V. Sasisekharan

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V. Sasisekharan
Born (1933-06-28) 28 June 1933 (age 85)
Nationality Indian
Alma mater
Known for Conformation of biopolymers
Awards 1978 Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize
1981 FICCI Award
1983 INSA J. C. Bose Medal
1985 Hari Om Ashram J. C. Bose Award
1987 Watumull Honor Summus Medal
1989 Om Prakash Bhasin Award
Scientific career

Viswanathan Sasisekharan (born 1933) is an Indian Molecular biologist, known for his contributions to the fields of biopolymers and the structure of DNA.[1] His work on optimal conformations of macromolecules suggested an alternative model for the conventional Watson-Crick double helix.[2] He is a recipient of several awards including the Om Prakash Bhasin Award, Honor Summus Medal of the Watumull Foundation and the J. C. Bose Medal of the Indian National Science Academy.[3] The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the apex agency of the Government of India for scientific research, awarded him the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, one of the highest Indian science awards, in 1977, for his contributions to biological sciences.[4]


V. Sasisekharan, born on 28 June 1933 in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, secured his PhD in 1959 from the University of Madras before starting his career with the Indian Institute of Science.[3] In 1964, he joined the University of Madras as a reader at the Centre of Advanced Study in Physics where he stayed till his move to the US in 1972. During his tenure at Madras University, he served as a professor and administrative head of the Department of Physics from 1968 to 1970 and from 1971 to 1972 and in between, he was a visiting professor of Princeton University at their Frick Chemical Laboratory during 1970–71. Later, he joined the School of Pharmacy of the University of California, San Francisco as an adjunct professor.[5]

One the key focuses of Sasisekharan's work has been on the conformation of biopolymers, with special emphasis on polynucleotides and polypeptides.[6] The methods he has introduced for reaching the optimal levels of macromolecule conformations assisted him to propose a new model of DNA structure, known to be an alternative to the conventional double helical structure proposed by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. The model proposed by Sasisekharan allowed the separation of polynucleotides without uncoiling them and was reported to have been a new solution.[3] He has published his research findings as articles in peer-reviewed journals; PubMed, an online article repository has listed 89 of them[7] while Microsoft Academic Search has listed 14 of his articles.[8] He holds 5 US patents for his researches.[9] His son, Ram Sasisekharan, is also a known biophysicist[10] and a co-author of some of his publications.[11]

Awards and honors[edit]

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research awarded Sasisekharan the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, one of the highest Indian science awards in 1978 for his contributions to the fields of biopolymers and DNA structure analysis.[4] He received the FICCI Award of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1981 and the Indian National Science Academy awarded him the Jagadis Chandra Bose Medal in 1983.[12] He held the ASTRA chair in Biological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science in 1985, the same year as he received the Jagdish Chandra Bose Award for Research in Life Sciences of the University Grants Commission of India.[3] The Honor Summus Medal of the Watunull Foundation reached him in 1987 and he was selected as a Fogarty Scholar-IN-Residence of the National Institutes of Health in 1988, his scholarship tenure running till 1990. A recipient of the Om Prakash Bhasin Award (1989),[13] he was also an elected fellow of the Indian National Science Academy and the Indian Academy of Sciences (1969).[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Size does matter — designer drugs for blood clots". The Hindu. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Handbook of Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize Winners" (PDF). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. 1999. p. 35. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Indian Fellow - Sasisekharan". Indian National Science Academy. 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "View Bhatnagar Awardees". Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize. 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  5. ^ University of California, San Francisco. School of Pharmacy (1979). UCSF School of Pharmacy Bulletin. The University. pp. 4–. 
  6. ^ "Brief Profile of the Awardee". Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize. 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Sasisekharan V [Author]". PubMed. 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Viswanathan Sasisekharan on Microsoft Academic Search". Microsoft Academic Search. 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Viswanathan Sasisekharan, Cambridge, MA US". Patents Encyclopedia. 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  10. ^ Jayan, T.V. (10 June 2013). "Sugary route to success". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 April 2018. 
  11. ^ Fundamentals of Advanced Omics Technologies: From Genes to Metabolites. Newnes. 14 February 2014. pp. 280–. ISBN 978-0-444-62670-7. 
  12. ^ "The Jagadis Chandra Bose Medal". INSA. 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  13. ^ "OPB Awards". Om Prakash Bhasin Foundation. 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  14. ^ "Fellow Profile". Indian Academy of Sciences. 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016.