Sailendra Mohan Mukherji obtained his DSc (1944) from University of Calcutta specialization in synthetic organic chemistry. He was the Head, Department of Chemistry, Punjab University, Hoshiarpur (1951-59) and Kurukshetra University (1961-80); Honorary Professor of Chemistry, Kurukshetra University (1981-82); and Professor Emeritus, Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak (1982 onwards).
Academic and Research Achievements: Mukherji’s researches relate to alicyclic and homocyclic groups of compounds, such as terpenoids (synthesis of zingiberene), steroids, sex hormones (synthesis of 19-nor-testosterone), and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, including a number of carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Of special significance is his discovery and development of an acid-catalysed alkylation reaction, now internationally quoted as the Colonge-Mukherji reaction. He collaborated with AJ Birch at Oxford in developing metal-ammonia reduction, now generally known as Birch reduction.
Awards and Honours: Mukherji was the Life Member, Indian Chemical Society (President, 1980). He served as the President, Chemistry Section, Indian Science Congress (1965-66).