Narayanan Chandrakumar did his BSc from Loyola College, Chennai in 1970 and MSc from IIT Madras in 1972. He earned his PhD degree from IIT Kanpur (1979), working under the supervision of Professor PT Narasimhan. Thereafter, he was Research Associate at the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai from 1980, where he set up the first multi-purpose NMR laboratory in India. He was a Scientist at CLRI from 1982, and went on to head the Physical Sciences Division. He became Director-Grade Scientist at CLRI in 1996 and later moved to IIT Madras in 2001 as Professor in the Department of Chemistry. He was Visiting Scientist at JEOL, Tokyo and at National Institutes of Health, Bethesda (1986) and at University Gesamthochschule, Siegen (1993). He was a Max-Planck Fellow at Gottingen (1990) and a Visiting Professor at University Ulm (1997-98) as well as at INSERM, Grenoble (2001).
Academic and Research Achievements: Chandrakumar's main research interests have been in the development and implementation as well as molecular, materials and in vivo applications of magnetic resonance, especially NMR spectroscopy and imaging. Among his significant research contributions in the above areas, the X-band dynamic nuclear polarization on home-built spectrometer?, formulation of density matrix theory of coherence transfer involving spin-1 nuclei ? (now used internationally), investigations of rotating frame coherence transfer, novel protocol for heteronuclear correlation spectroscopy (patented), indirect C-13 imaging with novel pulse sequences and high resolution spin-1 NMR in solution and solid state, are few to name. He has authored two monographs published by Springer-Verlag and has co-edited three journal special issues. He holds a number of international patents, and has mentored a number of doctoral, pre-doctoral and post-doctoral researchers.
Other Contributions: Besides setting up advanced facilities for Magnetic Resonance at CLRI, Professor Chandrakumar pioneered the first industrial applications of NMR Microimaging (MRM) in India. He later set up state-of-the-art research facilities for MRM and MRI at IIT Madras. He has contributed significantly to the popularization of Science in Indian Media, both in English and in Tamil. He has been a Member of the INSA Council (2004-06).
Awards and Honours: Professor Chandrakumar received the Bruker Young Scientist Award (1985) and CSIR Young Scientist Award (1987), CSIR New Idea Fund Award (1996), SS Bhatnagar Prize (1996), Millennium Medal by Indian Science Congress Association (2000), Professor RK Asundi Memorial Lecture Award, INSA (2002), Professor K Rangadhama Rao Memorial Lecture Award of INSA (2004), CRSI Silver Medal (2008). He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1993).