Har Gobind Khorana (b. January 9, 1922, Punjab, India-d. November 9, 2011) was an Indian American biochemist. He shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley for research that showed how the order of nucleotides in nucleic acids, which carry the genetic code of the cell, control the cell’s synthesis of proteins. Khorana and Nirenberg were also awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University in the same year.
Khorana was born in Raipur, British India (today Kabirwala in Pakistan). He was the youngest of five children of Ganpat Rai Khorana, a taxation clerk, and Krishna Devi Khorana. He served on the faculty of the University of British Columbia from 1952-1960, where he initiated his Nobel Prize winning work. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1966, and subsequently received the National Medal of Science. He co-directed the Institute for Enzyme Research, became a professor of biochemistry in 1962 and was named Conrad A. Elvehjem Professor of Life Sciences at University of Wisconsin–Madison. He served as MIT's Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry, Emeritus and was a member of the Board of Scientific Governors at The Scripps Research Institute.