Biography of Dr.Hargovind Khorana

Biography of Dr.Hargovind Khorana


Dr.Hargovind Khorana

Born 9 January 1922, Raipur, Multan (now in Pakistan)

Died: November 9, 2011, Concord, Massachusetts, USA

Scope Molecular Biology

Institutions MIT (1970-2007), University of Wisconsin, Madison (1960-70), University of British Columbia (1952-60), University of Cambridge (1950-52), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (1948-49), University of Punjab, University of Liverpool

Famous work: The first to show the role of nucleotides in the synthesis of proteins.

Awards: Nobel Prize in Medicine (1968), Gardner Foundation International Award, Louisa Foundation International Award, Albert Loskar Award for Basic Medical Research, Padmavibhushan

Dr. Haragobind Khurana was an Indian-American scientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968 to demonstrate the importance of nucleotides during protein synthesis. He was awarded this prize together with the other two American scientists. In 1968, alongside Nirenberg, Dr. Nirenberg, Dr. Khurana was also presented with the Lucia Groutz Horwitz Prize.

Hargobind Khurana was born in Raipur (Multan currently in Pakistan) in British India but became an American citizen in the year 1966.

Education and early life

Hargovind Khurana was born January 9th, 1922, in Raipur (District Multan, Punjab) in unincorporated India. He was the son of a Patwari. Hargobind was one of the youngest sons that his parents had. Even though he was poor Haragobind’s father was focused on the education of his children, which resulted in Khurana’s focusing on education. His father passed away at the age of 12 years older and in this situation, his elder brother Nandlal took over his education. His first education was at the local school. He was the D.A.V. of Multan. Also, he studied at high school. A gifted pupil from his childhood, and he was awarded scholarships frequently.

He earned his B.S.-C in 1943 at Punjab University 1943. (Hons) and then in 1945 M.S.-C. (Hons) diploma. Mahan Singh was an instructor at Punjab University. Then, he went to England to further his education as the recipient of a scholarship from the Government of India. In England, he was professor Roger J.S. at The University of Liverpool. The research was conducted under the guidance of Prof. Birua and was awarded a doctorate. Following this, he again was awarded a fellowship by the Government of India, after which he was a researcher alongside Prof. V. Prilag at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (Switzerland).



Biography of Dr.Hargovind Khorana


After completing his higher education even after completing his higher education, Dr. Khurana could not find an appropriate job in India and he retreated to England in 1949 to work alongside Lord Todd at Cambridge University. He was a resident of Cambridge from 1950 until 1952. In the years following, he taught and studied at renowned universities.

The year was 1952 and he was given an invitation to Columbia University in Vancouver (Canada) he subsequently moved to Vancouver and was made the director of the Department of Biochemistry. At Columbia University began his research in genetics. Gradually, his research papers appeared in the international journal as well as research journals. In the wake of that, he was extremely popular and received numerous awards and honors.

In 1960, he was awarded his Gold Medal at the ‘Professor Institute of Public Service’ in Canada and was also awarded the Merck Award. In 1960, following this the Professor. Khurana was appointed as a professor at the Institute of Enzyme Research, University of Wisconsin, USA. He was made an American citizen in the year 1966.

1970 late in 1970, Dr. Khurana was appointed the Alfred Sloan Professor of Chemistry and Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). From 1970 until 2007, Dr. Khurana was a part of this firm and gained a lot of fame.

Nobel Prize

Professor. Khurana played an important part in laying the groundwork for the field of Gene Engineering (Biotechnology). In 1968 Dr. Khurana was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the genetic code, and for introducing its importance in the process of protein synthesis. Dr. Hargobind Khurana is the third person of Indian origin to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He was awarded the prize along with 2 other American scientists who were Dr. Robert Holl and Dr. Marshall Nirenberg. Three of them discuss the DNA’s structure as well as state that DNA is what causes protein synthesis happens.

After receiving the Nobel Prize, America gave him membership in the National Academy of Sciences (an honor given only to the most prominent American researchers).

Dr. Khurana continued his studies as a teacher and researcher within America while under his direction, numerous students from the US as well as abroad earned doctoral degrees.

To commemorate Dr. Khurana’s work in the medical field In honor of his contributions to medicine, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Government of India, and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum joined forces to launch the Khurana Program in 2007.

Awards and Honours

Professor. Hargobind Khurana has received many honors and awards for his writing and research. His Nobel Prize is the most prestigious. Nobel Prize is the most significant of them all.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968.

He was awarded the Merck Medal in 1958. was awarded his Merck Medal of Canada.

In 1960, the Canadian Public Service presented him with the gold medal.

Danny was awarded the Hahnemann Prize in 1967

In 1968, Loskar was awarded Loskar was awarded the Federation Award and Lucia Gross the Hari Witz Award. In 1969 in 1969, the Government of India honored Dr. Khurana with the Padma Bhushan.

Punjab University, Chandigarh released the D.S.C. Honorary degree awarded to

Personal life

Dr. Hargovind Khorana married Esther Elizabeth Sibler of Swiss origin in the year 1952. They had three children. Khurana family had 3 children: Julia Elizabeth (1953), Emily Ann (1954), and Dave Roy (1958) His wife was supportive of Dr. Khurana in his work in research and teaching. Esther Elizabeth Sibler died in 2001.


On November 9, 2011, the famous scientist passed away on the 9th of November in Massachusetts, USA. Family members include daughter Julia as well as son Dave.


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