Nobel laureate Hargobind Khorana died in the US on November 9, 2011. He was fondly remembered by various academicians. Khorana, an alumnus of the Panjab University, did his BSc and MSc from this university in 1945 when it was situated in Lahore. He later went to England on fellowship for his PhD. He received Nobel Prize in physiology in 1968.
Hargobind Khorana shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley for research that helped to show how the nucleotides in nucleic acids, which carry the genetic code of the cell, control the cell’s synthesis of proteins.
Khorana and Nirenberg were also awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University in the same year. Khorana and his team had established that the mother of all codes, the biological language common to all living organisms, is spelled out in three-letter words: each set of three nucleotides codes for a specific amino acid. Khorana was also the first scientist to synthesize oligonucleotides.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Government of India (DBT Department of Biotechnology), and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum jointly created the Khorana Program in 2007. The mission of the Khorana Program is to build a seamless community of scientists, industrialists, and social entrepreneurs in the United States and India.