Prof. Chauhan obtained his Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degree in Chemistry from Delhi University. In addition to a brilliant academic record, he also has been an outstanding sportsman and represented Delhi University and Oxford University in athletics and cross country. He won the prestigious Rhodes scholarship to study for a D.Phil. at Oxford University in 1974. Upon his return to India in 1979, he taught at St. Stephen’s College, IIT - Kanpur, and University of Delhi. In 1998 he joined the International Centre for Genetic and Biotechnology (ICGEB, New Delhi) and became as Director in 1998, a position that he held until March, 2014.
His major research interests and scientific contributions are in the fields of malaria vaccine and drug development and in design and synthesis of peptides of biological importance. An experimental malaria vaccine, first of its kind that was developed entirely in India was taken to clinical trials also in India. His work on conformation ally restricted synthetic peptides is internationally recognized. Currently, his group is working on developing short peptide based nanostructure platform for efficacious delivery of bio molecules including drugs as well as recombinant vaccine target immunogens. His current scientific interest include advocacy in infectious diseases like HIV and TB in India. He has published more than 250 research papers and guided more than 100 research students.
He is also deeply involved in human resource development through major involvement in selection process of highly prestigious Rhodes scholarships, Inlaks Scholarships and Felix Scholarships, for Indian students to study at Oxford and other major institutions worldwide. Prof. Chauhan has received several of prestigious national and international awards including civil honour Padma shri by government of india in 2012.