Research

Sir Shankar Balasubramanian

 
Sir Shankar Balasubramanian FRS is an Indian-born British chemist and the Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, Senior Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is recognised for his contributions to the field of nucleic acids. He is a scientific founder of Solexa and biomodal (formerly Cambridge Epigenetix).

I was born in Madras (now Chennai) India in 1966 and moved to the UK with my parents in 1967. I grew up in a rural area just outside Runcorn in Cheshire and was educated at Daresbury (primary) and Appleton Hall High School (secondary). I am married to Veena Krishnan, a general practitioner, and we have two children, Sachin (born 2002) and Sashi (born 2004). I did my undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge (1985-88) and then carried out a PhD under the supervision of Professor Chris Abell (1988-1991). I travelled to the USA as a SERC/NATO Research Fellow and worked in the group of Professor Stephen J Benkovic at Pensylvannia State University (1991-1993). I started my independent academic career in 1994 in the University of Cambridge and have remained there ever since. I currently hold a joint appointment between the Clinical School and Department of Chemistry. I direct research laboratories in the Department of Chemistry and the CRUK Cambridge Institute at the Addenbrookes Biomedical Campus.

2023
Award
International member of the National Academy of Sciences
2023
2022
Award
Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
2022
2022
Award
Millennium Technology Prize
2022
2020
Award
Honorary Doctorate, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
2020
2018
Award
Royal Medal (for sequencing) Paul Ehrlich Award (Société de Chimie Thérapeutique)
2018
2017
Award
ABRF Award for Outstanding Contribution to Biomolecular Technologies Knight Batchelor
2017
2016
Award
Honorary Doctorate, University of Glasgow
2016
2015
Award
Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) Medal
2015
2014
Award
Honorary Doctorate, University of Liverpool Biochemical Society Heatley Medal and Prize
2014
2013
Award
Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic and Biomedicinal Chemistry
2013
2012
Award
Elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) Elected member of EMBO
2012
2011
Award
Elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences
2011
2010
Award
BBSRC Innovator of the Year
2010
2010 -
Professional History
Senior Group Leader at the CRUK Cambridge Institute
2010 -
2010
Award
BBSRC Commercial Innovator of the Year
2010
2009
Award
Royal Society Mullard Award
2009
2008 -
Professional History
Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Cambridge
2008 -
2007 - 2008
Professional History
Professor of Chemical Biology at University of Cambridge
2007 - 2008
2006 - 2007
Award
The Howard Lectureship (Sydney Chemical Society Australia)
2006 - 2007
2004
Award
BBSRC Senior Research Fellowship
2004
2003 - 2007
Award
University Reader in Chemical Biology at University of Cambridge
2003 - 2007
2002
Award
Corday-Morgan Medal and Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry
2002
1998 - 2003
Professional History
University Lecturer at University of Cambridge
1998 - 2003
1998
Award
Vernalis Fellowship
1998
1998
Award
Glaxo-Wellcome Award for Innovative Organic Chemistry
1998
1994 - 1998
Professional History
Royal Society University Research Fellow at University of Cambridge
1994 - 1998
1994 -
Professional History
Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge
1994 -
1994
Award
Royal Society University Research Fellowship
1994
1991 - 1993
SERC/NATO Research Fellow at Pennsylvannia State University USA
1991 - 1993
1988 - 1991
Education
PhD (Enzyme Chemistry), University of Cambridge Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
1988 - 1991
1985 - 1988
Education
BA (Hons) Natural Sciences First Class, University of Cambridge (Fitzwilliam College)
1985 - 1988