National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kalyani

Partha Pratim Majumder, is known for his contributions in the field of genetics and statistics. Better known as the ‘Gene guru’ across media, one of his major interests is human evolution and he has worked extensively to uncover genetic architecture behind disease susceptibility/ drug response. Researching statistical applications and developing algorithms is another part of his passionate and brilliant genius. Dr. Majumdar’s BSc. Stat. (Hons.) degree in ISI paved the way to Master’s and PhD. This platform encouraged him to think quantitatively and provided exposure to the world of statistical methodologies. For him, the transition from a background in statistics to research in genetics came quite naturally. He also completed courses in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Biology, and was a post-doc at the Center for Demographic and Population Genetics, University of Texas, USA before he began his research in population genetics. While many can’t multi-task he was simultaneously a graduate student and a post-doctoral researcher! He has also served as a Visiting professor and then as a Genetics Consultant at the Department of Biostatistics and Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh. He has been honored with several fellowships and medals, including the New Millennium Science gold medal, for his contributions in research. He is a staunch believer in Population genetics paving the way for a healthier life. Partha P Majumder was elected Fellow in 1998 and is its current President.


SESSION 2A: Symposium: Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis – A Tribute to His Scientific Contributions

Partha P Majumder

Mahalanobis, anthropometric diversity and the birth of human genetics in India View Presentation

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis analyzed large volumes of anthropometric data when he was founding statistical science in India. This experience enabled him to devise many innovative statistical methods and measures, notably D2. He also obtained seminal insights into the diversity, affinities and structures of ethnic populations of India. However, anthropometric data did not provide the kind of insights he was seeking. Therefore, he initiated genetical studies in the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI). He received strong support from many internationally renowned scientists to initiate human genetics in ISI. His legacy has lived on and has gained strength over the years. ISI has made many seminal contributions to the understanding of structures and histories of Indian ethnic populations using genetical methods. This lecture provides a historical perspective of the contributions of Mahalanobis and his legacy in this domain.