Dipankar Chatterji earned his BSc and MSc degrees in Chemistry from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He joined Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore under the interdisciplinary programme of Molecular Biology for his PhD (1973) under the joint supervision of Professor US Nandi and Professor SK Podder. He worked for a year in the laboratory of Professor DP Burma at BHU and then joined the School of Life Sciences at Hyderabad University as a lecturer in 1978. He left for USA to carry out post-doctoral work at Albert Einstein College, New York and subsequently at the University of New York at Stony Brook under Professor CW Wu. Here he first started working on E coli RNA polymerase and showed the role of Zn (II) in enzymatic function. In January 1999, he moved to join as a Professor in Molecular Biophysics Unit of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and held a Chair of Molecular Biology And Genetics Unit till 2005. He is an Adjunct Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata and a Distinguished Research Professor, Institute of Life Sciences, Hyderabad.
Academic and Research Achievements: Chatterji returned to India in 1983 and joined the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, as a Scientist and worked there till 1998. In between, for a brief period, he worked as a Reader in Molecular Biology Department of BHU. He worked extensively on bacterial transcription and contributed both in biophysical and molecular biology aspects. He showed that the stringent factor ppGpp binds RNA polymerase to regulate transcription. He also showed the role of omega subunit in E Coli transcription, and mapped the active site of the enzyme by FRET and Tb (III) fluorescence. At IISc, Bangalore, he worked on transcription regulation in Mycobacteria and discovered a stress-induced protein. He is also working on DNA protein interaction at the single molecule level. He has published about 120 research papers and guided 20 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Professor Chatterji has served in various committees at the national and international levels, organized several international workshops at Hyderabad and Bangalore. He has taken interest in Science Education and currently is a convenor for Kishore Vaigyanik Prostahna Yojna (KVPY), a DST programme. He is an Editorial Board member of many national and international journals. He served as INSA Council Member (2002-04).
Awards and Honours: Professor Chatterji was awarded SS Bhatnagar Prize (1992), Homi Bhabha Fellowship (1992), Millennium Gold Medal (2000), Ranbaxy Award (2001) and BC Guha Memorial Lecture Award of INSA (2002). He was also honoured with JC Bose Fellow (2007). He was elected as a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1994).