Samir K Brahmachari earned his BSc (1972) and MSc (1974) degrees from Calcutta University; and PhD (1978) from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. After a brief post-doctoral stint in Paris, he returned to Molecular Biophysics Unit at IISc as Research Associate (1979). He served as Faculty Member at IISc from 1981 till his premature retirement (2003) as Professor. He was Director, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi (formerly Centre for Biochemical Technology), CSIR (1997- 2007). At present he is Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and Secretary to GOI, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. He is also Adjunct Professor, Bioinformatics Centre, University of Pune.
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Brahmachari has extensively delivered lectures on Human Genome Project and Genome Analysis Technology. At IISc, he demonstrated the structural flexibility of DNA and the role of repetitive sequences in DNA transactions much before the discovery of repeats association with genetic disorders. His work on the structural flexibility of telomeric repeat sequences is one of his well-cited contributions. He spearheads the Indian Genome Variation project that explores human genome variation in multi-ethnic, multi-lingual populations of India to develop a national resource: the genetic profile of the people of India. The result is the Indian Genome Variation database (IGVdb), a database of over 1000 genes related to disease and drug response. His recent discovery that human miRNA can target critical HIV transcript and miRNA-mediated regulatory network as a novel mechanism of feedback inhibition is noteworthy. Using a combination of structural biology, computational genomics and population-based polymorphism scanning, Brahmachari and his group have provided a novel structural frame work for understanding the etiology of several neurological disorders and demonstrated the association of two genes with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder (synaptogyrin 1 and MLC1 gene) and identified several SNPs and other markers associated with various neurological disorders. His current passion is 'Open Source Drug Discovery Initiative', a web- based, CSIR-led Team-India consortium with global partnership for infectious diseases with special focus on Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He has 138 research publications, 10 patents and 14 software copyrights to his credit. Professor Brahmachari has mentored 20 PhD students and over 100 research students, post-doctoral fellows and project associates.
Other Contributions: Professor Brahmachari was the first to market novel, globally competitive bioinformatics software products from CSIR. He was elected Member of the Human Genome Organization (1991) and HUGO Council (2004); Member, Expert Group on Human Rights and Biotechnology, United Nations; Council Member, FAOBMB (since 1997); Member, Indo-European Commission S&T Steering Committee; Member, Advisory Board of the Archon-X-Prize in Genomics and Chair, HUGO's 13th Human Genome Meeting (2008), Hyderabad.
Awards and Honours: Professor Brahmachari received a number of awards and honours that include: INSA Medal for Young Scientists (1979); Kani Medal (1981); SS Bhatnagar Award (1990); FICCI Award (1998); Millennium Medal (2000); Ranbaxy Research Award (2001); Goyal Prize (2001); Professor PK Bose Memorial Award (2004); ICMR's Dr BR Ambedkar Centenary Award (2005); Vasvik Award (2005); HK Firodia Award (2007); Dr RA Mashelkar Medal (2007); Dhirubhai Ambani Oration Award (2007); Jagadis Chandra Bose Medal of INSA (2007); 6th Biospectrum Person of the Year (2008); IISc Distinguished Alumnus Award (2008); Om Prakash Bhasin Award (2008). He is a Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1991) and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.