Jyotirmoy Das obtained a DSc degree in 1982 from the University of Calcutta with specialization in molecular biology and biophysics. He joined the Biophysics Division of Indian Institute Chemical Biology, Kolkata in 1979 and become its Director in 1995, a position he held at the time of his sudden demise in 1998. He was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Rochester, USA.
Academic and Research Achievements: Das demonstrated the DNA repair mechanism in Vibrio cholerae and identified genes involved in these processes. He is credited with the elucidation of the intracellular replication of choleraphages and investigation of the mechanism of biotype differentiation by these phages along with the analysis of the cell surface architecture of Vibrio cholerae and the development of an oral vaccine strain for cholera. His group contributed significantly to the elucidation of V cholerae genome structure, identification of genomic rearrangements and diversity, and went on to construct first a physical man and then an ordered cloned DNA map of V cholerae genome, probably because of his initial training in pure physics. Dr Das had a desire to understand the physical basis of life this prompted him to start the Theoretical Biology Group at Indian Institute of Chemical Biology.
Other Contributions: Professor Das was a member of the editorial board of the Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
Awards and Honours: In addition to being chosen as the UGC National Lecturer in 1985, Jyotirmoy Das also received the Ranbaxy Research Foundation Award in 1989 and the Om Prakash Bhasin Award in 1990; INSA Golden Jubilee Commemoration Medal (1998). He was a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.