Anant Balkrishna Kulkarni obtained DSc degree (1949) from Federal Technical Institute, Zurich, with specialization in synthetic and natural product chemistry. He was Professor of Organic Chemistry, Institute of Science, Mumbai (1954-67); and Professor and Head, Department of Chemistry, University Department of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay (1967-80). He was Research Scientist at Osaka and Kyoto University, Japan (1968).
Academic and Research Achievements: Kulkarni developed stereospecific methods (i) for the synthesis of C5-hydroxylated steroids, which were important in the synthesis of cardiac glycosides; and (ii) for the synthesis of all possible four recemates of leucoanthocyanidins. With the methods that he developed, several naturally occurring leucoanthocyanidins were synthesized. He also developed a method for the synthesis of methadienone, a steroidal hormone, which was employed in industrial production. Kulkarni did fundamental research on the synthesis of naturally occurring lignans, hexahydronapthacenes (compounds similar to tetracyclines), catechins and sphingosines (basic units of sphingolipids). His works on isolation and structural studies of a number of natural products such as pristimarin, aeginetic acid, etc. have been seminal.
Other Contributions: Kulkarni served as an independent consultant, of many textiles, pharmaceutical and paint companies (1957-87). He was Managing Editor of University Journal Science. He was Member of Indian Chemical Society.
Awards and Honours: Kulkarni was a recipient of Basudeo Banerjee Gold Medal and Prize (1961) and was UGC National Lecturer (1981). He was a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and Chemical Society (London).