Gautam Radhakrishna Desiraju obtained his BSc degree from Bombay University (St. Xavier's College) in 1972 and PhD degree in 1976 from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Between 1976 and 1978 he was a research scientist in Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester. He returned to India in 1978 and spent a year at Indian Institute of Science as a research fellow before he joined the University of Hyderabad in 1979 as lecturer. He became a Reader in 1984 and Professor in 1990.
Academic and Research Achievements: Desiraju initiated and carried out research in crystal engineering. He has had a major impact on the development of this subject, which has grown vastly with nearly 200 independent research groups now worldwide. Desiraju is recognized as one of the founders of this subject, which lies at the intersection of organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, crystallography, supramolecular chemistry, solid-state chemistry and materials science. Of particular note are his two books on 'crystal engineering' (1989) and 'the weak hydrogen bond' (2000), apart from his three hundred published research papers. His work is very highly cited and is considered to have a major impact on modern chemistry. He has supervised the PhD Theses of nearly 30 students.
Other Contributions: Desiraju has served on the Editorial Boards of many major journals. He was one of the founding editors of the journals Crystal Growth and Design (ACS) and Cryst Eng Comm (RSC). He is currently a consulting Editor for Accounts of Chemical Research (ACS) and an Editorial Advisory Board member of Angewandte Chemie (Wiley-VCH). He has served as Chairman, PAC for organic chemistry (DST) and is currently a member of the scientific jury of the Human Frontier Science Program (Strasbourg), and of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Crystallography (2005-11). He was also a member of the INSA Council (2006-08).
Awards and Honours: Desiraju is one of the few Indian recipients of the Forschungspreis of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Humboldt Award, 2000) and was awarded TWAS Prize (2000) and Ranbaxy Award (2000). He was a Michael Visiting Professor in the Weizmann Institute of Science (2002). He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; and Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).