Smitha Pillai received her Bachelor’s degree program in chemistry from Abeda Inamdar Sr. College, University of Pune, India. She obtained her Master’s degree in organic chemistry at Ferguson College, University of Pune, India where she taught organic chemistry for three years. She pursued her Ph.D. in organic chemistry with Professor Ana Moore at Arizona State University where her research was focused on artificial photosynthesis and her expertise was in the synthesis of carotenoids, porphyrins, and phthalocyanines. After completing her Ph.D. she joined Whitman College as a Visiting Assistant Professor where she taught organic and general chemistry courses. Before joining Arizona State University as a lecturer, she worked as a Postdoc with Professor Devens Gust and focused on synthesis of deuterated carotenoid-porphyrin-fullerene triad, which would be further used in the study of quantum effects of magnetoreception. Currently, Smitha Pillai is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University where her focus has been teaching general organic chemistry courses and coordinating the organic laboratory courses.