Vadapalli Chandrasekhar was born at Calcutta (now Kolkata) in November 1958. He obtained his M.Sc. from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, in 1977. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1982 from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore under the supervision of Prof. S. S. Krishnamurthy. He worked as a post-doctoral research associate with Professor R. R. Holmes at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA (1983-1986) and then as a senior research officer in the Indian Petrochemicals Corporation at Vadodara for a year. He then joined the Department of Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1987 where he has been a full professor since 1995. He served as the Head of the Department of Chemistry, IIT Kanpur (2008–10), and as the Dean of Faculty Affairs, IIT Kanpur (2011–12). He also worked at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences, Hyderabad, as a Senior Professor/Dean (2012–14) and as the Director (2014–17), National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, India. Currently he is the Centre Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad. His research interests are in the area of molecular materials, inorganic rings and polymers, main-group organometallic chemistry and polynuclear metal assemblies. He has been a recipient of several national and international awards including the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award of the Council and Scientific Industrial Research, India, and the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany.
He is an elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad, the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi and the World Academy of Sciences, Trieste, Italy. He has been on the editorial board of several journals including, Organometallics. Currently, he is on the editorial board of Dalton Transactions as its Associate Editor. His research work is documented in 360+ publications.