Born and raised in India, Soumitra did his BS-MS in Chemistry and Biology at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune. In the US, Soumitra completed his doctoral studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign under the supervision of Prof. Scott Denmark. His research was focused on elucidating the mechanism of the Soai reaction – an extraordinary transformation displaying the unique phenomenon of amplifying asymmetric autocatalysis. Currently, he is a postdoctoral scholar in Prof. Frances Arnold’s group at the California Institute of Technology, where his work is focused on the development of new-to-nature nitrene transfer reactions with hemeproteins. In 2020, competing as a solo participant, Soumitra was the co-winner of the Merck Compound Challenge, a retrosynthesis competition where teams from around the world compete to come up with a route for a target small molecule.