Biotechnology Secretary makes it to U.S. Academy

VijayRaghavan is one of 21 new foreign associates elected this year

May 04, 2014 12:48 am | Updated 06:22 am IST - CHENNAI:

The Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, K. VijayRaghavan, has been elected a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. VijayRaghavan, who is also a Distinguished Professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, joins a select group of Indians which includes the former NCBS Director, Obaid Siddiqi; National Research Professor C.N.R. Rao, evolutionary biologists Raghavendra Gadagkar and Madhav Gadgil, and aerospace engineer Roddam Narasimha.

Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honours a scientist can receive. Dr. VijayRaghavan is one of 21 new foreign associates elected this year. He was recently elected Fellow of the Royal Society (London) and is also the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, the J.C. Bose Fellowship and the Infosys Science Prize in Life Sciences.

He says, “Thanks all ... And, we all should not forget to thank all those who manage this environment every day, making sure we all can do our science unfettered. Congrats to all of you then and lots more to do and lots more fun to be had doing science.”

Dr. VijayRaghavan’s initial training was in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur. He then decided to pursue a career in Life Sciences research and did his graduate studies on genetic analysis of flight muscle at the Tata Institute of Fundamental research in Mumbai. He was a postdoctoral fellow and Senior Research Fellow of the California Institute of Technology. Thereafter, he returned to India to set up a laboratory for Drosophila developmental genetics and with Obaid Siddiqi and colleagues, worked to establish and develop the NCBS, which is now one of the leading laboratories for research in biology in the country.

His work has been on the brain-muscle interface and how cells and individuals make decisions that lead to their merging their identities to achieve an effective system function, according to a release.

“Vijay’s election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences is a proud moment for all of us,” says NCBS Director Satyajit Mayor.

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