Saturday, February 09, 2008

G.D. Birla award 2007

The prestigious G.D. Birla award 2007 has been conferred on Prof. Santanu Bhattacharya of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore for his significant contribution in the field of chemical biology and molecular design.The G.D. Birla award which carries a cash prize of Rs.1.5 lakh was instituted by the K. K. Birla Foundation in 1991. It is given to young scientists below 50 years of age. The foundation's mission is to promote scientific research in the country by giving recognition to high caliber Indian scientists.Prof Bhattacharya's investigations into DNA-lipid interactions using a number of chemical and biophysical methods and studies have key implications in developing carriers for gene therapy.Prof Bhattacharya was born on April 23, 1958. After obtaining his Ph D in Bio organic Chemistry from the University of Rutgers, USA in 1988, he joined as a CSIR Fellow at the University of Calcutta. From 1991 he has been working in the Department of Organic Chemistry, IIS, Bangalore and is currently ranked as Professor. He is an honorary faculty member, Chemical Biology Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Stuides Research,, Bangalore and has held visiting positions in various universities abroad. Selection for the award is made by a Board headed by the President of the Indian National Science Academy here and includes eminent scientists such as Prof M M Sharma, former Director, Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay, Mumbai, Prof M K Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Prof Asis Datta, Director, National Centre for Plant Genome Research Centre, New Delhi, Prof T V Ramakrishnan, Department of Physics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and Dr Anupam Varma, National Professor, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.Previous recipients of the prize were Prof Asis Datta (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology), Prof Goverdhan Mehta (Organic Chemistry), Bangalore, Dr R A Mashelkar (Polymer Science and Engineering), New Delhi, Prof Padmanabhan Balaram (Molecular Biophysics) Bangalore, , Prof Girish S Agarwal (Quantum Optics, non-Linear Optics), Allahabad, Prof Biman Bagchi (Pysical Chemistry and Condensed Biophysics), Bangalore among others. Three of the awardees -- Dr R A Mashelkar, Prof Ashoke Sen and Dr Goverdhan Mehta -- were elected Fellows of the Royal Society, London reflecting the quality of the selection made for the award.

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