Prof. Basuthkar Jagadeeshwar Rao, Senior Professor, Chair of Biology, Dean-Faculty, at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, has taken charge as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on 26th July 2021. His appointment is for a period of 5 years or up to the age of 70 years whichever is earlier.
Prof. Rao was prior to the IISER posting, Senior Professor and Chair-Biology for several years at TIFR, Mumbai and successfully headed the programmes of Mechanism of Genome Dynamics and Cellular Adaptations Laboratory at TIFR. His areas of specialization are molecular basis of genome dynamics, computational biology of genomes and protein active sites, cellular physiology and metabolism – fields in which he has made fundamental contributions. Apart from his research in the domain of biology, he is also interested in dissemination of scientific knowledge and outreach activities. He has to his credit 130 publications with 1371 citations.
Prof. Rao, born on March 13, 1956, awarded National Science Talent Award (NCERT) with 16th rank in India, 1st in AP (then United AP), graduated with a BSc from Nizam College and an MSc from Osmania University, Hyderabad, winning University Gold Medals in both. He then obtained his PhD from Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, in the domain of Biochemistry. He then went on to do his postdoctoral work at Yale Medical School, serving as a research scientist for seven years. On his return to India, he worked at TIFR for several years.
He is a Fellow of all the three National Academies in India, and the Sir JC Bose Fellow of the Department of Science & Technology, India. Prof. Rao is a Chief Member and an advisor on various committees. He has won many awards and fellowships. He is the Chief-Editor of Journal of Biosciences, a flagship journal of Indian Academy of Sciences and Springer Nature, combine.
He has worked as a DST-Inspire teacher, articulating the current excitements of basic Biology to undergraduate students across India. He perceives Biology as a complex manifestation of physics-chemistry of a dynamically evolving system and emphasizes the design principles in Biology. He has delivered numerous technical and public lectures for varied audiences. Reaching young minds has been his passion which he is now doing at Agasthya Foundation, Kuppam.