Har Gobind Khorana, an Indian-born American biochemist shared the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley. Their work, which established the genetic code linking nucleotide sequence of mRNAs to amino acid sequence of proteins, was a milestone in biology. Besides being an icon in molecular biology, Khorana also founded the field of chemical biology. Khorana was also the first to synthesize a gene and he proposed a series of steps, similar to PCR, for amplification of the synthetic gene, long before PCR became a routine method. He also made fundamental contributions in the area of membrane biology focussing on bacterio-rhodopsin and rhodopsin.
This symposium is being organized in memory of Har Gobind Khorana and his many achievements in science and includes former associates of Khorana from all over the world. It is being jointly organized by Uttam L. RajBhandary and Rajinder S. Ranu from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Colorado State University, respectively, USA; and National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, Punjab State Council for Science & Technology, Institute of Nano Science & Technology and Indian Institute of Scientific Education & Research. The symposium is also a celebration of, how a person with such humble beginnings in a small village of Punjab and with a modest demeanour, could rise to have such an influence over generations of young scientists. It is hoped that this symposium will attract the attention of young students and scientists in India and that the example set by Khorana will continue to inspire generations of young scientists.