Mitra was born and raised in Sri Lanka. He received a B.Sc. (Honors) in chemistry from the University of Colombo. His thesis research conducted under the advice of Prof. Dilip De Silva involved the isolation of bioactive compounds from marine algae.  He then moved to the United States to pursue his Ph.D. in chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Chuanbing Tang at the University of South Carolina. His graduate research involved sustainable polymer chemistry for the development of novel biomaterials and plastics. Transformation of natural biomass into antimicrobial polymers and sustainable monomers and polymers via controlled polymerization methods was explored for his dissertation. He then moved to conduct his postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota. There, he worked with Prof. Theresa Reineke to investigate interpolyelectrolyte complexes between cationic polymers/micelles and anionic biomolecules to deliver DNA and CRISPR/Cas9 systems. In addition, he studied stimuli-responsive polymers that can be used as gene delivery vehicles. Mitra currently works as a Lead Development Chemist at Ingevity Corporation, South Carolina. He conducts longer-term development projects to advance Ingevity Corporation’s specialty chemical product pipeline via new synthesis and application testing targeting new uses in the areas of adhesives, free-radical thermosets, UV-curable resins, and agricultural dispersants. Mitra is interested in advancing diversity and inclusion. He served as the President of ACS POLY/PMSE Student Chapter at USC and Assistant Coordinator ACS Project SEED Program at UofSC. Please visit other pages in this website to find more details about Mitra’s research and outreach endeavors.

Awards and Honors

Innovation Award, Industrial Specialties – Ingevity Corporation 2019
ACS Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research 2017
Guy F. Lipscomb Award for Excellence in Chemistry 2017
International Student Achievement Award 2017
Preparing Future Faculty Certificate 2017
James R. Durig Graduate Student Travel Award 2017
Graduate School Travel Award, University of South Carolina 2017
ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry Outstanding Poster Award 2016
College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship 2016
Eastman Analytical/Polymer Travel Award 2016
Graduate School Travel Award, University of South Carolina 2015
Presidential Award as an Environmental Pioneer, Sri Lanka 2006
SLAAS Environmental Award 2006

Skills and Expertise

Safety and chemical hygiene, organic synthesis and controlled polymerization (ATRP, RAFT, ROP, ROMP), thermoplastic and thermoset materials, chemical, thermal, and mechanical characterizations. microbiology, gene delivery, chemical commercialization, patent filing. Instruments/methods: NMR, IR, UV-vis, GPC, DSC, TGA, Rheometer, Particle analyzer, Tensile testing, DMA, SEM, TEM, Cryo-TEM, Optical tensiometry, Spin coating, Dip coating, Fluorescence microscopy, Confocal laser scanning microscopy, Flow cytometry, Antibiotic susceptibility testing; Disk diffusion, Broth dilution, Biofilm analysis, Cell culture