Department of Chemistry

Balasubramanian Group

Professor Shankar Balasubramanian
The Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

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), then Appleton Hall High School (secondary). I am married to Veena Krishnan, who is 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 then traveled 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 also the CRUK Cambridge Institute at the Addenbrookes Biomedical Campus.


1985-1988 BA (Hons) Natural Sciences First Class, University of Cambridge (Fitzwilliam College)
1988-1991 PhD (Enzyme Chemistry), University of Cambridge Chemistry, Department of Chemistry


Professional History
1991-1993 SERC/NATO Research Fellow at Pennsylvannia State University USA
1994-1998 Royal Society University Research Fellow at University of Cambridge
1994- Fellow and College Lecturer at Trinity College Cambridge
1998-2003 University Lecturer at University of Cambridge
2003-2007 University Reader in Chemical Biology at University of Cambridge
2007-2008 Professor of Chemical Biology at University of Cambridge
2008- Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Cambridge
2010- Senior Group Leader at the CRUK Cambridge Institute


Royal Society University Research Fellowship 1994
Glaxo-Wellcome Award for Innovative Organic Chemistry 1998
Vernalis Fellowship 1998
Corday-Morgan Medal and Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry 2002
BBSRC Senior Research Fellowship 2004
The Howard Lectureship (Sydney Chemical Society Australia) 2006/7
Royal Society Mullard Award 2009
BBSRC Innovator of the Year 2010
BBSRC Commercial Innovator of the Year 2010
Elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences 2011
Elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) 2012
Elected member of EMBO 2012
Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic and Biomedicinal Chemistry 2013
Biochemical Society Heatley Medal and Prize 2014
Honorary Doctorate University of Liverpool 2014
Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) Medal 2015


For my main University Staff Page please visit Shankar Balasubramanian