Pr. K. VijayRaghavanSecretary of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and Chair of the BIRAC, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council

    Distinguished Professor and Director of The National Centre for Biological Sciences. He has become the Secretary of Department of Biotechnology, India on 28 January 2013, replacing Maharaj Kishan Bhan. He was conferred the honour of the Padma Shri by the Govt. of India on 26 January 2013. He is also a recipient of the Infosys Prize in the life sciences category in 2009.

    He graduated with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1975.He completed his doctoral work in 1983 in the field of Molecular Biology and holds a Ph.D from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. During his post-doctoral work, from 1984 to 1985, he was a Research Fellow and then, from 1986 to 1988, a Senior Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology.

    In 1988, he joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research as a Reader and in 1992, when the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which is under the aegis of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was founded joined NCBS. In August 1991, he moved to Bangalore and was instrumental in the establishment of NCBS in Bangalore. He is Distinguished Professor in the field of Developmental Genetics and Director of the National Centre of Biological Sciences.

    His fields of specialization are Developmental Biology, Genetics and Neurogenetics. His research primarily focuses on the important principles and mechanisms that control nervous system and muscles during development and how these neuromuscular systems direct specific locomotor behaviours. This was achieved by using the fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster as a model system. By patterning the segmental organization of the fly body plan, his research was able to shed more light on the functions of Hox genes in directing neuromuscular connectivity and motor behaviors.

    He is on the Management Board of the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) of TIFR and of the TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences, coming up in Hyderabad. VijayRaghavan is also a director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, the Advisory Committee, the Janelia Farm Research Centre of the HHMI, and a Senior Editor of the journal eLife. Prof. VijayRaghavan has become the Secretary of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India since January 2013.

    Honors and achievements

    Prof. K. VijayRaghavan has received numerous awards such as British Council Fellowship, Procter & Gamble Fellowship (Caltech), Lucile P Markey Fellowship (Caltech) and Biotechnology Career Development Award of Rockefeller Foundation.

    In 1997, he was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences.

    In 1998, K. VijayRaghavan was conferred with the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology award by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. In January 1999, he became an Associate faculty member of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.

    In 1999, he became an Honorary Faculty Member of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy. In 2000, he became a Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Genetics and a Member of the Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network in 2001.

    In 2003, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT Kanpur.

    In 2006, he was awarded the J.C.Bose Fellowship.

    In 2010, he was elected Fellow of TWAS, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World.

    In 2012, he received the H K Firodia Award “for his original contributions to the field of life sciences, particularly to developmental biology, genetics and neurogenetics.” In the same year he became Fellow of Royal Society. In 2013, he has been conferred with Padmashri.

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