Mandayam Jeersannidhi Thirumalachar received DSc (1944) from University of Mysore, and PhD (1948) from University of Wisconsin, USA. He was Director and Founder, Jeersannidhi Anderson Institute, California, USA; Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, USA; Visiting Scientist, Danish Institute of Seed Pathology, Copenhagen; Head, Research & Development, Hindustan Antibiotics, Pune; Chief Plant Pathologist, Central Potato Research Institute, Patna; and Professor of Mycology & Plant Pathology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.
Academic and Research Achievements: Thirumalachar had keen interest in plant pathology, and mycology (general, industrial and medical). He discovered some 20 new antibiotics of which hamycin and aureofungin are commercially produced by Hindustan Antibiotics, and a new jaimycin-process for making known antibiotics five to twenty times less toxic and yet more potent. These include antitumour, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral agents. His other contributions include the development of Phyton-27, a systemic, non-toxic copper fungicide-bactericide (widely used on crop plants in the USA and Europe); MJN-1891 and Gopi-80, chemotherapeutants for citrus-greening and tristeza diseases of citrus, anti-mycoplasmal and antiviral; new microbes for biocontrol of plant parasitic nematodes and fungi; genetic transformation of pseudo-yeast to produce human insulin; Jai-Pro, a new chemotherapeutant for arthritis and muscular pain; establishment of about 30 new genera and 300 new species of fungi; and process for oil extraction from tar-sands.
Other Contributions: Thirumalachar served as Member, Mycological Society of America, Indian Microbiological Society, and INSA Council (1969-71). He also served as Editor of Hindustan Antibiotics Bulletin, Indian Phytopathology, Applied Microbiology, and many other journals.
Awards and Honours: Professor Thirumalachar received the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1967); Sunder Lal Hora Medal by INSA (1976); and Polish Academy of Sciences Medal. He was elected Honorary Fellow of the Indian Phytopathological Society (sometime President), New York Academy of Sciences; and President, Agriculture Section, Indian Science Congress (once), and Mycological Society of India (first President).