Biography of Har Gobind Khorana

Har Gobind Khorana was an Indian-American biochemist who played a crucial role in deciphering the genetic code and received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968. Born on January 9, 1922, in Raipur, British India (now in Pakistan), Khorana’s work significantly contributed to the understanding of how the genetic information in DNA is translated into proteins in living organisms.
Biography of Har Gobind Khorana
Biography of Har Gobind Khorana

Early Life and Education:

Khorana came from a humble background in a small village in Punjab (now in Pakistan). Despite financial constraints, he pursued his education with dedication. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in 1943 from Punjab University and later moved to England for further studies.

Research and Discoveries of Har Gobind Khorana:

In the 1950s and 1960s, Khorana conducted groundbreaking research in the field of genetics and biochemistry. He helped to establish the order of nucleotides in nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and deciphered how these sequences control the synthesis of proteins. In 1961, he and his colleagues synthesized the first artificial gene, which marked a significant milestone in genetic research.
Khorana’s most notable achievement came in 1968 when he and two other scientists, Robert W. Holley and Marshall W. Nirenberg, were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. They were recognized for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.

Later Career and Legacy:

After receiving the Nobel Prize, Khorana continued his research and teaching career. He worked at institutions like the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His work laid the foundation for advancements in genetic engineering, DNA synthesis, and our understanding of the molecular basis of life.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Khorana received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to science, including the National Medal of Science in 1987. He was also elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 1978.

Har Gobind Khorana’s Death and Recognition:

Har Gobind Khorana passed away on November 9, 2011, in Concord, Massachusetts, USA. His pioneering research in genetics and his efforts to unravel the genetic code have had a profound impact on the fields of biology and medicine. Khorana’s work paved the way for advancements in genetic research, leading to the development of modern biotechnology and genetic engineering techniques. His legacy continues to inspire scientists and researchers worldwide.