Nuggehalli Raghuveer Moudgal earned his MSc (1954) and PhD (1958) working on biochemistry of thyroid hormones under the mentorship of Professor PS Sarma at the University of Madras. He worked as a Research Associate with Professor CH Li at the Hormone Research Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, USA (1958-61). He worked as a Welcome Research Fellow with Professor RR Porter at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London (1961-62), learning additional immunochemical techniques that could be of use in furthering his research interest in pituitary gonadotropins. Moudgal was a Faculty member at the Department of Biochemistry, IISc, Bangalore (1965-96). He was a Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Dean, Faculty of Science at the IISc, Bangalore. After retirement he served as an Honorary Professor and as INSA Senior Scientist at IISc.
Academic and Research Achievements: While in USA, Moudgal studied the immunochemistry of pituitary protein hormones isolated from sheep and human pituitaries. The antibodies produced were used to establish the purity of isolated hormones and to establish if cross-reacting proteins exist in the pituitary of other animal species. The research interests of his group at IISc was primarily focused on studying the role of LH and FSH in regulating specific events in gonad function (like follicular maturation/atresia, ovulation and luteal function and spermatogenesis) of both the rodent and monkey. Pioneering work was carried out on elucidating the role of FSH in regulating spermatogenesis in the adult monkey and based on these results the feasibility of developing a contraceptive vaccine for use in man was also explored. His group was the first to champion the extensive use of characterized hormonal antibodies to unravel the specific function of LH and FSH in regulating reproductive physiology of the intact animal as well as the mode of action of the hormone at cellular and molecular (receptor) level. His work has been published in over 200 peer-reviewed journals. He has mentored 18 PhD students and 14 post-doctoral Fellows.
Other Contributions: Moudgal’s laboratory was recognized as a Centre for Advanced Research in Reproductive Biology by the ICMR, New Delhi and was responsible for developing a modern Primate Research Laboratory at IISc. He has been a Member of Society of Biological Chemists, India, Endocrine Society and Society for Studies in Reproduction, USA. He has served as Editor of Journal of Bioscience and was on the Editorial Board of Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology.
Awards and Honours: Professor Moudgal received the BC Guha Award (1975); SS Bhatnagar Award (1976); Sreenivasayya Memorial Award of SBC (1978); Sanjay Gandhi Award for Science & Technology (1984) and Yellapragada SubbaRow Birth Centenary Lecture Award of INSA (1996). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1974).