Women Scientists in IISc – Dr. Garima Jindal


Dr Garima Jindal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Organic Chemistry.  She joined IISc in 2019. Her area of research is Computational Chemistry. She did her PhD at IIT Bombay and postdoc at the University of Southern California.

  • When did you first realise that you wanted to be a scientist?

It was probably around the third year of my PhD when I realized that I could have the commitment and determination to pursue a career in academia. There wasn’t any particular moment, but small experiences and lessons that helped me choose this career.

  • What attracted you to apply to and join IISc?

Well, it’s one of the best institutes in India. Additionally, the Department of Organic Chemistry did not have anyone in my area of research. I was positive that I could add an altogether new dimension to the existing fields of research.

  • What will your research at IISc focus on?

To understand how enzymes and small molecule catalysts function at the molecular level.

  • Why did you choose this area of research?

Mechanisms are the essence of any catalytic reaction carried out either by an enzyme or any other catalyst and at present, computational methods provide an excellent way to understand them.

  • What are the big unresolved questions in your field?

Successful catalyst design using computational methods is still a challenge and a lot of research needs to be focussed in this field to move closer toward this goal. It is precisely this unmet challenge that fascinates and motivates me.

  • What is the most important advice you got that you think has helped you in your career?

Being in academia is going to be a long journey and it’s as much about failures as it is about success. To quote someone else: “A career in academia is a marathon and not a sprint”.

  • If you had any women mentors or role models in science, who were they and what do you think you’ve learned most from them?

I looked up to a colleague and dear friend of mine, Dr. Shayantani Mukherjee. It was her dedication toward research that was awe-inspiring.

  • What is the most fulfilling thing about a life in science?

The freedom to do what interests me and an opportunity to guide young minds. It gives the best of both worlds: research and teaching.

Click here for some of the Other Women in Science