Rajendra Prasad obtained BSc (1965) and MSc (1967) from Lucknow University, after which he joined Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow where he worked on 'lipids of biological membranes'. After his postdoctoral training (1973-76) at University of Southern California School of Medicine, USA, he joined Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi (1976) as Assistant Professor where he became full Professor in 1985. He also served as Dean, School of Life Sciences (1996-98) and Chairperson, Special Centre for Molecular Medicine (1999-2003). He is currently Rector (2005-10) and an Adjunct Professor in the Special Centre for Molecular Medicine. In between, he took several short-term sabbaticals/study leaves and worked as Visiting Research Associate/Professor at New York Medical College, Valhalla (1979-80); Royal Society Bursary Awardee, University of Bath, UK; Humboldt Fellow, University of Bonn (1985-86) and University of Darmstadt, Germany (1987); DBT Overseas Fellow, Bristol Mayer-Squibb Princeton, USA (1989); Visiting Professor, Catholic University, Belgium (1993), and Technical University of Valencia, Spain (1994); Welcome Fellow, University of Aberdeen, UK (2002); Mercator Professor, University of Bonn, Germany (2005) and Visiting Professor, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris (2008-09).
Academic and Research Achievements: While at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Prasad worked extensively on membrane transport in yeasts and also initiated teaching of 'biochemistry' and 'membrane biology' in the School of Life Sciences. He identified and later characterized, both genetically and functionally, the first plasma membrane bound ABC-efflux pump in pathogenic Candida albicans which is responsible for drug export from cells. He is a leading expert in the area of antifungal research. He supervised more then 40 PhD students, authored over 180 research articles in refereed international journals, chapters in books and edited four books for Springer, Germany and CRC Press, USA.
Other Contributions: Professor Prasad set up the first Centre for Molecular Medicine at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and also an Advanced Instrumentation Facility there. He has been Member of Society of General Microbiology, UK; American Society of Microbiology; International Society for Human and Animal Mycology; American Association of Advancement of Sciences; Yeast Group, India; Association of Microbiologists, India; and Society of Biological Chemists, India. He is on the Editorial Board of Mycopathologia, Journal of Biological Sciences and FEMS Yeast Research. He is also a National Contact Point for European Commission, Brussels.
Awards and Honours: Professor Prasad was awarded Royal Society Bursary, Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, Visiting Overseas Fellowship by Department of Biotechnology, Wellcome Short-term Fellowship and Mercator Professorship, DFG, Germany. He was elected Vice President of Society of Biological Chemists, India; Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.