Keynote Talk

Neha (Kaul) Pankow, PhD

Neha Pankow is the Head of Strategy and Business development at Bengaluru Science & Technology Cluster (BeST) in the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India.

For the last few years, she has worked on developing and managing data-informed policymaking for basic science research and education at the National Science Foundation (NSF), USA. Her primary responsibilities included ROI reporting, management of diversity initiatives, and facilitating site visits for a facility funded at 100 million USD/year. In addition, she was assigned to handle an 18 million USD cooperative agreement for a sea-level rise project on coastlines and people. Her cross-disciplinary academic research spans 11 years with flavors of engineering, single-molecule biophysics, and cancer cell biology. The transition from bench science to the policy was facilitated by a prestigious science policy fellowship from the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Sciences). Prior to this, as an American Cancer Society post-doctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her publication in Nature Chemical Biology on the use of light-activated enzymes offered a novel way to study the role of specific enzymes in signaling mechanics.  Dr. Pankow performed her doctoral research on changes in single-molecule kinesin mechanics in response to microtubule modifications at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. 

In her role as the Head of Strategy and Business Development at the BeST cluster, Dr. Pankow hopes to facilitate cross-sector synergies for achieving tangible science & technology research outcomes for the public’s welfare. She oversees some of the major duties on behalf of BeST.

  • Build a network of stakeholders from academia, industry, start-ups, civil society organizations and government for the themes and the underlying programs.
  • Leading a team to collaboratively craft proposals for convincing prospective funding agencies to support the programs identified by the cluster.
  • Develop a network of subject matter experts, who can be tapped for furthering the objectives of the cluster and contributing as SMEs on specific programs.
  • Contribute to the branding of the cluster and build its credibility with funding agencies.
  • Developing a close working relationship with funding agencies to proactively generate leads for the various themes.
  • Mentoring team members and stakeholders to achieve the strategic objectives of the cluster.