John Barnabas did his PhD (1956) from the University of Poona. His specialization was in molecular systematics and evolution. He was a Distinguished Professor (1978-81), Ahmednagar College, Ahmednagar; UGC Professor (1981-85); Scientist F (1985-86), National Chemical Laboratory, Pune; Scientist (Director's grade) (1986-91); and CSIR Distinguished Fellow (1991-94).
Academic and Research Achievements: Barnabas made significant contributions to the evolutionary genetics of hemoglobins through studies on sequence of hemoglobins in mammals, and developed mathematically proven parsimony methods to derive phylogenetics trees. Based on parsimony analysis of sequences of proteins and nucleic acids, he retrieved the evolutionary history of different eukaryotic lineages.
Other Contributions: Barnabas was responsible for building up a post-graduate School of Biological Studies at Ahmednagar College. He was a Member, Science Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (1983-85); Councellor, International Society for the Study of Origin of Life (1980-83); Member, Advisory Committee for Space Sciences, Indian Space Research Organization, Scientific Advisory Committee to Department of Biotechnology (1990-93); and of several research councils of CSIR and other laboratories. He was Member of Editorial Boards of: Biotechnology Letters; Science Technology; Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics; Journal of Bioscience; Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences (Animal Sciences) and Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy. He was an INSA Council Member (1984-86).
Awards and Honours: Barnabas received SS Bhatnagar Prize (1974); Sreenivasayya Memorial Award (1976); UGC National Lecturer (1978-79); Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow (1983-85); Vyas Memorial Award Lectureship of Association of Microbiologists of India (1986); Salim Ali Memorial Lectureship Award of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (1989); and Golden Jubilee Commemoration Medal of INSA (1989). He was a Fellow of University Department of Chemical Technology of University of Bombay; Founder Fellow of Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science; Life Member of Society of Biological Chemists, India (President, 1984-86) and Society for Scientific Values; and Member of Guha Research Conference.