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   Rajan (Lab Head)

How I got here: 

After my almost 8 years of intensive research training at HKUST in Prof Pei Yean Qian’s larval biology laboratory, I have become faculty member at SWIMS and HKU – thanks to Prof Gray A Williams and several of my academic mentors, referees and friends. My wife Sangeetha was a key driver for this timely transition. 

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What I did before joining this Lab?

I started my research carrier and training as larval biologist in India (University of Madras and Atomic Power Station, Kalpakkam) and then moved to Hong Kong (HKUST) for advanced training – and now at HKU. The smooth and successful journey was not possible without the lifting help from 100’s of  my mentors and academic friends – especially Profs T Subramonium, KVK Nair and VP Venugopalan (my PhD advisors), N Saravanane and PS Murthy (my PhD roommates and colleagues and many more), Pei Yuan Qian, Staley Lau and Tillman Harder (my Postdoc mentors) and Gray Williams, David Dudgeon and Rudolf Wu (my mentors at HKU)  -  All these 15 years of research training, I was always playing with larvae of various marine invertebrates – and eventually have become a dedicated and determined larval biologist. 

What I am doing now?

Trying to pass all my research skills and knowledge to younger generation through guiding graduate students research and educating under-graduate students. Also enjoying my role as mentor for junior colleagues at HKU. Ultimately, I am determined to do research on oyster aquaculture that results in a visible economical benefit and impact on growers of this region.  


My contribution to the Lab:

Very much honoured to be a leader of the gifted lab family with over 25 past and present graduate students, research assistants and post docs – they are amazingly talented and I am extremely lucky to have them around during my tenure at HKU. This lab family members are my bread-and-butter.  Our lab was lucky to have almost 100% success rate in grant applications over the past 10 years, especially with RGC/UGC – amazing result. Our success in organizing several conferences, symposiums and workshops – are all outstanding memories and that helped to us to develop academic friendship and collaborations around the world. Overall, we are all on right track to achieve our final goal – impactful research and fruitful productive graduate training and education.



Cultural performances at the School of Biological Sciences, Christmas parties

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