Siddhartha Roy obtained BSc (Hons) (Chemistry) from Presidency College in 1974. He joined the Department of Chemistry, University of Delaware and obtained the PhD (1981) under the supervision of Roberta Colman. He then moved to Brandeis University, under Alfred Redfield. In 1982, he moved to National Institutes of Health and worked on protein folding and NMR studies of DNA. In 1986, he joined Department of Biophysics, Bose Institute, Kolkata as Senior Lecturer. In 2004, he moved to Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Kolkata as its Director.
Academic and Research Achievements: While at the University of Delaware, Siddhartha Roy developed new classes of affinity labels for enzymes that utilize purine nucleotides. He also developed a predictive method to distinguish inside and outside of proteins based only on sequence information. In his postdoctoral work, he made the first complete NMR assignment of a nucleic acid (tRNA) and also developed the first indirect 2D-NMR detection method (along with Bax and Griffey). While at Bose Institute, he explored the structural and energetic basis of regulation of transcription as well as the origin of specificity in protein-nucleic acids interaction. For the first time, he clearly demonstrated that when transcription factors bind to a specific DNA sequence, it induces a conformational change in the transcription factor. In 1998, in collaboration with Sankar Adhya, he first formulated the role of differential contact in the mechanism of transcription regulation. He went on to demonstrate the validity of this theory in several gene regulatory circuits. He has mentored about 25 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Dr Roy contributed significantly to the development of structural biology at Bose Institute. As Director IICB, he is implementing various programmes to make it a major research center.
Awards and Honours: Dr Roy was conferred the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1999), Meritorious Service Award by the Department of Health and Human Services, USA, Tata Innovation Fellowship by DBT, JC Bose Fellowship by DST, IUBMB Woods-Whelan Fellowship, Human Frontier Sciences Fellowship, and several Lectureship Awards. He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.