Dr. S.M. Paul Khurana was born on 31 December 1944 in Jalna, Maharashtra, India. Dr. Khurana did his M. Sc. (1965) and Ph.D. (1968) from Gorakhpur University. He did two years’ (1970-72) post-doctoral work on Advanced Plant Virology at Kyushu University, Fukuoka (Japan). He also worked at University of Minnesota, St. Paul (USA) on Immunodiagnostics (bio-technology) during a sabbatical of one year (1987-88).
He worked on various positions viz., Principal Scientist & Head Plant Pathology, CPRI, Shimla (1988-1993); Project Coordinator (Potato), AICRP (Potato), Shimla (1994-2004); Director, CPRI, Shimla (2002-2004); Vice Chancellor, Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya (2004-2009); Director, Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University, Noida (U.P.) (2009). As Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Khurana developed excellent infrastructure, improved academic environment, revamped examination system and implemented HRD.
Dr. Khurana is a pre-eminent scientist of rare distinctions and has contributed significantly to agriculture (potato) R&D in the country. He established a school of plant virology at CPRI, Shimla and trained very large number of workers & students from the country and also abroad. He has guided 10 Ph.D. students. His research career is spangled with achievements like standardization and use of enzyme linked immuno sorbent assay (ELISA) & immuno sorbent electron microscopy (ISEM) for detection of potato viruses, development of simple techniques for screening of resistance to potato viruses, apart from pioneering work in detection of plant diseases; associated with selection/release of eight potato varieties including the first ever two processing varieties in India. Dr. Khurana has published over 130 original research papers in journals of repute/high impact and he has also authored more than 75 reviews/book chapters.
He has been actively engaged with Academic Councillor or member for Advisory/Executive Committees for HPU, Shimla, UHF, Solan, CCS University, Meerut, SAIF-PU, Chandigarh, NRCM, SILB, Solan, HPKVV, Palampur; Member of Research/Scientific panels/task force of DST, DBT, ICAR; Advisor, NBAIM, Mau and Chairman RAC, CTCRI, Trivendrum.
Dr. Khurana was recipient of various award viz., CPRI Golden Jubilee Outstanding Achievements Award (2000); Best Scientist of the Year Award (2002). Dr. S. Ramanujam Memorial Award for Outstanding Research & Leadership in Potato R&D in India; AICRP (Potato) run by Dr. Khurana for 10 yrs as P.C. was adjudged as the Outstanding Project in 2005, for Ch. Devi Lal Award of ICAR; UNO: Dr. S. Radhakrishanan International Award for Excellence in Higher Education (2006).
Dr. Khurana has also held prestigious positions in various professional associations such as: Indian Potato Association: President for three terms, Editor-in-Chief for three terms and Secretary for one term; Aphidological Society: Vice President for one term and Editor for two terms; Indian Virology Society: Editor-in-Chief for two terms and Editor for one term; Indian Phytopathology Society: President for one term, Editor for three years; Indian Science Congress Association: President, Plant Sci. Section (2008-09). Dr. Khurana is a Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi; National Academy of Biological Sciences, Chennai (India) and Distinguished Fellow of the Indian Potato Association. He was the first Indian to deliver the keynote address at the Seventh Olympiad of the Mind at Paris (May 2005).