Rajesh R. Naik obtained his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University in 1998. He is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of Mined XAI, an Artificial Intelligence Data Analytics startup. At Mined XAI, he is responsible for building strategic partnerships and developing new product verticals. Prior to his current position, Rajesh spent 20+ years at the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and served as a Senior Executive (Chief Scientist) in his last position at AFRL. During his tenure at AFRL, Rajesh was responsible for building the strategic research vision and guiding development of technology roadmaps in human performance sciences, aerospace medicine, and biotechnology. He also led the coordination of basic and applied research activities, mentoring and workforce development programs. Serving as the AFRL’s senior executive lead, he was responsible for implementing the vision of Air Force’s S&T 2030 strategy. Rajesh was involved in the DoD’s COVID-19 pandemic response (Operation Warp Speed) and advising on diagnostics and other material solutions for combating COVID-19. As the DoD’s lead for synthetic biology, he created the Synthetic Biology for Defense conference that bought together academia, DoD, and industry to discuss advances in synthetic biology and its applications. Rajesh has served on advisory boards, technical and strategic committees for academic, DoD and other governmental, national, and international organizations.
Rajesh has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles and has received 16 patents. He was awarded the John McLucas Award, the highest Air Force award for basic science research, and the AFOSR Star Team Award for Basic Research. Rajesh is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and AFRL. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgia Institute of Technology (Department of Materials Science and Engineering).
Rajesh’s research has focused on biological materials, biosensors, and nanomaterials. He has done extensive work on the interaction of biomolecules with nanomaterials, structure-property relationship of biomaterials, development of protein liquids, and on plasmonic- and nanoelectronic-based sensors. Currently, he has been focusing on using AI in extracting chemical information from complex mixtures using Raman and other spectroscopy-based methods.
Rajesh has been actively involved with MRS throughout his professional career. He has served as an organizer for several MRS symposiums, served on the New Publications Committee, Program Development Sub-Committee, and as a National Meeting Chair (Spring 2020). Additionally, he serves on the editorial board for ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, ACS Chemical Reviews, and Bioengineering.