Passing of Akhilesh Rai


It is with profound sorrow and sadness that we inform you that our esteemed colleague and dedicated researcher, Akhilesh Rai, passed away. His sudden departure leaves an immeasurable void not only in our hearts but also in the scientific community where he contributed so much. Akhilesh was the head of the Nanotherapeutic subgroup, part of the advanced therapies group in the biotechnology area at CNC-UC, led by Lino Ferreira. Akhilesh Rai has completed Bachelor's (B.Sc.) in Chemistry and Botany from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University, Master's (M.Sc.) in Biotechnology from Savitribai Phule Pune University and PhD in Biotechnology from Savitribai Phule Pune University. After completing his PhD, he moved to Nottingham Trent University, U.K. to pursue postdoctoral research on European Union FP7 project. In 2010, he moved to Universite Catholique Louvain as a postdoctoral researcher for 1 year. In 2012, he joined as FCT postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Coimbra, Portugal. He was an assistant investigator at the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology from 2013 to 2017 in a project led by Lino Ferreira. Since 2018 to 2022 he attracted a CEEC position and was leading a group called “Nanotherapeutics” to design novel and smart nanoformulations for regenerative medicine applications. The group research focuses on bacterial infections and brain diseases, which have enormous social relevance. The group applies nanotechnology-based principles to advance the knowledge of interactions of nanoformulations with biological barriers and bacterial membranes. His work has been recognized by the Bluepharma-University of Coimbra Innovation award (2016). He has published more than 40 papers in international peer-reviewed journals with citations of more than 7000, and he was the inventor in 3 patents. He has supervised several PhD and master students for their theses. Akhilesh was more than a devoted member of our research center - he was a brilliant thinker, an inspiring mentor, and a tireless collaborator. His commitment to scientific excellence and his passion for discovery not only shaped his work but also positively influenced all those privileged to work alongside him. At this difficult time, we extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family, close friends, and all those who share in the pain of this loss. We acknowledge that words are insufficient to express the sadness we all feel, but we hope you find comfort in the memory of Akhilesh's valuable contributions and lasting legacy. As a community, we will honor the memory of Akhilesh by continuing the pursuit of knowledge and scientific excellence he held dear. We will strive to keep alive the flame of his enthusiasm and dedication to research. 

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