Dr Vijay Chandru, Commissioner at Lancet Citizen’s Commission
Vijay Chandru is an academic and an entrepreneur. His academic career in decision sciences spanned over four decades at Purdue University and at the Indian Institute of Science.
Strand Life Sciences, founded by four Professors Vijay Chandru, Ramesh Hariharan, Swami Manohar, and V. Vinay is a technology company that develops software to carry out research in life sciences. It covers different fields of study including data mining, predictive modeling, computational chemistry, software engineering, bioinformatics, and research biology in the process.
TBCY features today, the co-founder of Strand Life Sciences who shares his journey, his knowledge, and everything about his vision, difficulties, and his ideas. Tune in to know what’s inside.
About Dr. Vijay Chandru
Dr. Vijay Chandru, a Ph.D. in operations research, is currently the Commissioner at Lancet Citizens Commission on reimagining India’s health system. He is also the co-founder and chairman of Strand Life Sciences. He was teaching in the US, then moved to Bangalore where he taught at IISc, and finally started his entrepreneurial journey by setting up businesses and his company here.
What prompted Dr. Vijay Chandru to start his company?
He returned to India in 1992 and joined as a professor at IISc in Bangalore. He says that he got to meet some people with innovative ideas and thereafter started creating a different kind of lab with three other faculty members.
He talks about what prompted him to build a start-up company and the day Ratan Tata addresses the court of the Indian Institute of Science. There was plenty of research work going on in the public sector but no such effect was visible in the private sector. They commercialized two technologies developed in their lab in 2000 with the institute’s approval.
Dr. Vijay Chandru wanted to bring technological advancements which led him to start his entrepreneur journey. He created the Simputer (a handheld computer). He acknowledges the support of the people who have been working with him and says that it was his optimism that made all the research and results he has seen in them possible.
When asked about whether after so much research we have a clear understanding of human genomes, etc. he tells where the problem of understanding is. And according to him, it’s understanding the working of biological systems.
Dr. Vijay also shares the experiences of his childhood, his interest in theater, and tells what influenced him to join the field of science and engineering.
At the end of the video, our host Sandeep Tyagi engages Dr. Vijay Chandru in a fun way asking some interesting and personal questions. Listen to this very informative conversation wherein you’ll get insights and scientific knowledge. Plus, some things about entrepreneurship.
Vijay Chandru is an academic and an entrepreneur. His academic career in decision sciences spanned over four decades at Purdue University and at the Indian Institute of Science. His training in electrical engineering at BITS (Pilani) and operational research at UCLA and MIT led him to explore academic research at the interface of computational mathematics with geometry, logic, machine learning, biology, and heritage art. A fellow of both academies of science and engineering in India, he is a distinguished technologist of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, an adjunct professor in BioSystems Science and Engineering, and Executive Advisor to the new ART Park (AI and Robotics Tech Park) at the Indian Institute of Science. At Strand Life Sciences, India’s first example of academic entrepreneurship, Chandru served as founding executive chairman from inception in 2000 till 2018. The evolution of Strand from data science to precision medicine reflected the field of molecular biology in the two decades following the human genome project. He serves on the councils of the biotech industry apex body (ABLE), of science and technology (KSCST), and on the vision groups for biotechnology (VGBT) as well as science and technology (VGST) in Karnataka. Chandru co-founded the Simputer Trust which designed and manufactured India’s first indigenous handheld computers at the start of the millennium. He is currently associated with the International Institute of Art, Culture and Democracy (IIACD) where he pursues his interests in digital heritage and with OPFORD Foundation a platform for orphan diseases and genomic medicine. A technology pioneer of the World Economic Forum since 2006, Chandru was recognized among the 50 pioneers of change by the India Today magazine in 2008.