Virander Singh Chauhan obtained his BSc, MSc and PhD (in Organic Chemistry) from Delhi University. He then went, as a Rhodes Scholar, to do his DPhil at Oxford University, UK (1974). After a post- doctoral stint at the University of Georgia, USA. He returned to India and taught first at St Stephens College as Lecturer (1977) and then as an Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. He joined Delhi University as a Reader (1982) and rose to be a Professor in the Department of Chemistry (1988). He then joined the newly created International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi; headed the Malaria and Structural Biology research group (1998) and became the Director of the Institute (1999), the position he continues to hold.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Chauhan and his group have identified, characterized and developed procedures to prepare recombinant malaria vaccine target antigens in collaboration with industrial partners in India. Experimental malaria vaccines have been developed by his group for clinical trials in India. He has contributed to the understanding of how malaria drugs, particularly artemisinin, work and this research has led to the development of 'high throughput screens' for malaria drug discovery. His work in the area of design, synthesis and utility of conformationally defined peptides has led to the design and synthesis of anti-biotic peptides and anti-fibrillizing structures which can form the basis for the development of drugs against different diseases like Alisma and Type-II diabetes. Short peptides that lead to the formation of nano-structures of different kinds have been developed as possible vehicles for site delivery of bio-molecules.
Other Contributions: Chauhan is an elected Member of Guha Research Conference, India. He has served a number of scientific bodies in various capacities. He has been President of Society of Biological Chemists (India); President of Indian Peptide Society; Member of Indian Immunology Society; Indian Biophysical Society; New York Academy of Sciences; American Society for Microbiology; Executive Council, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; INDO-US Vaccine Action Programme, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India; Programme Advisory Committee for Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, DST; Technical Research Group of National AIDS Control Organization, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; International Union of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (IUBMB), USA; Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network (A-IMBN), South Korea; WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Vaccines and Biological Standards, and so on. He has also been the Chairman (part-time) of Bharat Immunological and Biological Corporation Ltd; Vaccine Manufacturing Company of DBT (2006-09); and Expert Group on Rotaviral Diarrhoea Vaccine Product Development Project constituted by DBT. He has served as Member of Editorial Board of Different journals such as Asian Biotechnology and Development Review; Journal of Peptide Science; Indian Journal for Biochemistry and Biophysics; Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology; International Journal of Biomedical Science; Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences; Journal of Molecular Structure; and The Open Vaccine Journal.
Awards and Honours: Professor Chauhan is a recipient of Dr MOT Iyengar Memorial Award of ICMR (1995); Ranbaxy Research Award (2001); Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award (2002); and Basanti Devi Amir Chand Prize of ICMR (2003). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS); Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; and Indian Society for Parasitology.