Syamapada Sen did his DPhil (1954) and obtained PhD from the University of Calcutta. He worked as Head, Department of Botany (1961-80), Professor of Botany (1968-92), Dean, Faculty of Science (1970; 1985-87) and INSA Senior Scientist (1992- ), all at the University of Kalyani.
Academic and Research Achievements: Sen has demonstrated that: Amon varieties of rice can be made to flower twice a year; membrane-bound steroids are involved in auxin-induced growth and in flowering; tetracyclic triterpenoids have anti gibberellin properties; inhibitors of photosynthesis occur in non-leaf green organs; substances produced in flowers limit nitrogenase activity of root nodules and photosynthesis in leaves; foliar application of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms improves crop yield; RNA synthesis is involved in auxin induction of growth; antibiotic substances occur in bryophytes and teridophytes; inter-generic transformation between Rhizobium and Azotobacter, as also genetic transformation of antibiotic-producing bacteria, is possible.
Other Contributions: Sen has served as Member of the International Committee of Indian Society for Plant Physiology to review the state of Plant physiology in India. He has contributed substantially to the improvement of teaching botany with an interdisciplinary bias at high school to university levels; and to popularization of science in Bengali and English. He has also been associated with National Science Talent Search Programme. He was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Plant Biochemistry (1974-82), Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (1983-89) and Bulletin of the Botanical Society of Bengal (1966-68). He served on the Editorial boards of many journals, edited/co-edited four books: Nitrogen Assimilation and Crop Productivity (1978), Recent Developments in Plant Sciences (1982), Biofertilizers (1988) and Plant Physiological research in India (1988).
Awards and Honours: Professor Sen was bestowed the JJ Chinoy Memorial Medal by Indian Society for Plant Physiology (1976), Silver Plaque at First International Congress of Plant Physiology (1988), and BB Sarkar Oration Medal by Physiology Society of India (1922). Lectureships awards won by him include: PN Das Memorial Lecture (1979), SM Sircar Memorial Lecture by Bose Institute, Kolkata (1980), P Parija Memorial Lectures (1984, 1988), Umakant Sinha Memorial Lecture, All India Congress of Cytology & Genetics, Kalyani (1990) and JC Bose Lecture by University of Calcutta (1990). He was elected Fellow of the West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology, President of the Botany Section, Indian Science Congress (1985) and Vice-President of the Society for Plant Physiology and Biochemistry.