to one offering solutions in precision medicine, a change that parallels the development of molecular biology over the two decades following the human genome project. Vijay is a member of the Lancet Citizens’ Commission for Reimagining India’s Health System. He was elected Honorary President (2009-2012) of the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises (ABLE), the apex trade body that represents the Indian biotech industry. Vijay serves as an advisor to the Karnataka State Council on Science & Technology and on the Atal Innovation Mission at the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI AAYOG) in New Delhi. A technology pioneer of the World Economic Forum since 2006, Vijay was recognized among the 50 pioneers of change by the India Today magazine in 2008. He is a fellow of the Indian Academy of Science and the Indian Academy of Engineering; an INAE Distinguished Technologist; and an adjunct professor in BioSystems Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science.

Vijay trained in EE at BITS, Systems Engineering at UCLA and Operations Research at MIT. He served on the faculty of engineering at Purdue University and of computer science and automation at Indian Institute of Science. His early work on handheld computers with the Simputer Trust in the late 90’s earned him India’s Dewang Mehta award for innovation in information technology in 2001.

Rajeev Kohli

Rajeev Kohli

Rajeev Kohli is the Ira Leon Rennert Professor of Business at Columbia Business School.

Rajeev Kohli (PhD, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania) is the Ira Leon Rennert Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. 

Rajeev has been a member of the Marketing Division of Columbia Business School since 1991. He was the Chair of the Division from 2010-2013. Rajeev serves on the academic advisory board of the Chazen Institute for Global Business, and on the advisory board of the Deepak and Neera Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies. He previously served on the board of NYC Media Labs, which was founded by the city of New York to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in the media industries. Rajeev’s research areas include product development, emerging markets and discrete mathematics. He earned a PhD in Applied Economics and Decision Sciences from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1984); an MBA from Northern Illinois University (1980); and a BE (Electrical) from the Birla Institute for Science and Technology, Pilani, India (1977).

Sunil Arora

Sunil Arora

Sunil Arora is the MD of Abilities India Pistons & Rings Ltd.. He led the company’s growth into the American, European and Asian markets. 

Sunil Arora is the Managing Director of Abilities India Pistons & Rings Ltd.. Under his leadership, AIP grew from a domestic aftermarket player to an 80% export OEM supplier. It now has a global presence, including in USA, Europe, Latin America, South Asia and the far East. Abilities India offers an extensive product range with the highest technology standards, and has won several national level awards for excellence.

Sunil is the Co-Chairman, ACMA Pillar 3, Skilling & Mentoring. He was previously the Chairman, Northern Zone & Chairman, MSME Committee of ACMA, and on the Executive Committee of AIMO (UP State Board). Sunil graduated with a B.E. in Mechanical Engineer from BITS, Pilani in 1977.

Aditya Sarda

Aditya Sarda

Aditya Sarda is the Managing Director of Bhawani Plywoods Private Limited and a partner in Pioneer Timber Products.

Aditya Sarda is the Managing Director of Bhawani Plywoods Private Limited, and a partner in Pioneer Timber Products, a company that manufactures processed timber joinery. Aditya earned a BSc (Hons.) from BITS, Pilani, in 1976.

Bharat Jobanputra

Bharat Jobanputra

Bharat Jobanputra is a former Vice President of Projects at Forderanlagen Magdeburg GmbH in Canada. He led major turn key projects for leading multinational firms.

Bharat Jobanputra retired in 2016 as Vice President (Projects) at Forderanlagen Magdeburg GmbH in Canada. He was responsible for successful execution of several lump sum turn key projects for Canada’s leading multinational Oil Drilling and Mining Equipment Manufacturers for 26 years. Until 1989, he worked with India’s premier engineering consultancy firms in Mumbai. Bharat graduated with a B.E. (Hons.) in Civil Engineering from BITS, Pilani, in 1977.

Sam Sternberg

Dr. Sam Sternberg

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Samuel H. Sternberg, PhD, is an assistant professor at Columbia University, USA, in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, where he runs a research laboratory.

Dr. Sternberg is a protein-RNA biochemist and CRISPR expert. His research focuses on investigating CRISPR-Cas, and harnessing these systems for biotechnology applications ranging from viral RNA diagnostics to precision DNA editing.

Dr. Sternberg received his BA in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 2007 and PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2014. His doctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Doudna, Nobel Laureate, focused on CRISPR systems for genome engineering applications.

He has received many prestigious awards. His work has been published in Nature, Science and Cell. He is the co-author, along with Dr. Doudna, of “A Crack In Creation”, a popular science book about the discovery, development and applications of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. He is an invited speaker internationally. He was also a Tedmed 2015 speaker on the transformative power of CRISPR.

Vaijayanti Gupta

Vaijayanti Gupta

Vaijayanti Gupta is a molecular biologist trained in Genetics and Genomics. She has led teams that have developed laboratory tests for clinical diagnostics.

Vaijayanti Gupta (PhD, University of Maryland, College Park and Syngenta) is a molecular biologist who trained in Genetics and Genomics at National Institutes of Health, USA. She has worked on several cutting edge technology platforms and analysis, including microarrays, Next-Gen Sequencing, droplet digital PCR and multi-omics.

Vaijayanti’s career spans two decades in healthcare and diagnostics. She has led teams involved in the development of laboratory developed tests (LDTs) for clinical diagnostics, including liquid biopsy-based detection of cancer, from assays to market. Her current research is focused on the emerging area of CRISPR based technologies and their clinical applications.

Nimisha Gupta

Nimisha Gupta

Nimisha Gupta is an experienced computer scientist who has built products for diagnostics and drug discovery.

Nimisha Gupta (ME Computer Science, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore) is an Informatics Consultant with over twenty years of experience building products and solutions for healthcare diagnostics, drug discovery, translational research and business intelligence. Her areas of interest are Bioinformatics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. She is motivated by the potential of technology to empower patients and take better care of their health.

Suruchi Sharma

Suruchi Sharma

Suruchi Sharma is a molecular biologist, an expert in developing diagnostics assays for infectious diseases.

Suruchi Sharma (PhD, Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) worked under the guidance of Prof. Yamuna Krishnan at NCBS, Bengaluru, to develop an RNA based biosensor for imaging and quantification of cAMP, and isolated an ssDNA aptamer for cAMP using an in vitro selection method called SELEX.

Suruchi worked as Dr. D.S. Kothari postdoctoral fellow at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru in Prof. Sandhya Visweswariah’s laboratory. Here, she developed methods for quantitative imaging of cyclic nucleotides in living cells using protein biosensors, and did biochemical and functional characterization of proteins involved in cyclic nucleotide signaling in mycobacteria. She has worked on developing diagnostics assays for infectious diseases. Presently, she is deeply engaged in developing clinical applications of CRISPR.

Manasa Bagur Prakash

Manasa Bagur Prakash

Manasa Bagur Prakash (M.Sc, Bangalore University) is a molecular Biologist with more than 10 years of molecular diagnostics experience in the field of Clinical genomics for clinical testing using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).

She has worked on several sequencing projects and contributed in predicting Germline Cancer, revealing the cause of Rare, Inherited diseases and Somatic mutations through genetic testing which has added a value in making clinical decisions.

She has been associated in beta testing of various kits, assay development, validation, quality improvement and optimizing technical protocols to maximize productivity with regulatory compliance for clinical operations meeting the requirements of NABL (ISO 15189) and CAP standards.

She is motivated to be part of multifarious and vital contributions to cancer diagnosis, prevention, making a difference for patients in a dynamic, professional environment in shaping the future of healthcare and tackle future challenges.