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Prof. P Balaram

Prof. Padmanabhan Balaram is an eminent Indian scientist well known in the scientific community worldwide. Born in 1949, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Pune University, Master’s from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. After a short postdoctoral stint with Nobel laureate Robert Burns Woodward from Harvard University in 1973, at a young age of 24, he joined Molecular Biophysics Unit (MBU) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore as a faculty, associating with Prof. G.N. Ramachandran.

Prof. Balaram’s early research focused on the membrane-active peptide alamethicin, leading to a long-standing interest in the conformational restrictions on backbone folding promoted by the unusual residue alpha aminoisobutyric acid (Aib). He has also contributed immensely towards designing and synthesis of disulphide containing model peptides that has allowed the development of bioorganic models for redox proteins containing active disulphide loops. His outstanding contributions are in the Investigation of the Structure, Conformation, and Biological Activity of Designed and Natural Peptides, Utilization of NMR and Mass Spectrometry for Proteins and Peptides, Studies on Triosephosphate Isomerase (TIM) from Plasmodium falciparum and, Computational Analysis on Protein Structures. His seminal work can be evidenced from an h-index of 75 and with more than 22,000 citations, which has led to the success of multiple drug discovery programs around the world.

In recognition of his far-ranging contributions and services, he was awarded Padma Shri in 2002 and Padma Bhushan in 2014. Other significant awards and recognitions include INSA Medal for Young Scientists (1977), Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar award (1986), The World Academy of Science (TWAS in 1994), and recently, R. Bruce Merrifield Award of 2021 at American Peptide Symposium (APS-2022).

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