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T. R. Raju

Neuronal plasticity

Dr. T. R. Raju, Neurophysiology, NIMHANS

Dr. Raju is a multi-faceted personality. He is at ease in any circle, discussing science, politics, cuisine, current affairs, history, culture… with individuals of all backgrounds. With his vast experience, quick wit and generous spirit, he has ably served the scientific community in India and around the globe. He has worn many hats – being an expert member on the Law Commission of India, chairing the ethics committee of various institutes, serving as a mentor and expert for Neuroscience across the country and dealing with institutional administrative affairs as a Dean.

These distinguished positions are well earned. Remarkably, Dr. Raju has played lead roles for a long time. Even when he entered the portals of NIMHANS in 1989, he already had high recommendations from his peers based on his research in the University of Sydney and the coveted Harvard Medical School. By 1992, he was head of the department of Neurophysiology at NIMHANS, the youngest person to hold such a post. He later on became one of the youngest full Professors in the institute and later served as Dean of NIMHANS, Dean of Basic Sciences, and a Senior Professor.

From discovering biomarkers in neurodegenerative disorders and establishing the central roles of glia and trophic factors during development, to successfully receiving a steady stream of grants that can further our collected endeavour in the pursuit of medicine, Dr. T. R. Raju has lead by example. He has demonstrated how to march on in the face of challenges, persistence and patience to achieve results and most importantly in uniting the team, and channelizing everyone’s potential. Through his incisive and provocative questions, he has inspired many a student to get out of their comfort zones and explore the myriad nuances of neurophysiology.

It is difficult to pick highlights of his time here at NIMHANS – his work spans neurodevelopment, neurodegeneration, adult neural plasticity, nervous system regeneration and even use of complementary approaches such as yoga and Ayurveda for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. He has received numerous awards and honours in his career including being elected as a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of Indian Academy of Neuroscience. His is a remarkable saga of achieving breadth and depth in scientific research.

Dr. Raju’s tireless efforts with his team, has earned global recognition and his medical comprehension even caught the sights of the late and beloved President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam who was fascinated by his thoughts on brain studies. Dr. Raju has contributed immensely to the scientific literature through his publications in peer reviewed journals, books and book chapters. His work continues to be highly cited.

Out of the office too, Dr. T. R. Raju is jovial and the life of the party – always the first on the dance floor. His passion for cars is unmissable. His team was his extended family and he always stepped in times of need, ready to help. At this important juncture, we wish Prof. T. R. Raju all the very best in his next chapter as his curiosity and passion takes him to greater heights as an evolved individual and a distinguished scientist.

Awards, Fellowships and Recognitions, Memberships   

  • Government of India Merit Scholarship holder (1971-1974).
  • First class, First in M.Sc. Physiology of the University of Madras (1974).
  • Felicitated by the Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India for being the best M.Sc. candidate for the year 1974.
  • Australian National University Research Scholarship award (1975-1979).
  • Harvard University – NIH Fellowship award (1979-1982).
  • One of the leading investigators of a team lead by Prof. M.R. Bennett of the Sydney University, which was awarded the highest grant ever given to bio-medical research in Australia at that time (1981-87).
  • Invited Lecturer and Chairman of National as well as International Scientific meetings/symposia/workshops.
  • Serving as a referee for National and International Journals including “Science”, Experimental Neurology, Molecular Neuroscience, Indian Journal of Medical Research, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.
  • R.C.Shukla Oration at King George’s Medical College, Lucknow (2000).
  • General Secretary and Chief Executive of Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India (1998-2001)
  • Awarded Prof. Baldev Singh Oration for Outstanding contributions in Neuroscience from the Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India (APPI), India (2002).
  • Fr Balam Memorial Oration from St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirapalli, India (2004).
  • Elected as Fellow of National Science Academy (FASc) (2005).
  • Dean of Faculty of NIMHANS (2004-6 and 2009-11)
  • Invited Speaker, Inaugural Symposium on Brain and mind Research in the Asia Pacific Region, Sydney, Austalia (2006)
  • Prof. A. K. Mukherjee Memorial Oration of the Physiological Society of India (2008).
  • Invited Speaker, Third Symposium on Brain and mind Research in the Asia Pacific Region, Seoul, South Korea (2010)
  • Major Gen S.L. Bhatia Oration Award by the Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India (2011).
  • Elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Neuroscience (2012)
  • President, Bangalore Chapter of Society for Neuroscience (2008-till date)
  • Expert Member , Law Commission of India (2014).

Areas of Research Interest         

  • Pathophysiology of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis- ALS – A Crippling, Fatal and Devastating motor neuron disease with no cure.
  • Trophic factors in Development and Neuroprotection
  • CNS regeneration and role of resident stem cells
  • Stem Cell derived models for human Neurological diseases
  • Neuronal plasticity

Contact Information      

Phone: +91-080-26995168 (O)

Email: trraju@nimhans.kar.nic.in/ trraju.nimhans@gmail.com

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