Darshan Ranganathan was an outstanding organic chemist whose work in bio-organic chemistry was notable. She made headway in protein folding, supramolecular assemblies, molecular design, chemical simulation of key biological processes, synthesis of functional hybrid peptides and synthesis of nanotubes.
Usha Barwale Zehr
One of the most talented researchers in Botany, she is the Joint Director of Research at Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Limited in Jalna. She produced India’s first genetically modified food, the Bt brinjal. Her work gained recognition in 2000 for her efforts in producing genetically modified food.
Paramjit Khurana has developed hybrid strains of mulberry, wheat and rice which withstand drought and high heat, to help farmers who depend on weather. However, like many others she faces obstacles like insufficient funds for research.
Charusita Chakravarty was a chemistry professor at IIT Delhi. Though she was born in the USA, she came back to India and continued her research on DNA proteins. Though funds were scarce, she persevered and studied the basis of molecules and effects of change in molecular base on DNA proteins. Her work earned her accolades like the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize. She was also an Associate Member of the Centre for Computational Material Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.
Yamuna Krishnan works in the field of bionanotechnology and makes experimental machines out of DNA. She synthesizes nuclear bases into filaments of DNA; the filamentous DNA are sent into cells which help provide more information on the condition inside such as acidity and other factors. The mechanism has the potential to mimic viruses and make drugs more efficient by efficiently reaching the drugs to the cells.
In her work on neurocircuitry in mammals, Shubha Tole seeks to study how genetic mechanisms control our brain to understand defects like autism and epilepsy. She discovered a master regulator gene which controls the development of the brain’s cortex hippocampus and amygdala. She is professor at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the recipient of the Infosys Prize in 2014 and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar prize in 2010.
The assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Science was on the Forbes’ 30-under-30 India list which includes people who are doing commendable work in their professional fields. She studies soft condensed matter like colloids, emulsions and surfactants. She was part of a team which made great headway in two-dimensional physics.