Mamannamana Vijayan obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in physics from Kerala and Allahabad universities, respectively. He received PhD (1967) from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, working under the supervision of Dr MA Viswamitra and Professor RS Krishnan. During 1968-71, he was Postdoctoral Fellow in Professor Dorothy Hodgkin's research group at Oxford. The work at Oxford facilitated his transition from physics to structural biology. After his return to India in 1971, he has all along been at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, except for a sojourn at Oxford as Senior Visiting Fellow in Professor Hodgkin's Laboratory and Wolfson College during 1976-77. He was the Chairman of the Molecular Biophysics Unit (1985-92), Chairman of the Division of Biological Sciences (1993-2000), Associate Director of the Institute (2000-04), Honorary Professor,/Distinguished Biotechnologist/Professor (2004-2010), DAE Homi Bhabha Professor (2010-2013) and INSA Albert Einstein Research Professor (2013- ), all at IISc.
Academic and Research Achievements: Vijayan pioneered biological macromolecular crystallography in the country. His personal research has been on structural studies involving lectins, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacterial proteins, protein hydration and mobility, and supramolecular association of amino acids and peptides with emphasis on its relevance to chemical evolution and origin of life. Those who worked under his supervision include 43 Ph.D. students and 27 postdoctoral fellows.
Other Contributions: Professor Vijayan played a major role in the development of structural biology in India with special reference to macromolecular crystallography and actively participated in international efforts in the area. He has been the President of the Indian Biophysical Society and founder President of the Indian Crystallographic Association. He worked in several Commissions and Councils of the International Unions of Crystallography and Pure & Applied Biophysics. He has also served on the councils of Indian Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences (India), and INSA.
Awards and Honours: Professor Vijayan was conferred many awards, notably: the SS Bhatnagar Prize, GN Ramachandran Medal by INSA, Alumni Award for Excellence in Research by IISc, FICCI Award, Ranbaxy Research Award, JL Nehru Centenary Visiting Fellowship by INSA, Om Prakash Bhasin Award, KS Krishnan Memorial Lecture Award by INSA, JL Nehru Birth Centenary Award by Indian Science Congress Association, Padma Shri, Goyal Prize, the first CSIR/Science Congress GN Ramachandran Award for Excellence, and Distinguished Alumni Award by IISc., Honorary Fellowship of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Lakshmipat Singhania-IIM Lucknow National Leadership Award for Science and Technology, Sir Devaprasad Sarvadhikari Medal by University of Calcutta, Champion of CSIR Award, Professor Krishnaji Memorial Lecture Award of the National Academy of Sciences, Kerala Science Award, Honorary Fellow of Kerala Academy of Sciences, G. N. Ramachandran Award by SASTRA. He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). He has been the President of the Asian Crystallographic Association and President of INSA.