Prasanna K Mohanty did his BSc and MSc from Ravenshaw College, Utkal University and subsequently taught as a Lecturer in Botany at different colleges. In 1965, he left to study at the University of Illinois, USA and obtained his MS in Botany and PhD (1972). His doctoral works elucidated the nature of slow chlorophyll (chl) fluorescence transients in algae, chloroplasts and leaves. His post-doctoral work, under Fellowship of National Research Council, Canada at the Chemistry Department, University of Western Ontario, Canada was on EPR signal, arising from photochemistry of photosystem-I at cryogenic temperature. He also received several national and international Fellowships such as DAAD-UGC, Senior Fulbright Fellow, Senior JSPS, etc. for his study. In 1973, he joined Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi as Associate Professor and then served as Professor of Bioenergetics and retired in 1999. Since then he is associated with the Regional Plant Resource Cenre (RPRC), Bhubaneswar.
Academic and Research Achievements: At JNU, Mohanty taught biochemistry, cell biology, membrane biology and bioenergetics courses at post-graduate level. His research involved assortment of works on metal-ion specific interference of electron transport; energy transfer in photosynthesis; in vivo spectroscopic probing of drought, salinity, osmotic and high temperature stresses; identifying PBS as target of UV-B stress in cynobacteria; and biohydrogen production from heterocystous cyanobacteria. His group also studied electron transport and energy transduction in buffalo-heart and cockroach coxal mitochondria. He has published nearly 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals and mentored several post-doctoral and PhD students.
Other Contributions: From 1999, Mohantry has been engaged in the collaborative studies on salinity tolerance-strategies in mangroaves, metal ion induced signaling and on the nature of plant growth enhancement upon removal of UV components from solar radiation under the Honorary Scientist Scheme of INSA. He was associated with several international collaborations like India-Russia, India-Japan and India-USA bilateral programmes. He taught new innovative courses at the University of Hyderabad under their UPE (University Potential for Excellence) programme and established collaborative research on plant biophysics. Mohanty has co-edited 3 books, 4 journal special issues and served in the Editorial Boards of national and international journal like Indian Journal of Experiment Biology; Indian Journal of Biochemsitry and Biophysics; Photosynthesis Research; Journal of Plant, etc. He served as Council Member of National Science Academy (India), Allahabad (1986).
Awards and Honours: Dr Mohanty received Robert Emersion Fellowship of University of Illinois; Gold Medal of National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Hari-Om-Trust-Jagadish Chandra Bose Award of UGC; P Mahaeswari Memorial Lectureship of INSA (1996) and P Parija Memorial Lectureship of Utkal University. He is a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Founder Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (India) and Founder Member of Society for Scientific Values.