Balaram Ghosh obtained his BSc (Chemistry Honours) and MSc (Biochemistry) degrees from the University of Calcutta. He joined Bose Institute, Calcutta and worked on the metabolism of myo-Inositol phosphates under the guidance of Prof. B. B. Biswas and obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Calcutta. In 1983, he moved to University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington for his postdoctoral research where he worked with Prof. Asis Das and studied the molecular mechanism of antitermination by phage lambda in E.coli. In 1988, he joined as an Instructor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore where he later promoted as an Assistant Professor (tenure track) in the Department of Medicine. At Hopkins, he worked on the molecular characterization and T-cell epitope mapping of allergens. Later, he worked on the genetics of asthma and identified for the first time a genetic locus linked to asthma which is still regarded as one of the most significant discoveries in the field of asthma genetics. In 1995, he returned to India and joined as a Senior Scientist at the Centre for Biochemical Technology (now Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology), Delhi.
Academic and Research Achievements: At IGIB, he formed a unique asthma research group with participation from medical and research community across the country and performed pioneering research in asthma genetics in Indian population. He identified a novel asthma associated gene, Inositol polyphosphate 4-phosphatase (INPP4A), which could open new avenues for therapeutic intervention by modulating PI3K-Akt pathway. He established an in vitro cell culture based screening methodology for rapid identification of anti-inflammatory and anti-asthmatic molecules from natural sources and validated some of these identified compounds for their anti-asthmatic activities using a mouse model of experimental asthma. He demonstrated for the first time that mitochondrial structural alteration and dysfunction are associated with allergic asthma. He studied the post-transcriptional regulation of key cytokines involved in inflammatory diseases and identified microRNAs that regulate the expression of interleukin-10 and interleukin-13, key regulators of the immune system in asthma pathogenesis. He published over 145 peer reviewed articles, over 11 patents and guided sixteen PhD students.
Other Contributions: He has delivered lectures extensively at different Universities and Institutes in India and abroad. He worked as a member of Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), Ministry of Environment and Health, Govt of India. He served as a member of Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM), Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India. He was in the board of Medical Sciences Research Committee (MSRC), Extra Mural Research, CSIR, Govt. of India. He is in the Editorial Board of several national and international journals such as, Recent patents on Inflammation and Allergy Drug Discovery, USA,; Clinical & Molecular Allergy, USA; International Journal of Human Genetics, India. He also serves as an Associate Editor, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, United Kingdom.
Awards and Honours: Dr. Ghosh is a recipient of Prof. S. S. Katiyar Award (2007) from the Indian Science Congress Association. He is a recipient of J.C. Bose National Fellowship (2011) from the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India. He is a recipient of D.N.Shivpuri Oration Medal (2012) from the Indian College of Allergy, Asthma & Applied Immunology. He was elected to the Fellowship of the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad (2008) and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (2010).