Ashok Sadanand Kolaskar obtained his BSc (1969) and MSc (1971) in Physics from Nagpur University and PhD (1976) on theoretical studies on the conformation of peptides and polypeptides from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He joined the institute as Research Assistant (1976-77) and went to the institute de Biologue Physico-Cheimque, France (1977) as a Visiting Scientist, and to Chemical Physics Laboratory at the university of Chicago as a Research Associate. He joined the School of Life Sciences, Central University of Hyderabad as a Lecturer (1978-83) and then moved to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad (1983-86). He was Professor and Head of the Department of Zoology (1991-94) and Biotechnology (1994-96), University of Pune and rose to be the Director of Pune Library Network Project as well as of Bioinformatics, University of Pune. He was a Courtesy Professor at the Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, University of Florida.
Academic and Research Achievements: Kolaskar has taught subjects like biostatistics, biomacromolecules, physical biochemistry, etc. at the post graduae level. His areas of research are mainly bio-informatics, molecular immunology and computational chemistry. He initiated the nucleic acid sequence data analysis in India and developed a simple but accurate method to predict protein-coding regions in prokaryotic DNA, which has been used by PC-GENE (Intelli Genetics USA) for their software package. He has developed conformational similarity weight matrix, which is used to pick up conformationally similar oligopeptides in proteins having different sequences. He along with his colleagues developed a parallel computer "PARAM" and one of the world's fastest programmes to carry out multiple alignment of sequences. Also he developed a new numerical coding system that codes complete properties, and has been used to prepare world's largest computerized data bank in the area of animal viruses. He has contributed significantly in area of bioinformatics. In the area of immunology he has developed a method to predict the helper-T cells binding regions using JE virus. Kolaskar has published more than 50 papers in different peer-reviewed journals, complied 2 volumes entitled Precious Thoughts and authored the book Bioinformatics (Wiley Eastern Ltd). He has mentored several PhD and Mphil students.
Others Contributions: Kolaskar has developed several software packages and has copyrights of AVIS, PRAS and PNAS on parallel computer of C-DAC as well as on PC-AT compatible systems, Immunology on PC-AT compatible system, etc. He has been associated with several task forces such as the one on Bioinformatics Programme of Department of Biotechnology. He has been actively associated with CODATA (an ISCU Committee), INSA, DST, DBT, UGC and various University bodies. He was Member of Guha Research Conference; Executive Committee of Microbital Strain Data Network, Sheffield, UK; Society of Biological Chemist, India; Indian Biophysical Society; Computer society of India; New York Academy of Sciences; American Association of Advancement of Sciences; Technology Transfer Society, USA, etc.
Awards and Honours: Kolaskar received Prakya Ganpatrao Gold Medal, Ramchandra Krishna Chandorkar Memorial Gold Medal and Balwantrao Mahajan Prize, all in 1971. He was young Associate Member of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1984-88, 1990). He is a recipient of DST SERC Lectureship (1991-92); Man of Achievement, International Biographical Centre (1991-92); and PARAM Award from Centre for Development of advanced Computing (1991-92). He is a Life Member of Maharashtra Association of Cultivation of Sciences and Fellow of Maharastra Academy of Sciences (1993).