Dame Pratibha Laxman Gai-Boyes grew up in India. At the time a career in science was an unconventional choice for a woman, but she was encouraged by her parents and her science teachers, and drew inspiration from role models such as Marie Curie.
She was selected as a national science talent search scholar, a position that allowed her to pursue her interest in science. She then won a scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge, where she went on to do research for a PhD in electron microscopy. Pratibha then moved to the University of Oxford where she began to explore ways of observing chemical reactions using an electron microscope. She has always been curious about reactions at the atomic level and being able to observe them as they take place in the environment where they normally happen. A better understanding of reactions can lead to new and improved technologies and catalysts. Eventually, Pratibha established the Surface Reactions Group at Oxford. Later she moved to the USA and worked for the chemical firm DuPont and the University of Delaware.
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