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About Avik.

Dr. Avik Samanta is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. His research addresses the fundamental question of how chemical reactions and self-assembly processes are affected by the crowded environment of macromolecules and their confinements. His research also involves the development of biomimetic systems in a bottom-up approach using various tools from DNA nanoscience, polymer chemistry and supramolecular chemistry that demonstrate basic life-like behaviors such as adaptation, the establishment of communication and evolution. His group also aims to develop artificial systems that are out-of-equilibrium and function through the efficient use of chemical fuels.

After graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Avik joined Prof. Bart Jan Ravoo's lab (University of Muenster, Germany) to study complex supramolecular systems and soft nanomaterials based on amphiphilic macrocycles and various photoresponsive molecules. After his Ph.D. and a postdoctoral tenure in the lab of Prof. Fraser Stoddart (Northwestern University, USA), Avik returned back to Germany as a Humboldt Fellow in the lab of Prof. Andreas Walther (University of Freiburg & JGU Mainz), where he developed various DNA-based synthetic biosystems and metabolic crowded protocells.


2024 onwards

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India

Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry

Systems Chemistry, Soft Nanomaterials, Liquid-liquid Phase Separation, Bio-inspired Nanosystems, DNA Nanotechnology

Professional Research & Teaching Experiences


Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India

Assistant Professor at the Centre for Nanotechnology

DNA Nanotechnology, Soft Nanomaterials.


University of Mainz, Germany

Senior Research Scientist (DFG-funded)

DNA Nanoscience, Liquid-liquid Phase Separation, Synthetic Biosystems, Macromolecular Crowding, Artificial Cells

Working Projects:

  • Viscoelastic phase behavior of biomacromolecules.

  • Peptide-based reaction networks


University of Freiburg, Germany

Alexander von Humboldt Fellow

Polymer Chemistry, DNA Nanoscience, Synthetic Biosystems

Notable Works:​

  • Design and synthesis of metabolic protocells with downstream functional and morphological adaptation processes.

  • Dissecting various phase separation pathways for DNA multiblock polymers.

  • DNA-based reaction networks in macromolecular confinements.


Northwestern University, USA

Postdoctoral Scientist

Macrocyclic Chemistry, Stereoisomerism and Molecular Topology

Notable Work:​

  • Translating chirality from molecular level to superstructures in flexible macrocycles.



University of Muenster, Germany

Ph.D. in Organic Supramolecular Chemistry

Organic Supramolecular Chemistry, Soft Nanomaterials, Photoswitches, Macrocycles

Doctoral Thesis: “Self-assembly of Soft Nanomaterials by Molecular Recognition of Cyclodextrins.”

Grade: magna cum laude (0.3, Overall); summa cum laude (the highest honor) on the thesis (0.0).

Notable Works:​

  • Design and synthesis of light-responsive artificial glycocalyx based on amphiphilic cyclodextrin nanocontainers.

  • Magnetic separation technique for purifying the protein from a mixture. using supramolecular complexes.

  • Synthesis of polymer-caged nanocapsules using cyclodextrin vesicles as templates.

  • Design of artificial membrane with phototunable transmembrane permeability.


Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India

Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Chemistry

Supramolecular Chemistry, Physical Organic Chemistry, Photochemistry, Spectroscopy

Master Thesis: “Aggregation and Gelation Properties in PAMAM and Fréchet-Type Dendritic Structures.”


Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) in Chemistry

Major in Chemistry. Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science as auxiliary subjects.

Fellowships & Awards 





Member of Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and Research Fund, UK.

Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, Germany.

Outstanding Reviewer, Molecular Systems Design & Engineering, Royal Society of Chemistry, UK.

Evonik Prize for the Best Publication, Department of Chemistry (Jointly with H. Schenkel), Münster, Germany.

Doctoral Scholarship, NRW International Graduate School of Chemistry (selected among 18 from 503 worldwide applicants), Münster, Germany.

Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), CSIR (All India Rank 76 out of 1067 candidates), India.



Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (All India Rank 52), India

Institute merit scholarship for outstanding academic performance, IIT Madras, India.




Doctoral Fellowship from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai,  India.

Selected Invited Talks


Invited Talks at Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR), Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP), Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK), Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur (IITJ), NISER Bhubaneswar, TIFR Hyderabad,  among others.


Invited Talk at Mini symposium, Interfacing Biomaterials: From Dynamic Materials to Bioprinting, Max Planck Institute For Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany.


Invited Talk at Soft Nano Science (SON), University of Münster, Germany.


Invited Talk at the 122nd International Titisee Conference (Life 2.0) by Boehringer Ingelheim Fond, Germany.


Research Talk at the EUSMI Soft Matter Composite Annual Meeting (virtual).




Invited Talk on the Research Day organized by GDCh Jungchemikerforum, University of Mainz, Germany.

Research Talk at the International MaxSynBio Symposium, Max Planck Research Network, Dresden, Germany.

Invited Talk at the 17th International Cyclodextrin Symposium, Saarland University, Saarbrucken, Germany.

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