British-Indian Shankar Balasubramanian knighted for his work on DNA sequencing
An Indian-origin British professor of chemistry and DNA expert at Cambridge University Shankar Balasubramanian received Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for their contributions.
He was recognised for his work as a co-inventor of Next Generation DNA sequencing (also known as Solexa sequencing), described as the most transformational advance in biology and medicine for decades.
About Shankar Balasubramanian
- Born on 30 September 1966 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He had received PhD for research on the Reaction mechanism of the enzyme Chorismate synthase from University of Cambridge
- He is recognised for his contributions in the field of nucleic acids. He is scientific founder of Solexa and Cambridge Epigenetix.
- At present, he is Herchel Smith Professorof Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry the University of Cambridge.
- More recently, he has made major contributions to understanding the role of DNA-quadruplexes in cancer and invented a method for the sequencing of epigenetic modifications.
It is one of the highest honours bestowed upon an individual in the UK and it doesn’t carry any military obligations to the sovereign. Persons receiving it are entitled with title ‘Sir’ before their name. The knighthoods are conferred by the Queen or a member of the Royal Family acting on her behalf in Britain. Queen usually presents insignia at the ceremony.
Solexa sequencing: It is an individual genome to be sequenced in a day or two at a cost of less than 1,000 pounds. Previously, sequencing the human genome took years of work and cost billions.