Dr. Sunitha Grandhee is a passionate Organic Chemist by profession. She received her Masters in Chemistry with specialisation in Neem research, PhD in Organic Chemistry from IIT, Chennai, and completed her postdoctoral studies from Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio, USA, in the area of Organic Synthesis, Diabetes and Aging Research. She has worked for 28 years at BASF (the world’s largest chemical company) in USA, Germany, and at Exatec (JV of GE/Bayer) in USA, playing various senior global roles in Research, Technical Marketing, Marketing and New Business Development. She successfully managed a global team of research and marketing, looking for new and long-range opportunities for the global market. She has numerous research publications and patents to her credit. She has been invited to many conferences as a guest speaker. Dr. Grandhee has also taught Organic Chemistry as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Detroit. She is a Six Sigma Black Belt.
In 2019, Dr. Grandhee, along with her husband, successfully completed the two-year Vedanta course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Mumbai.
Since joining Chinmaya Vishwa Vidyapeeth, she has organised two large conferences-International Conference on Hybrid learning (HLC 2022) and National Conference on Indian Knowledge Systems for Youth (NYC-IKS-2023) and is involved in writing many IKS proposals and publications.
She is skilled in playing Carnatic Music on the Bansuri and has taught many students. She and her husband enjoy the outdoors and spend time camping, hiking and visiting national parks.
- BSc Chemistry, S.I.E.T College, University of Madras
- MSc Chemistry with specialisation in natural products chemistry (neem), Presidency College, University of Madras
- PhD, Organic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
- 2-year Vedanta Course, Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Mumbai
Professional Experience (Research/Teaching)
- Senior Scientist, Technical Marketing, Marketing and New Business Development, BASF USA and Germany.
- New Business Development Exatec (JV of GE and Bayer)
- Adjunct Professor of Chemistry, University of Detroit
- Vedanta teacher
- Balavihar teacher for high school students and Study-group Moderator, Chinmaya Mission Ann Arbor
- Professional: General and Organic Chemistry (synthesis and reaction mechanisms) | Natural Products | Medicinal Chemistry | Polymer Chemistry | Coatings
- Non-Professional: Advaita Vedanta | Vedic Chanting | Meditation | Bridging Vedanta (East and West) | Communication
- Research: Organic Synthesis and Reaction Mechanisms | Natural Products, Coatings Chemistry and Application | Small Molecules
- Synthesis of coumarins etc. using Claisen and Cope rearrangements
- Isolation of terpenoids from Neem
- Elucidation of crosslink Pentosidine relevance to Diabetes and Ageing
- Crosslinking in coatings
- Hydrophobic waterborne emulsions and latexes
Consultancy and Training
- Consulted with various Coating and Ink partner companies to develop products
- Trained in-house within BASF and taught coating Chemistry
- Conducted communication training as part of Toastmasters
Patents and Patent Applications
158 patents and patent applications worldwide, which includes 19 US patents and 28 US patent applications.
- “A New route to the Synthesis of methyl α-(aryloxy) methacrylates”, Sunitha K., Balasubramanian K. K. and Rajagopalan K. Tetrahedron Letters., 1984, 25(29), 3125.
- “Thermal rearrangement of α-(aryloxy) methacrylic acids-A facile synthesis of 3-methylcoumarins”, Sunitha K., Balasubramanian K. K., and Rajagopalan K. J. Org Chem 1985, 50, 1530.
- “Studies in Claisen Rearrangement. Novel thermal transformations of α-(aryloxy) methacrylic acids and their derivatives”. Gopalan B., Rajagopalan K., Sunitha K. and Balasubramanian K. K. Tetrahedron, 41(15), 1985, 3153.
- “Synthesis of 3-substituted coumarins via sequential pericyclic transformations of α-(aryloxy) methacrylic acids and enophiles”. Sunitha K., Balasubramanian K. K. and Rajagopalan K. Tetrahedron Letters., 1985, 26(36), 4393.
- “A Reinvestigation of the Claisen rearrangement of methyl χ-(aryloxy) crotonates. A convenient synthesis of 3-ethylidene benzofuran-2(3H) ones”. Sunitha K. and Balasubramanian K. K. Tetrahedron 1987, 43(17) 3269.
- “Synthesis and chemistry of 3-methylene 3,4-dihydrocoumarins”. Sunitha K. and Balasubramanian K. K. J. of Org Chem (accepted).
- “An approach to the 3,8-diazabicyclo (3.2.1) octane moiety of Naphthridinomycin and Quinocarcin via 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of photochemically generated azomethine ylides Garner P., Sunitha K., Shantilal T., Tetrahedron Letters, 1988, 29, 3525.
- “An asymmetric approach to Naphthridinomycin and quinocarcin via a remarkably selective intramolecular 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction” Garner P., Sunitha K., Wen-Bin Ho, Youngs W. J., Kennedy V. O. & Djebli A. J. Org. Chem, 1989, 54, 2041.
- “Mechanism of Formation of the Maillard Protein Crosslink Pentosidine” Sunitha K. Grandhee and Vincent Monnier J. Biol. Chem. 1991, 25, 266(18) pp 11649.
- “Development of an Asymmetric Approach to the 3,8-Diazabicyclo [3.2.1] octane Moiety of Quinocarcin via Intermolecular 1,3-Dipolar Cycloadditions of Photochemically Generated Azomethine Ylides” Garner P., Ho. W. B.; Grandhee S. K., Youngs W. J. and Kennedy W. O., J. Org. Chem. 56,5893 1991
- “Pentosidine” Sell D. R, Nagaraj R. H. Grandhee Sunitha, Odetti P., Lapolla, Fogarty and Monier V. Diabetes 1991, Dec 7(4) 239-51.
- Maillard Reaction-mediated molecular damage to the extracellular matrix and other tissue proteins in diabetes, ageing and uremia. Monnier V. M., Sell D. R., Nagaraj R. H., Grandhee S. K., Odetti P., Miyata S., Said Ibrahim V. M. Diabetes 1992 36-41.
- Maillard reaction-mediated molecular damage to the extracellular matrix and other tissue proteins in diabetes, ageing, and uremia – Monnier V. M., Sell D. R., Nagaraj R. H., Grandhee S. K. Proceedings of the XIV International Diabetes Federation Satellite Symposium on Macrovascular Complications of Diabetes Mellitus.
- Pentosidine: a molecular marker for the cumulative damage to proteins in diabetes, aging, and uremia. Sell, D. R., Nagaraj, R. H., Grandhee, S. K., Odetti, P., Lapolla, A., Fogarty, J., Monnier, V. M. Diabetes Metab. Rev 1991 vol. 7(4), page 239-51
- Fluoride-Catalyzed Deblocking: A Route to Polymeric Urethanes. Madhu Sheri, Umesh Choudhary, Sunitha Grandhee, Todd Emrick, Angewandte Chemie Vol. 57, Issue 17, April 16, 2018, Pages 4599-4602.
TEXTBOOK CHAPTER titled ‘Applications for Automotive Coatings’ authored by Dr. Sunitha Grandhee in the book titled “Polymer Dispersions and Their Industrial Applications” published by Wiley-VCH. March 2002
- Tetrahedron Letters
- Journal of Coatings Technology
- Indian Journal of Chemistry
Guest Lectures, Papers Presentations & Conference
- American Coatings Conference, Charlotte (2010)
- FOCUS coating conference, Detroit (2010)
- Short course Emulsion Polymerization Applications, at FSCT Philadelphia (2003)
- Speaker at Engineering Society of Detroit Coating Conference (1998)
- Speaker at the FOCUS Detroit Society of Coatings Technology (1997)