Ramesh Giri Joins Faculty of Department of Chemistry

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14 January 2019

The Penn State Department of Chemistry is excited to announce that Professor Ramesh Giri will be joining the department faculty starting July 1, 2019 as the Weinreb Early Career Professor.


Dr. Giri earned a B.S. and an M.S. from Tribhuvan University in Nepal, an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, and a Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He comes to Penn State from the University of New Mexico (UNM), where he is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.


Dr. Philip Bevilacqua, head of the Department of Chemistry, said “We are thrilled to have Ramesh Giri join our faculty.  He is a rising star in the field of synthetic organic chemistry.  Ramesh has pioneered novel directions in cross-coupling methodologies using copper and nickel.  He has a keen intellect and ability to identify unsolved problems in the field.”


The Giri research group is particularly interested in identifying and solving chemical problems that have broad impacts in the areas of energy, materials, and health. Their work has the potential to revolutionize the way scientists produce complex molecules by making the production of such molecules cheaper and faster, and more efficient. Over the last six years at UNM, the Giri research group has been working to develop more sustainable processes for creating these molecules. The group has developed innovative strategies that make it possible for scientists to form more than one bond at a time when manufacturing the molecules while using sustainable and cost-effective first row transition metals (Fe, Co, Ni, and Cu).


Dr. Giri’s work has the potential to impact the production of many different materials, including pharmaceutical drugs. In the long term, his research could help lower the cost of these drugs to consumers by making production quicker and more cost-effective for pharmaceutical companies. So far, the group’s work has yielded many exciting results, including a new process that allows for synthetic modifications of two commercial drugs.


Dr. Giri is looking forward to continuing this groundbreaking research at Penn State. “Our long-term goal is to change the way people make complex molecules,” Dr. Giri said of his group’s future work at Penn State.


While at UNM, Dr. Giri also started an outreach program through his lab to encourage underrepresented high school students to pursue careers in STEM fields. Inspired by Dr. Giri’s own experiences of growing up in a rural area of Nepal, the program was designed to motivate students to go to college and begin preparing them for careers in the sciences. Dr. Giri noted that many of the student’s parents never even completed high school, making it all the more important to show them what a career in the sciences could look like. Dr. Giri is eager to start a similar program through his lab at Penn State.


Dr. Giri is looking forward to working with the other faculty members within the department and joining the Penn State community. “The collaborative environment is one of the things that drove me to come here,” Dr. Giri said when asked what attracted him to Penn State. “Ramesh has the right combination of excellence in research and natural leadership to help Penn State Chemistry continue its tradition of excellence in Organic Chemistry”, added Dr. Bevilacqua.


Please join the Department of Chemistry in welcoming Dr. Giri to Penn State.



Maria Landschoot

Communications Coordinator

Department of Chemistry

Penn State University

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