Chief scientist at CSIR-CCMB wins Infosys Prize

Dr Rajan Sankaranarayanan, Chief Scientist at CSIR - Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) - has won the prestigious Infosys Prize 2020 in the life sciences category.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  3 Dec 2020 2:57 PM GMT
Chief scientist at CSIR-CCMB wins Infosys Prize

Hyderabad: Dr Rajan Sankaranarayanan, Chief Scientist at CSIR - Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) - has won the prestigious Infosys Prize 2020 in the life sciences category. Dr Sankaranarayanan is a structural biologist who studies the structures of proteins in cells. He has made seminal contributions on how accuracy is maintained by cellular machinery while building proteins across evolution.

Proteins are made of amino acids. These amino acids are present in our bodies in two forms, D and L forms, with each being a mirror image of the other. However, if D amino acids are incorporated into proteins, it can lead to many deleterious effects. He has found mechanistic details on how such a fundamental process runs in our cells avoiding many such errors.

The Infosys Prize endeavours to elevate the prestige of science and research in India and inspire young Indians to choose a vocation in research. It intends to celebrate success in research and stand as a marker of excellence in these fields. A jury, comprising eminent leaders in each of these fields evaluates the achievements of the nominees against the standards of international research, placing the winners on par with the finest researchers in the world. The annual award honours outstanding achievements of contemporary researchers and scientists across six categories: Engineering and Computer Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences, each carrying a prize of a gold medal, a citation and a purse of USD 100,000.

"Fifteen years ago, when I proposed the question, people didn't take it seriously. From then to now winning this prize, I feel I have come a long way, thanks to all the support from family and colleagues," said Dr Sankaranarayanan.

"Dr Sankaranarayanan is an extremely rigorous scientist and is highly celebrated among his peers in India as well as abroad. All of us from the CCMB community are delighted for him winning the Infosys Prize this year," said, Dr Rakesh Mishra, Director, CCMB.

This was the second Infosys Prize winner from CCMB in life sciences in a row. In total, CCMB has hosted three Infosys Prize winners in the last decade.


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