Amitabha Chattopadhyay obtained his BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from St Xavier's College in Kolkata and MSc from IIT, Kanpur. He received his PhD (1987) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA, where he developed a parallax method to determine membrane penetration depths of a wide variety of membrane-bound fluorophores including proteins and peptides. He carried out his post-doctoral work at the University of California, Davis, USA, during 1987-89 working on lipid-protein interactions in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica. He joined the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad in 1989.
Academic and Research Achievements: Chattopadhyay has been active in teaching courses related to biomembranes and fluorescence spectroscopy for advanced students both in India and aboard. His work is focused on monitoring organization, dynamics and function in biological membranes in healthy and diseased conditions. His group has made pioneering contribution on the role of membrane lipids in regulating the function of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) as well as on their role in leishmanial infection. Chattopadhyay showed, for the first time, that membrane cholesterol is essential for the function of the serotonin1A receptor, whose activity is impaired in pathogenic conditions such as the Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome. Unique feature of his research is the judious combination of biophysical, biochemical and cell biological approaches. Chattopadhyay's group has developed innovative techniques using fluorescence spectroscopy for monitoring solvent relaxation in membranes and membrane-mimetic media. These pioneering biophysical studies have helped in understanding better the dynamics of hydration of membranes and proteins.
Other Contributions: Chattopadhyay is a member of Editorial Boards of several national and international journals and acted as Guest Editor of several special issues of them.
Awards and Honours: Dr Chattopadhyay received Raman Research Fellowship of CSIR (1996). He was also honoured with the Sreenivasaya Memorial Award of the Society of Biological Chemists (2000), SS Bhatnagar Prize (2001), Ranbaxy Research Award (2006) and Biresh Chandra Guha Memorial Lecture of INSA (2008). He was elected to the Fellowship of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1998) and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1999) and Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences (2003).