Mukherjee moved on to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute,
Pusa, New Delhi from Pantnagar to do his Masters degree in Genetics.
Typically, SKM threw himself into student activities in Pusa which
really had no tradition of cultural and student activities because
of the limited number of students on the campus as well as because
all the students were Post-graduate students who tended to focus on
their academic and research activities. SKM broke that mould by
helping to organise a very active student group who turned this
otherwise sleepy campus into a hive of cultural activity.
He was certainly not one to forget his Pantnagar roots and even
organised a Pantnagar alumni group in Pusa. This group formed the
nucleus of all the student activities on the Pusa campus during that
Academically, SKM thrived in Pusa - he worked at the high technology
Nuclear Research Laboratory (NRL) under the guidance of Senior
Radiation Geneticist Dr. S. Bhaskaran for his Masters Research
project on 'Studies on
Division Synchrony in
Cultured Plant Cells' At Pusa SKM was greatly influenced by
the work of eminent scientists like Dr. M.S. Swaminathan (who also
worked in Pusa for long years) Dr. V.L.Chopra and Dr. Sushil Kumar. Click
here to view SKM's Laboratory logbook. This logbook provides a nice insight into SKM's
scientific thinking and his ability to laugh at his own mistakes.
After his Masters program SKM registered at IARI for his Ph.D in
Genetics under Prof. V.L.Chopra and worked on 'Studies
on Isolation, Culture and Fusion of Protoplasts from Diverse Plant
After Pusa SKM spent a short while at the Centre for Cellular and
Molecular Biology in Hyderabad before moving to the USA for
Post-doctoral research in the Laboratory of Dr. Clarence (Bud) Ryan
at the Institute for Research in Biological Chemistry at the Pullman
campus of the Washington State University.