Amravati: Mahendra Rai , a senior professor (former head of biotechnology department and UGC-Basic Science Research Faculty, Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University), has been chosen among the world’s top 2% scientists by Stanford University .
The report has been published in PLOS Biology , a reputed international journal. Though the list includes majority of the scientists from IITs and IISc, the universities are not behind. The list was prepared on the basis of standard citations index, h-index, co-authorship, and a composite indicator.
The research contribution of Rai, hailing from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh and now resident of Amravati, has been considered in nanoscience and nanotechnology category.
Professor Rai has to his credit more than 400 research papers in Indian and foreign peer reviewed journals, 61 h-index with 22,882 citations, 60 books published by reputed publishers such as Springer, Elsevier, CRC, Taylor and Francis, Wiley and Scientific Publisher, and more than 102 popular articles.
He says nanotechnology is a highly interdisciplinary area and is fast emerging in every field of science. A member of several scientific societies, Rai’s main research interest currently is green synthesis of metal nanoparticles, particularly using fungi, and their applications as nanoantimicrobials against multidrug resistance microbes.
He believes that silver nanoparticles are the new generation of antimicrobials because of their potential against human pathogenic microbes and also for possibility of solving the drug resistance problem by using a combination of the silver nanoparticles with different antibiotics.
His research is highly interdisciplinary and combines microbial biotechnology with nanotechnology. Recently, he has taken interest in use of nanoparticles for the management of plant diseases.
Rai has received several prestigious awards, including the father TA Mathias Award (1989) from the All India Association for Christian Higher Education, and the Medini Award by the Government of India.
He has visited Brazil under TWAS-UNESCO Associateship (2002, Italy ), was a visiting scientist at the Department of Bioenergetics, University of Geneva, Switzerland (2004), and under Hungarian Scholarship visited the Department of Plant Protection, Debrecen University, Hungary (2006, 2008, 2015). He was a visiting professor at Department of Microbiology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun Poland (2012, 2015) and a visiting scientist, Biological Chemistry Laboratory, State University of Campinas, under Indo-Brazil programme (2009-2012), and in 2013 under FAPESP programme.
In 2015 (October- November), he was a visiting scientist at Nanotechnology Centre, VSB Technological University of Ostrava. In 2019, he was a visiting researcher in Federal University of Piaui, Teresina, Brazil.
Recently, he has been invited by Nicolaus Copernicus University of Poland.
Rai serves as a referee for 20 international journals and is a member of the editorial board of 10 national and international journals. He also serves as associate editor of IET Nanobiotechnology. He has more than three decades of teaching and research experience.
Rai has numerous international collaborations, including Argentina , Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Germany , Russia , Brazil and USA .
“After retirement in 2017, UGC awarded me UGC-BSR fellowship. Polish government has invited me as a visiting researcher. I will visit after pandemic,” Rai told TOI.