Sir Shankar Balasubramanian
|Born||30 September 1966|
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge (MA, MSci, PhD)|
|Thesis||Studies on the reaction mechanism of chorismate synthase (1992)|
|Doctoral advisor||Chris Abell|
|Doctoral students||Julian Huppert|
|Influences||Stephen J. Benkovic|
Sir Shankar Balasubramanian FRS FMedSci (born 30 September 1966) is an Indian-born British chemist and Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, Senior Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute  and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is recognised for his contributions in the field of nucleic acids. He is scientific founder of Solexa  and Cambridge Epigenetix.
Born in Madras (now Chennai) India in 1966, Shankar Balasubramanian moved to the UK with his parents in 1967. He grew up in a rural area just outside Runcorn in Cheshire and attended Daresbury Primary School, then Appleton Hall High School (which has since amalgamated to form Bridgewater High School). He then went on to study the Natural Sciences Tripos at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he did his undergraduate degree from 1985–88 and continued with a PhD for research on the reaction mechanism of the enzyme chorismate synthase supervised by Chris Abell (1988-1991).
Career and research
Following his PhD, Balasubramanian travelled to the USA as a SERC/NATO Research Fellow and worked in the group of Stephen J. Benkovic at Pennsylvania State University (1991-1993). He started his independent academic career in 1994 in the University of Cambridge and has remained there ever since, first as College Lecturer, then University Lecturer (1998), University Reader in Chemical Biology (2003) and Professor of Chemical Biology (2007). He was most recently appointed Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in 2008. He currently[when?] directs research laboratories in the Department of Chemistry and also the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Cambridge Institute at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. His former doctoral students include Julian Huppert.
Balasubramanian works in the field of nucleic acids. His citation on election to the Royal Society reads:
|“||Shankar Balasubramanian is an internationally recognised leader in the field of nucleic acids who is distinguished for pioneering contributions to chemistry and its application to the biological and medical sciences. He is a principal inventor of the leading next generation sequencing methodology, Solexa sequencing, that has made routine, accurate, low-cost sequencing of human genomes a reality and has revolutionised biology. He has made seminal contributions to the identification, elucidation and manipulation of non-coding genetic elements, particularly four-stranded structures called G-quadruplexes. His work on the intervention of nucleic acid function using small molecules has revealed a number of molecular mechanisms that can be exploited, e.g. to modulate the biology of cancer.||”|
More recently Balasubramanian has been inventing and applying new chemical methods to study epigenetic changes to DNA bases including single base resolution sequencing of 5-formylcytosine, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine and 5-methylcytosine.
Honours and awards
Honours and awards include:
- 1998 Glaxo Wellcome Award for Innovative Organic Chemistry
- 2002 Corday–Morgan Medal and Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry 
- 2009 Royal Society Mullard Award 
- 2010 BBSRC Innovator of the Year 
- 2010 BBSRC Commercial Innovator of the Year 
- 2011 Elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci)
- 2012 Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) 
- 2012 Elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) 
- 2013 Tetrahedron Prize 
- 2014 Biochemical Society Heatley Medal and Prize 
- 2015 Chemical Research Society of India Medal
- 2017 knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to science and medicine.
- 2018 Royal Medal 
- Anon (2017). "Balasubramanian, Prof. Shankar". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.256669. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
- EMBO, 2013. EMBO welcomes 55 leading life scientists as members[online] Available at: <http://www.embo.org/news/press-releases/press-releases-2012/embo-welcomes-55-leading-life-scientists-as-members> [Accessed 8 April 2013].
- Huppert, J. L.; Balasubramanian, S. (2005). "Prevalence of quadruplexes in the human genome". Nucleic Acids Research. 33 (9): 2908–2916. doi:10.1093/nar/gki609. PMC 1140081. PMID 15914667.
- Huppert, Julian Leon (2005). Studies on genomic G-quadruplexes. lib.cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 885437272. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.604822.
- Balasubramanian, S (2007). "From DNA to mountain climbing. Shankar Balasubramanian talks to Alison Stoddart about his research and other interests". Molecular BioSystems. 3 (5): B37. PMID 17582897.
- Balasubramanian, S (2013). "An interview with Shankar Balasubramanian". Trends in Biochemical Sciences. 38 (4): 170–1. doi:10.1016/j.tibs.2013.02.006. PMID 23522090.
- "University of Cambridge, 2011. Herchel Smith Academics .". Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help) [Accessed 8 April 2013].
- "University of Cambridge, 2013. The Balasubramanian Group.". [Accessed 4 April 2013].
- University of Cambridge, 2013. Professor Shankar Balasubramanian FMedSci FRS.[online] Available at: <http://www.ch.cam.ac.uk/person/sb10031> [Accessed 8 April 2013].
- Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, 2012. Balasubramanian Group.[online] Available at: <http://www.cruk.cam.ac.uk/research-groups/balasubramanian-group> [Accessed 4 April 2013].
- Trinity College, Cambridge, 2013. The Fellowship.[online] Available at: <http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=321> [Accessed 4 April 2013].
- Shankar Balasubramanian's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
- Illumina, 2013. SBS Technology.[online] Available at: <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)> [Accessed 8 April 2013]
- Bentley, D. R.; Balasubramanian, S.; Swerdlow, H. P.; Smith, G. P.; Milton, J.; Brown, C. G.; Hall, K. P.; Evers, D. J.; Barnes, C. L.; Bignell, H. R.; Boutell, J. M.; Bryant, J.; Carter, R. J.; Keira Cheetham, R.; Cox, A. J.; Ellis, D. J.; Flatbush, M. R.; Gormley, N. A.; Humphray, S. J.; Irving, L. J.; Karbelashvili, M. S.; Kirk, S. M.; Li, H.; Liu, X.; Maisinger, K. S.; Murray, L. J.; Obradovic, B.; Ost, T.; Parkinson, M. L.; Pratt, M. R. (2008). "Accurate whole human genome sequencing using reversible terminator chemistry". Nature. 456 (7218): 53–59. Bibcode:2008Natur.456...53B. doi:10.1038/nature07517. PMC 2581791. PMID 18987734.
- Cambridge Epigenetix, 2013. CEGX [online] Available at: <http://www.cambridge-epigenetix.com/en_GB/about-us> [Accessed 19 July 2013].
- "Shankar BALASUBRAMANIAN". companieshouse.gov.uk. London: Companies House. Archived from the original on 6 July 2016.
- Balasubramanian, Shankar (1991). Studies on the reaction mechanism of chorismate synthase. lib.cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 60112382. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.386780.
- "Fitz alumni on top science list". Fitzwilliam College. 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- University of Cambridge, 2013. Professor Shankar Balasubramanian The Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry.[online] Available at: <http://www-shankar.ch.cam.ac.uk/shankar> [Accessed 4 April 2013].
- Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, 2013. Balasubramanian Group.[online] Available at: <http://www.cruk.cam.ac.uk/research-groups/balasubramanian-group> [Accessed 8 April 2013].
- Booth, M. J.; Branco, M. R.; Ficz, G.; Oxley, D.; Krueger, F.; Reik, W.; Balasubramanian, S. (2012). "Quantitative Sequencing of 5-Methylcytosine and 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine at Single-Base Resolution". Science. 336 (6083): 934–937. Bibcode:2012Sci...336..934B. doi:10.1126/science.1220671.
- Raiber, E. A.; Beraldi, D; Ficz, G; Burgess, H. E.; Branco, M. R.; Murat, P; Oxley, D; Booth, M. J.; Reik, W; Balasubramanian, S (2012). "Genome-wide distribution of 5-formylcytosine in embryonic stem cells is associated with transcription and depends on thymine DNA glycosylase". Genome Biology. 13 (8): R69. doi:10.1186/gb-2012-13-8-r69. PMC 3491369. PMID 22902005.
- Booth, M. J.; Marsico, G.; Bachman, M.; Beraldi, D.; Balasubramanian, S. (2014). "Quantitative sequencing of 5-formylcytosine in DNA at single-base resolution". Nature Chemistry. 6 (5): 435–40. Bibcode:2014NatCh...6..435B. doi:10.1038/nchem.1893. PMC 4188980. PMID 24755596.
- Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013. Corday-Morgan Medal and Prize Winners[online] Available at: <http://www.rsc.org/ScienceAndTechnology/Awards/CordayMorganPrizes/PreviousWinners.asp> [Accessed 8 April 2013].
- The Royal Society. Royal Society Mullard Award.[online] Available at: <http://royalsociety.org/awards/mullard-award/> [Accessed 8 April 2013].
- BBSRC, 2013. DNA sequencing pioneer named BBSRC Innovator of the Year 2010[online] Available at: <http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/policy/2010/100319-pr-dna-sequencing-pioneer-innovator.aspx> [Accessed 8 April 2013].
- The Academy of Medical Sciences. Directory of Fellows.[online] Available at: <http://www.acmedsci.ac.uk/p59.html> [Accessed 8 April 2013].
- The Royal Society. Fellows.[online] Available at: <http://royalsociety.org/about-us/fellowship/fellows/> [Accessed 8 April 2013].
- Elsevier Tetrahedron prize winners: <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 September 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter
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- Biochemical Society, 2009-12.2014 Biochemical Society award winners announced[online] Available at: <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)> [Accessed 10 April 2013].
- "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N2.
- Royal Medal 2018