Partha Pratim Majumder obtained his BStat (Hons), MStat and PhD degrees from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He did his post-doctoral work at the Center for Demographic & Population Genetics, University of Texas Health Science Centre, Houston. He returned to India and joined the faculty of the Indian Statistical Institute (1983). He was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Biostatistics & Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh (1987-89).
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Majumder has made significant contributions to human genetics and evolution using statistical, molecular genetic and anthropological methods. He has devised innovative paradigms and statistical methods for solving biological problems related to modes of inheritance of complex human traits and mapping genes underlying such traits. He applied these methods to data on various common disorders and their quantitative precursor states, that has resulted in a clear understanding of the genetic bases of such disorders. He was one of the early human geneticists to recognize the importance of studying genetic structures of ethnic populations using molecular genetic tools to discover genes conferring susceptibilities to various common diseases. This viewpoint has been widely accepted and, in fact, the study of common diseases have moved to villages of population isolates. His work on genetic diversity of ethnic Indian populations has resulted in a clear reconstruction of the processes of peopling of the Indian subcontinent, which have had major impacts on the design of studies for mapping disease genes.
Other Contributions: Majumder is a founding member of the International Genetic Epidemiology Society and was the Founding Chair of its ethical, legal and social issues committee. He has served on committees of the UNESCO for drafting guidelines and declarations pertaining to the human genome and human genetics. Majumder has immensely contributed to capacity-building in human and statistical genetics in India by sustained organization of workshops, summer and winter schools. He has served on the Executive Committee of the International Human Genome Diversity Programme, and on many national committees. He is a Member of the Human Genome Organization and Member, INSA Council (2006-08).
Awards and Honours: Partha Majumder is a recipient of Ranbaxy Research Award (2000), New Millennium Science Medal (2000), Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award (2001) and GD Birla Award for Scientific Research (2002). He is also a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.