Sandip Kumar Basu studied at Presidency College (BSc 1962), University College of Science (MSc 1964) and received the PhD (1968) from Calcutta University for his work on regulation of microbial metabolism. After postdoctoral research at USC School of Medicine, Los Angeles; Univ of California Medical School, Irvine; Public Health Research Institute, New York and Michael Reese Medical Centre, Chicago, he joined the faculty of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1975 from where he moved to the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata in 1983. He was Director of the Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh (1986-92); Director (1991-2005) and Professor of Eminence (2006-10) of the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi. From 2006 to date he is the JC Bose Chair Professor of the National Academy of Sciences India at the CSIR-National Inst of Science Communication & Information Resources, New Delhi.
Academic and Research Achievements: Sandip Basu introduced the approach of scavenger receptor-mediated targeting of therapeutic agents to macrophages and demonstrated its superior efficacy over conventional chemotherapy in model systems of leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, viral infections, and multidrug resistant cancer that provides a new weapon against macrophage-associated disorders of infectious, metabolic, and neoplastic etiology. A new receptor mediating hemoglobin uptake and degradation by Leishmania was discovered that unveiled new drug targets and how receptor-mediated intracellular delivery of the immunomodulator muramyl dipeptide diverts the intracellular trafficking route the pathogenic Salmonella use to survive within macrophages. Basu's seminal work (1975-84) established the low density lipoprotein receptor pathway for cholesterol metabolism including discovery of the scavenger receptors on macrophages and how unregulated uptake of modified lipoproteins through these receptors promotes atherosclerosis. His work is acknowledged as crucial for the new cholesterol-lowering agents called statins and the 1985 Nobel Prize in Medicine to the team leaders MS Brown and JL Goldstein.
Other Contributions: Basu set up the permanent campus of IMTECH with modern laboratories as a vibrant centre for research in modern biology and biotechnology. The international stature and esteem attained by IMTECH and NII under his directorship was acclaimed in status reports of scientific research in India in Nature. Basu was a Member of Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (2000-08). He was Additional Member of INSA Council (1996, 2004, 2005). He has served Indian Academy Sciences as Council Member (1995-96); National Academy of Sciences India as General Secretary (1992-96), Vice President (1997-98) and Council Member (1999-2000).
Awards and Honours: Sandip Kumar Basu received the Ranbaxy Medical Sciences Award (1995), FICCI Life Sciences Award (1996), Bhasin Foundation Biotechnology Award (1997), BR Ambedkar Award of ICMR (1999), RK Dutt Memorial Award of ISCA (1999), the Goyal Prize (2003), and the BK Bachhawat Lecture (2006), MRN Prasad Memorial Lecture of INSA (1995), Yellapragada SubbaRow Birth Centenary Lecture of INSA (2002) and Padma Shri (2001). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, TWAS (1994), the Indian Academy of Sciences (1992) and National Academy of Sciences India (1990).