HG Sharat Chandra obtained his PhD degree (1962) from the University of California, Berkeley, USA. His area of specialization is genetics. He was Professor, Microbiology and Cell Biology Laboratory, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Director, CCMB, Hyderabad (1990-1992).
Academic and Research Achievements: By paternal irradiation of mealybugs Chandra induced the development of triploid gynogenetic females and showed that they originate by fusion of the first and second polar bodies which, therefore, must be totipotent. These radiation experiments also allowed him to show that centromeric activity in these insects is truly diffuse. By studying meiosis in such triploids, he showed that the meiotic sequence is inverted in organisms with diffuse centromeres. Further experiments led him to suggest that sex determination in lecanoid coccids is not heterozygosity-dependent. With D. A. Hungerford he provided the first descriptions of the chromosomes of the elephant, the rhinoceros and several other large mammals. With M Philip and M Jamaluddin he developed a gentle and rapid method for the salt extraction of the core histones of chromatin and showed the octameric nature of nucleosome core histones. C Achwal and he developed a method of detection of cytosine methylation in genomic DNA by the use of ELISA and photoacoustic spectroscopy and estimated the amount of cytosine methylation in D melanogaster. He and SW Brown developed a model of mammalian X-chromosome inactivation based on imprinting. Chandra developed a hypothesis linking the evolution of X-inactivation and human sex determination. With V Nanjundiah he explored the various selective forces, which could lead to the evolution of imprinting. They considered how imprinting and such other epigenetic modifications could result in inheritance of induced phonotypic changes across generations. With M Saifi he showed that the human X chromosome is enriched in sex-related and reproduction-related genes.
Other Contributions: Chandra was Editor of J Genet (1989-2004). He served INSA as its Council Member (1993-1995).
Awards and Honours: Chandra is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad and Fellow, TWAS. Awards and Honours include: Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lectureship, INSA (1990); SICO-sponsored award in Biotechnology, National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad (1993) and Prof. Rustum Choksi Award for Excellence in Research in Science, IISc (1999).