第7回京都大学 物質－細胞統合システム拠点 Debashis Ghosh先生
今回ご紹介するのは、生体内酵素を模倣した分子触媒を合成し、二酸化炭素と水からメタノールを合成する人工光合成モデルの研究にチャレンジされている京都大学 物質-細胞統合システム拠点(iCeMS) 特定研究員 Debashis Ghosh先生です。（担当コーディネータの大西がインタビューしました。）
CD：Please introduce yourself about your carrier at first.
Ghosh先生：I am Debashis Ghosh from India. I did my PhD from CSIR-Central Salt and Marine Chemical Research Institute, Gujarat, India. During my PhD I have been working on the development of chiral catalysts for asymmetric C-C bond formation reaction. Presently, I am working as postdoc in iCeMS, Kyoto University on CO2 reduction to obtain formic acid and methanol by using organometallic complexes as catalysts.
CD：What do you think is the difference in approach to doing research between India and Japan?
Ghosh先生：In India as well as in Japan group discussion is considered as an important way to solve the problems regarding the research. In India we have to spend more time for analyzing our experimental results due to less availability of the instruments. In Japan instrumental facility is good. In India we have to wait at least one month or sometimes two months for any reagent to get in hand whereas in Japan we can receive any reagent in hand within a week. And of course research grants from the governments is much higher in Japan than in India.
CD：Please explain your subject in this project. How is your experience you had so far related to your subject in this project?
Ghosh先生：In this project my work is to develop efficient catalyst for the 6-electrons reduction of CO2 to methanol. During my PhD in India I had already developed some efficient chiral organocatalysts as well organometallic catalysts for asymmetric C-C bond formation reaction. Thus I believe that I will be able to develop efficient catalyst for the 6-electrons reduction of CO2 to methanol.
CD：What do you think molecular catalysts and artificial photosynthesis have a possibility of?
Ghosh先生：The most advantage of the molecular catalyst is that it can work under homogeneous condition. Thus we can monitor the reaction and sometimes the reaction mechanism is possible to explain. Of course the reported molecular catalysts have very low activity towards artificial photosynthesis. We have to overcome this problem. We have to remember that natural photosynthesis also occurs under homogeneous and ambient condition. Thus artificial photosynthesis can efficiently be done by using molecular catalysts in near future.
Analyzing the synthesized catalyst using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)
CD：Please let us know what your goal is as a researcher in future.
Ghosh先生：Increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is one of the most serious issues for global warming. It is now high time to control the CO2 emission in the atmosphere by utilizing it into some useful chemicals or fuels. I am especially interested in the reduction of CO2 into methanol. Methanol, which is a liquid and is easy to deliver, has a great possibility as a fuel and C1 chemical material because of its easiness to convert C2, C3 and C4 chemicals. I have little experience in the developments of molecular catalysts for C-C bond formation reaction. Thus, I want to continue my research carrier towards the development of molecular catalysts for artificial photosynthesis.
CD：How do you spend your holidays? If you have any hobbies, please let us know.
Ghosh先生：I always like to visit new places. Whenever I get the time, particularly, in holidays I visited different historic places as well as shrines and temples nearby my living place.
CD：What has made you surprise since you came to Japan? I think Indian culture differs a lot from Japanese one. What are you interested in about Japanese culture?
Ghosh先生：The most interesting thing I observed here that people wants to keep quiet and to work very silently. Indian people love speaking and to do friendship with others. Of course they work silently in the office, but after finishing office work they want to talk with friends and to share their daily activities. I think Japanese culture with respect to their language, food habit, dresses is very similar everywhere and not differ in different areas. But in India, different area people have different common languages, food habits, dresses and even different ritual ceremonies. But interesting point is that almost every people can speak and write the national language called “Hindi” and never hurt each other because of difference in culture. The main reason for difference in these culture is due to geographical and historical reason. I like to go Japanese temples and shrines and I like to learn Japanese history and to visit different historic places. I also like some Japanese delicious foods.
At the hall of worship of the Fushimi Inari shrin
CDIt’s interesting ! The Japanese society has been based on ‘High context culture’. The Japanese is said to be homogeneous, which makes us share the same background. I think Japanese prefers collectivism to individualism. Sometimes, we can understand each other, even though we don’t speak so much. It’s called tacit understanding, ‘Ishin-denshin’ in Japanese. What do you think is the main reason for difference in these cultures? Could you let us know it from the Indian’s site?
Ghosh先生：As I said before Indian culture is very different from other countries. If you see Indian culture from outside, you may not find the unity in their culture. This apparent difference is due to geographical and historical and the most important reason is religion. Only in India you can find people almost from all religions. Here people from one religion give respect to other. Each religious festival they celebrate together. These friendly opinions make unity between people. Thus we often called Indian culture as “Unity in diversity”.
CD：Last but not least, we try to organize the collaboration between a university and private sector in this program. Please let us know if you have a message to Japanese companies.
Ghosh先生：It is already reported in the literature that molecular catalysts can be used for artificial photosynthesis. Also, Molecular catalysts can work under homogeneous and ambient condition. Although, the reported molecular catalysts have low activity towards artificial photosynthesis. We have to overcome this problem. If we succeed we have a great chance to commercialize the process.