Director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi, his main contribution has been in the field of functional genomics. Molecular genetics of neurological and psychiatric disorders has been a major area of interest and along with his team, he has been able to identify a gene associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Brahmachari, 55, has also done extensive computational analysis of repetitive sequences in the genome and his team was one of the first to propose a functional role of such sequence.

Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) since 1998, Singh is best known for developing a unique way of DNA fingerprinting that has been accepted by Indian courts as valid in forensic evidence, paternity determination and seed stock verification. This technique was used during the probe into the Rajiv Gandhi murder case. This new technique prompted the government to set up the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics for further exploration in the field.

An honorary professor at the Molecular Biophysics Unit at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Vijayan, 66, has made original contributions in the study of structure and properties of lectins, apart from his insightful research on the evolutionary implications of molecular recognition and aggregation of amino acids and peptides. Vijayan has extensively studied the structural genomics of mycobacterial proteins, which, among other things, opened up avenues for structure-based inhibitor design.

Rao, 49, is organic chemistry's loss and biology's gain. A PhD in chemistry from MS University, Vadodara, Rao switched to the investigation of immune systems and now leads the immunology group at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi. His team at ICGEB aims to understand the regulatory parameters that influence the outcome of an immune response.

... contd.

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