Preeminent Scientist Dr. Yashwant Karkhanis Passes Away


By Prakash Waghmare 

FANWOOD, NJ: One the most preeminent scientist of Indian origin, Dr Yashwant Karkhanis, peacefully passed away on March 23, 2017 at his home in Fanwood, N.J. after a brief hospitalization. He was 86. He is survived by his wife of 56 yrs, Nalinee, children Nitin and Anita, nephew Sanjay and four grandchildren. He was world renowned for his ground-breaking work in the field of Immunology and Protein Chemistry. After his graduate studies in Mumbai, he came to USA in 1956 to pursue Doctorate studies in Biochemistry at ‘Florida State University’. His research and intellect not only took him to prestigious ‘Brookhaven National Laboratory’ in Long Island, N.Y. and ‘Albert Einstein Medical Center’ in Philadelphia, but also, established him as a post-Doctoral Fellow at ‘Harvard’. For major part of his career, he worked at ‘Merck Pharmaceutical’ in New Jersey, where he retired at the age of 70, as ‘Research Director’. There are several ‘Patents’ and hundreds of research papers to his credit. He was once referred in ‘Time’ magazine, too. After retirement, he devoted his life to writing scientific articles in Marathi that could be of help to people, in everyday life.

He was a founder member and trusty of ‘Marathi Vishwa’, the largest and most prestigious social-cultural organization of Marathi community in USA. Highly respected, he was the toast of Marathi community in USA with his disarming down-to-earth disposition and childlike innocence. He believed that one owes to the community one lives in. Accordingly, his home was open to anyone seeking any kind of help. When the Iconic Marathi singer-composure, Sudlhir Phadke wanted to make a movie on the life of “Veer Savarkar”, he devoted almost a decade of his life raising funds for it. Being a part of the earlier retinue of Indian immigrants in U.S., he always had interesting stories to share about his life in 1950’s U.S. He was very proud of his Indian heritage and truly admired American social environment. With his passing, scientific world has lost a great ‘thinker’.