Hirendra N Banerjee
Elizabeth City State University, USA
Dr. Banerjee has a host of mentors who have influenced his development as a scientist and a person. He has been fortunate to have worked with a number of prominent scientists and researchers, including his Ph.D. advisor Dr. S. Dutta, an “excellent mentor” who continues to teach and conduct research at the age of 80; Dr. Lawrence DeLucas, the Director of the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, who supported Banerjee and taught him to write grants in his lab, and with whom Banerjee continues to collaborate with today; and Dr. Günter Blobel, a Nobel prizewinner for his discoveries in the field of hereditary genetics, with whom Banerjee worked at Rockefeller University. “He inspired me a lot and still does,” Banerjee notes. Banerjee was also inspired and influenced by several other people, including Dr. S. Das at the University of Calcutta, his master’s advisor Paul Bullen, and Dr. Ronald Blackmon, now the vice chancellor at ECSU. Banerjee has received some additional inspiration from within his own family: his father-in-law, Dr. B. MookherJee, is a pioneering chemist who developed the patented “living flower technology”.
The field of environmental science as researchers and activists,” he says. “Environmental hazards affect us all, but most especially minorities…they affect us in agriculture, fishing and other areas. Current calamities are due to environmental change. We’re responsible for neglecting the environment, and the results that occur. We need strong representation from the minority community in the practice of environmental science.”