Dr. Tejas K. Shah is a Discovery Research Scientist at Corteva Agriscience. He obtained his B.A. in Chemistry and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from Rutgers University in 2011. At Rutgers, he performed undergraduate research with Professor Daniel Seidel. He went on to complete his doctoral studies in Professor Neil K. Garg’s laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles. His dissertation focused on utilizing heterocyclic arynes in organic synthesis and exploration of nickel-catalyzed activation of amide C–N bonds. After graduating in 2016, Tejas joined Corteva Agriscience to tackle global concerns such as decreased crop yields and growing pest resistance by creating novel environmentally-safe agrochemicals for our farmers and consumers around the world.
Tejas is deeply involved in educating students, promoting inclusion, and performing outreach in the community. One of the hallmarks of Tejas’ time at UCLA was the development of online tutorials called BACON. These tutorials connect organic chemistry to topics in human health and pop culture. Initially created for UCLA students, Tejas played an instrumental role in creating global access to these tutorials. To date, they have been used by >40,000 students and over 100 universities around the globe. In addition, Tejas led the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS) at UCLA. The group organizes a seminar series for academic professors from diverse backgrounds to present their research and talk about diversity. OCDS also has a broad impact to the local community by bringing under-represented minority community college students from the Los Angeles area to campus. The organization provides opportunities for these students to listen to research presentations and meet with UCLA students and faculty to provide inspiration and knowledge about graduate school and potential career paths. After leaving graduate school, Tejas continues to volunteer his time supporting diversity and education. As a member of the ACS Younger Chemists Committee, Tejas helps develop national meeting programing to promote diversity in academia and industry. In addition, his enthusiasm for teaching has led him to develop an informational poster on recent agrochemicals to educate chemists. Tejas hopes to teach people small molecules have an impact on everything around them including food, medicine, automobiles, and the environment.