Krishna Sundaram obtained his MD (1953) from University of Bombay. He remained Director, Bio-Medical Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai.
Academic and Research Achievements: Sundaram studied mammalian radiobiology, immunology, cancerology and radiation medicine. His work on the etiological factors associated with toxaemia of pregnancy implicating mineralocorticoids, later identified as aldosterone, a causative factor in fluid retention and hypertension, received international recognition. He was perhaps the first scientist in the country to apply exfoliative cytology techniques in the diagnosis of cancer and prognosis in radiotherapy. His original work on the predisposing factors in the development of oral cancer in experimental animals highlighted the importance of nutritional deficiencies of protein and B group vitamins in the etiology. He demonstrated in experimental animals that developing gonads are very highly sensitive to radiation damage leading to permanent sterility. He showed, for the first time, the inter-relationship between radiation sensitivity and cancer development and that though radio protective chemicals can reduce immediate mortality, the risk of those survivors to the development of cancer is enhanced. These observations are of great importance to the current concepts of chemical radiation protection and the somatic mutation theory in caracinogenesis. He also studied the basic mechanism in immunology, especially in cell-mediated immunity.
Other Contributions: Sundaram served the INSA Council (1976-78) as Member.
Awards and Honours: Dr Sundaram was conferred the Prince of Wales Gold Medal and Fellowship by University of Bombay (1953). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and Maharashtra Academy of Sciences.