The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1968
National Medal of Sciences - Biological Sciences 1978
Co-Nobelists: Robert W. Holley, Marshall W. Nirenberg
Organic Chemist, Biochemist. 'Genetic code interpretation, function in protein synthesis. Pioneered synthesizing biologically active gene, determine codon triplets'
nucleotides order. Unraveled genetic code, how nucleic acids form proteins. Pioneered genetic engineering. Multidisciplinary work.
"Wife brought sense of purpose. In foreign country, I felt out of place everywhere, at home nowhere."
Har Gobind Khorana was born in India in a Sanatana Dharma [Hindu] family in Raipur, a small village with a population of about 100 people. His father Ganpat Rai Khorana was a ‘patwari’, a government village tax clerk. His mother was Krishna Devi Khorana. He had an elder sister and three elder brothers. Though financially not wealthy, his father was determined to educate his children. In the entire village, their family was the only literate family. Often, he would sit on the post office steps, transcribing letters for illiterate fellow villagers.
In 1952, Khorana married Swiss Esther Elizabeth Sibler. Their three children are Julia Elizabeth (born May 4th, 1953), Emily Anne (born October 18th, 1954; died 1979) and Dave Roy (born July 26th, 1958).
The children described their father as being very loving. Despite his busy schedule he spent time with family having dinner together.
Name: Har Gobind Khorana
Birth: 9 January 1922, Raipur, India
Death: 9 November 2011, Concord, MA, USA
Institution: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
Award: "for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis."
Portion of Cash: 1/3
Education, Mentors: D.A.V. High School, Multan, India; Influential Teacher; Ratan Lal.
B.Sc. 1943 & M. Sc. 1945, Punjab University, Lahore, India; Supervisor: Mahan Singh.
Ph. D. University of Liverpool, UK 1948, Indian government scholarship; Mentor: Roger J. S. Beer.
Postdoc Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, 1948-1949; Mentor: Vladimir Prelog, Chemistry Nobelist 1975.
Postdoc Cambridge University, England 1949; Mentors: G. W. Kenner & A. R. Todd, Chemistry Nobelist 1957.
Nobel Prize General Info