Sankaran Subramanian did his BSc and MSc degrees from Kerala University after which he joined the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) as Scientist in 1963. He got a scholarship (1966) for PhD at the University of Leicester, under the supervision of Martyn Symons. Subsequently, he worked for a year as post-doc at Leicester, and then as Research Fellow with Max Rogers at Michigan State University. After returning to India, he was Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1971-79) and Professor (1979- ), Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras. Since1998, he has been working as Scientist at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda.
Academic & Research Achievements: Subramanian's researches encompass electron spin and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging as well as quantum chemical studies on molecular structure. He worked on the structure of short-lived free radicals and transition metal complexes using EPR and quantum mechanical calculations. He also worked on the NMR of paramagnetic crystals. He and his colleagues were involved in the development of non-empirical MO calculations, NDDO-MO calculations, and the theoretical evaluation of NMR chemical shifts and spin-spin coupling constants. As Alexander Humboldt Fellow at the University of Mainz he worked on NMR relaxation of polymers and high resolution solid state NMR. He also studied the structure of small peptides and protein fragments using two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling. He was involved in the preparation and structural investigation of several synthetic high Tc superconducting compounds. He has mentored 21 PhD students, co-authored a book on FT-NMR, published more than 160 papers and several reviews, and book chapters on Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging. He has eight patents to his credit.
Other Contributions: Along with two of his colleagues, Subramanian was involved in establishing the first Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre at IIT Madras to provide sophisticated analytical and research spectroscopic instrumentation services. He was Chairperson of this Center for two terms. While at NIH, he has been involved in the development of instrumentation for fast time-domain and CW in vivo EPR functional imaging and its applications in cancer research.
Awards and Honours: Professor Subramanian received first Silver Medal in Instrumentation from the International ESR (EPR) Society in 2001. He was also elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.