Bhabatarak Bhattacharyya earned a BSc with Honours in Chemistry and received an MSc in Physical Chemistry from Calcutta University. He then joined the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata and his doctoral advisor was Professor Uma Shankar Nandi, at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. During his post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, he worked in Dr Jan Wolff's lab, exploring the binding mechanism of antimitotic drugs to tubulin.
Academic and Research Achievements: During Post-doctoral work Bhattacharyya illustrated how colchicine, which does not fluoresce in aqueous media and non polar solvents, exhibits intense fluorescence upon binding to tubulin. Not only did this phenomenon replace conventional assay methods using radio-labeled colchicine, it also offered scientists the opportunity to study the kinetics of colchicine binding, making it easier to measure the binding parameters of tubulin at equilibrium conditions. After coming back to India in November 1976, B. Bhattacharyya joined Bose Institute, Kolkata as a CSIR Pool Officer. He joined department of Biochemistry as a lecturer in March, 1978. Intense interest in tubulin as a chemotherapeutic target for the treatment of cancer has encouraged further investigation into the molecular nature of tubulin-colchicine interactions. In turn, this research enables the design of new colchicine analogs / lead compounds for the drug discovery or the structure based drug design. Bhattacharya was the first to report on tubulin's previously unrealized properties, showing how it prevents protein aggregation during stress and assist in the refolding of unfolded substrate enzymes.
Other Contributions: Professor Bhattacharyya is the member of SS Bhatnagar Committee, Sectional Committee (IX) of INSA, Sectional Committee of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Award committee of SBC (I), Swarnajayanti Fellowship committee, Award Committee of Bharat Chamber of Commerce. Bhabatarak Bhattacharyya is on many technical committees of CSIR, DST and INSA.
Awards and Honours: Bhabatarak Bhattacharyya was awarded SS Bhatnagar Prize in Biological Science, PS Sharma Memorial Award of SBC (I), BC Guha Memorial Lecture Award of INSA (2005), Bose Institute Foundation Day Award. He is a fellow of the the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.