Indian American scientist Dr. Yashwant Karkhanis dies at 86


Indian-American scientist Dr. Yashwant Karkhanis died March 23 at his home in Fanwood, N.J. after a brief hospitalization. He was 86. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Nalinee Karkhanis, his children Nitin Karkhanis, Anita Kerr, their spouses Lisa Karkhanis and Peter Kerr, nephew Sanjay Dalal, and grandchildren – Brandon N. Karkhanis, Alexa J. Karkhanis, Tara A. Kerr and Peter J. Kerr, Jr. “Jimmy”.

A 44-year resident of Fanwood, Kharkhanis is widely recognized for his work in the fields of immunology and protein chemistry. He applied his keen intellect and knowledge to the betterment of health for humankind during his career and in his retirement, his obituary on the Bronson and Guthlein Funeral Home website says. His work in this area was rewarded by the assignment of numerous patents, papers, and the respect of his peers.

After his graduate studies in Mumbai, Kharkhanis came to the U.S. in 1956 to pursue his doctorate in Biochemistry at Florida State University. His research and intellect not only took him to Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, New York, and the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, but also established him as a post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard.

For major part of his career, Karkhanis worked at Merck Pharmaceutical in New Jersey, where he retired at the age of 70, as a research director.

After retirement, Karkhanis devoted his life to writing scientific articles in Marathi that could be of help to people, in everyday life. A founder member and trustee of  Marathi Vishwa, Karkhanis was also dedicated to community service benefiting the Indian-American community in New Jersey.

The family will welcome friends for puja and visitation on Saturday, April 1 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the main chapel of Franklin Memorial Park. A private cremation will follow the ceremonies.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The American Cancer Society ( or the Alzheimer’s Association (



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