Nurani Sivaramakrishna Narasimhan obtained BSc and BSc (Hons) from the Presidency College, Chennai, and PhD (1954) under the guidance of TR Govindachari working on the constitution of carpain, an alkaloid, from Carica papaya. Thereafter, he worked as postdoctoral fellow at Presidency College for three years and then joined the University of Pune as Reader, retiring from there in 1989. He continued working as Emeritus Professor and then became Director, Centre for Agrochemical Research, SPIC Science Foundation (1994-97). He had a brief stay at Zurich University, working with H Schmidt (1971-72) and was Visiting Professor, University of Alberta, Edmonton (1980) of Southern Methodist University, Dallas (1988), INSA-JSPS Visiting Scientist (1988), INSA Senior Scientist (1989-92), and Visiting Scientist, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (2000).
Academic and Research Achievements: Working in the areas of natural product chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry, Narasimhan's notable findings relate to alkaloids of Carica papaya and Murraya koenigii (Kadi patha), and the tetranorterpinoid, nimbin, from Melia indica (neem). Another significant contribution was on lithiation reactions and their application to the synthesis of compounds not readily accessible by the usual acid catalyzed methods. His work on lithiation reactions has received international acclaim. He has authored about 125 research papers and guided about 25 students for their PhD. He initiated active research in organic chemistry at the University of Pune and was instrumental in establishing the Garware Research Centre at the University.
Other Contributions: Professor Narasimhan was Member of the Council of Indian Chemical Society (1979) and Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science.
Awards and Honours: Professor Narasimhan was conferred the TR Govindachari 60th Birthday Commemoration Award (1984), UGC National Lecturer (1985-86), SI Perumal Endowment Lecture Award (1995), Lifetime Achievement Award and Gold Medal of Chemical Research Society of India (2007). He was also elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.