Prof. M.R.N. Murthy Laboratory
Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, INDIA

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Name : Murthy, Mathur Ramabhadra Shastry Narasimha                                        

Date of Birth : 27 April 1950

Residence : 531 BELADINGALU
                     14th Main, Gokula I stage, I Phase
                      Bangalore 560 054    
                      Tel: (080)2337-2981,                  

Biographical sketch

M.R.N. Murthy was born in the small village of Mathur situated in the Shimoga District of Karnataka State. Because of his background, Murthy has intimate knowledge of Indian rural traditions and customs. Murthy, along with Professor M. Vijayan, established X-ray diffraction facility at the Molecular Biophysics Unit, which served as the national nucleus for crystallographic work in the initial decade of such structural work in India. Also in the 1980s and early 1990s, computational facilities available at the Indian Institute of Science were inadequate for even protein crystallography and successful execution of structural studies of viruses was unimaginable. Murthy developed methods for the structure determination and analyses of viruses that were computationally efficient and less demanding of resources, writing several programs and adopting a number of other available programs to smaller computing machines. His success in these endeavors is reflected in the successful conclusion of several structural studies on virus particles, which are the only such studies performed in the twentieth century in the third world.  

Murthy has shown deep commitment to Science education in the state of Karnataka of India. This interest has been facilitated by his intimate knowledge of the state language, Kannada and his ability to express ideas of Science with ease. He has actively participated in the activities of Karnataka Rajya Vigyana Parishad (an autonomous organization with the goal of promoting science education), Bangalore Association for Science Education (functioning from the Nehru Planetarium, Bangalore), extension lecture program of the Indian Institute of Science, supported by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi and Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology. He frequently writes articles on scientific ideas and discoveries in the local language. Kannada Pusthaka Pradhikara (a publishing body of the Karnataka Government) has published a popular book on Biotechnology written by him in Kannada.

Educational background

Primary Education: Government Primary School, Mathur

High School Education: Desheeya Vidya Shala, Shimoga

Undergraduate Study (B.Sc. Hons): Central College, Bangalore

Masterís program (Physics): Indian Institute of Technology: Chennai

Ph.D. (Organic chemical crystallography): Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Post-doctoral work (Protein Crystallography): Purdue University, USA

Professional background

Senior Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Science: 1982 - 1983

Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Science: 1983 - 1989

Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Science: 1989 - 1994

Professor, Indian Institute of Science: Since 1994

Membership of professional bodies

Member, Indian Biophysical Society

Member, Indian Crystallographic Association

Member, Biochemical society of India


Adjunct professor at Purdue University, 1989-1992

Elected to the Indian Academy of Sciences, 1992.

Shantiswaroop Bhatnagar Prize: 1993

Elected to the Indian National Science Academy, 1996

Indian Science Platinum Jubilee Lecture: 1999.

Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, 2001

Rustum Choksi award for excellence in Science, 2002

R.L. Kapur endowment lecture, Ramanujan Mathematical Society, 2003

G.N.Ramachandran Commemoration award, 2003

Fellow of the third world Academy of sciences, 2004

Astra-Zeneca distinguished Scientist award for the popularization of Science, 2005

UGC Hari Om Ashram Trust Awards for 2004:

Jagdish Chandra Bose Award for Life Sciences, 2006

G.N.Ramachandran gold medal for excellence in biological sciences 2009

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