Structural biologist Vijayan passes away

Molecular biophysicist and structural biologist Professor Mamannamana Vijayan passed away on Sunday in Bengaluru, the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) said. He was 80.

The health of Vijayan, who was the former chairman of INSA in 2008-2010, had deteriorated in the past two days, the academy reported on social media.

“It is with heavy hearts that we bring the sad news this morning in Bengaluru of the passing of a prominent Indian scientist of international repute Prof Mamannamana Vijayan, former president of INSA (2008-2010). He had not been well for the past two days Prof. Vijayan had been associated with the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru for more than five decades,” the INSA said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, former union minister and senior congressional leader Jairam Ramesh, former state minister and CPI(M) politburo member MA Baby, among others, expressed their condolences.

The Chief Minister recalled that Vijayan’s service in the field of science was invaluable.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of Dr. M.Vijayan. He was a highly eminent molecular biophysicist and played a prominent role as part of Dorothy Hodgkin’s team in unraveling the structure of insulin. Georgina Ferry Hodgkin’s biographer does his part very well… I was in touch with Dr. Vijayan almost until his end. During his illness, he released his memoirs. It is one of the most beautiful stories of any scientist,” Ramesh said in his messages.

Baby shared a photo of him with Dr Vijayan expressing his sadness at the passing.

“The choice-based credit semester was implemented by the left-wing government in Kerala from 2006-2011 based on the report of an expert panel led by Vijayan,” Baby, the then education minister, said in a statement.

Vijayan, who was born in Cherpu in the Thrissur district of Kerala, had particularly contributed to the study of amino acids, proteins and macromolecules.

He became a Fellow of INSA in 1987 and was also a Fellow of other major Academies, including TWAS.

“INSA family mourns the loss of such a doyen of the field and outstanding human being and extends condolences to the bereaved,” INSA said in the post.

He earned many awards including SS Bhatnagar Award, Ranbaxy Award, OP Bhasin Award, GN Ramachandran Medal, and also the first GN Ramachandran Medal of Indian Science Congress Association.

He got Padma Shri in 2004.

Vijayan had recently written an autobiography ‘A Life Between Men, Women and Molecules’, published by INSA.


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