Chandrasekharan Ramakrishnan did his BSc (Hons) and MSc from the University of Madras and the PhD from there as well. After spending a year at the University of Chicago doing postdoctoral work, he returned to Madras and continued as Reader at the University of Madras till 1972 after which he moved to Molecular Biophysics Unit of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore where he worked till retirement (2001) as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. During this period, he was twice Visiting Faculty at the Computer Graphics Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco (1989-92).
Academic and Research Achievements: While working at Madras University and IISc, Ramakrishnan was involved in teaching courses on basics of conformation of biomolecules, and computer programming in addition to doing research. His doctoral work which involved the study of peptide conformation using fundamental stereochemical approach and huge amount of calculations, resulted in the now well-known Ramachandran Map used extensively with many studies pertaining to protein structure and analysis. Nowadays, Ramachandran Map is used as a very reliable yardstick to test the correctness of any new protein structure that is being solved. He also used Ramachandran-map-principle to other polymers such as beta-polysaccharide and chitin and demonstrated its usefulness in related areas. The other areas of conformational analysis in which he contributed significantly are hydrogen bond data analysis and conformations of rigid cyclic molecules involving peptides such as cyclic peptides. His latest interest relates to protein data analysis and modeling using simple geometrical and stereochemical ideas as well as development of algorithms. He has produced the software 'MODIP' for finding possible sites in proteins for introduction of disulfide bridges and it has been one of the widely used ones. He also developed many algorithms and converted them into softwares usable in day-to-day work. He has mentored 20 PhD students.
Other Contributions:Ramakrishnan established computational research facilities at the Molecular Biophysics Unit of IISc.
Awards and Honours: Professor Ramakrishnan won the Jaya Jayanth Award for Teaching Excellence in Science (1995) and Gold Medal for Excellence in Biological Sciences and Technology by CSIR. Awarded Distinguished Fellowship of GN Ramachandran Knowledge Centre for Genome Informatics and was presented a Medal and Citation. He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1990).