Dr. Abhinandan Ronnie Banerjee
MITACS Accelerate Research Fellow, Trant Team
University of Windsor
Dr. Banerjee's research interests lie in the design, synthesis, characterization, and applications – specifically, catalytic and theragnostic applications – of hard and soft nanoscale composite materials generated via novel and sustainable protocols, such as the use of “green” solvents, solventless syntheses, and the like. After completing his B.Sc. (Chem. Hons.) at Jadavpur University, he received a West Bengal Merit Fellowship for UG performance and continued his graduate studies at IIT Kharagpur, working with Prof. P. Pramanik on developing novel morphological variations of nano-phospors. After research internships in TIFR Mumbai and Helmholtz Zentrum Fur Umweltforschung (Leipzig, Germany), he was awarded a Dean's Fellowship at the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Canada) to work with Prof. Robert W. J. Scott on catalytic nanocomposites in tetraalkylphosphonium ionic liquid matrices for reactions such as hydrodeoxygenation, hydrogenation, and oxidation, used in biofuel generation from lignocellulosic biomass. His work there was widely recognized, leading to several publications in international journals, as well as research funding from VWR, Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Fellowship, and the Gerhard Herzberg Award, named in the honor of and awarded by the family of the Nobel Laureate Prof. Gerhard Herzberg. He also worked at the Canadian Light Source, Canada's only second generation synchroton, at the HXMA, SGM, and SXRMB beamlines, using XAS to shed more light on events happening at the nano-domain during catalytic processes.
In 2016, after the completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Banerjee was awarded the highly prestigious Eyes High PDF at the University of Calgary, where he worked with Prof. Simon Trudel, director of the nanoscience program at UCalgary, on functional nanomaterials that combine multiple imaging modalities and are promising multifunctional bionanoprobes. At UCalgary, Dr. Banerjee also received the T. Chen Fong PDF in Medical Imaging in 2017, allowing him to continue his work and file for a patent for a novel bionanoprobe that combines aggregation induced emission with MRI activity. Dr. Banerjee then secured a MITACS Accelerate fellowship to work with the fabulous Trant Team at UWindsor, developing novel nanocomposites of lipophilic phytochemicals for an industrial partner, as well as looking into neoteric delivery routes for nutraceutical nanoformulations. He hopes to continue his research career in academic or industrial settings in his attempts to gain more insight into the fascinating world of nanomaterials and their role in the universal human aspiration for comfort, if not happiness.