Eminent biochemist Professor Tapas Kumar Kundu has been awarded the coveted GD Birla Award for scientific research for 2011.
Given for high-calibre scientific research undertaken by Indian scientists living and working in India and below 50 years of age, it carries award money of Rs 1.50 lakh.
Kundu, who has made important contributions in biochemistry, is a scientist with the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.
Instituted in 1991 by the KK Birla Foundation, the award has among its previous awardees scientists like RA Mashelkar, Ashoke Sen and Goverdhan Mehta, all three of whom went on to be elected Fellows of the Royal Society, London.
Born in 1962, Kundu completed his post-graduation and doctorate degree from Bangalore before heading to the National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan and Rockefeller University, New York, for his post-doctoral work. He has one US and three Indian patents.
Kundu's contributions are outstanding in the area of regulation of human gene expression (transcription) and its link to disease and therapeuticsn which is also being used to design new generation cancer diagnostics, as well as therapeutics for cancer, AIDS and diabetes. Kundu has also identified PC4 as a functional component of chromatin and as a unique activator P53.