Satinder Vir Kessar did his MSc (Hons) from Hoshiarpur, Punjab. He obtained his PhD (1958) from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, under the supervision of MC Kloetzel. After a brief stint as an Assistant Professor at the Punjab Engineering College, he joined the Department of Chemistry, Panjab University as a Lecturer (1959) and later became Reader (1963) and Professor (1974). He was CSIR Distinguished Chair (1992-97) and is continuing as an Emeritus Professor at Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Academic and Research Achievements: Kessar's research achievements are: (i) development of highly effective routes for total synthesis of many classes of natural products and compounds of medicinal or structural interest, e.g. steroidal sapogenins and alkaloids; phenanthridine, aporphine and quinculidine alkaloids; azasteroids and drugs like dextrophan; and conformationally restricted analogs of venlafaxine, (ii) development of new methodology, e.g. two of the introduced approaches namely, benzyne cyclisation of anils and Lewis acid- promoted lithiation have become widely used synthetic procedures; and (iii) elucidation of mechanistic pathways including region diasterio and enantio selectivity of these transformations as well as of some unusual photo-induced hydrogen shift.
Awards and Honours: Kessar is a recipient of the Basudev Banerjee Medal, the SS Bhatnagar Award, Hari Om Award, Jawahar Lal Science Prize, INSA Golden Jubilee Commemoration Medal (1992) and Meghnad Saha Medal of INSA (1996), CRSI Gold Medal, and Lifetime Achievement Award by Indian Chemical Society. He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, the National Academy of Science (India), Allahabad, the Punjab Academy of Science and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). He was Member, INSA Council (1992) and Vice-President of INSA (1993-94).