Kalluri Subba Rao obtained BSc (Chemistry) from Andhra University, MSc (Biochemistry) from Nagpur University and PhD (Biochemistry) (1965), from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore under the supervision of Professor J Ganguly. He also received DSc (1999) from IISc., in recognbition of his work on DNA Repair mechanisms in brain.He did postdoctoral research at St Louis University, USA (1965-67) and Temple University, Philadelphia (1967-69) and worked to delineate the biosynthetic pathways of novel myelin glycolipids including galactosyl diglycerides. He was one of the first appointments to the University of Hyderabad and thus played a crucial role in establishing and shaping the School of Life Sciences and Biochemistry Department and also for establishing a Center for Research and education in Aging(CREA) in that University. He served there as Dean, School of Life Sciences and Head, Biochemistry Department. He was also Fullbright Professor at Seattle, USA and INSA-Senior Scientist (20052010 ) and presently INSA Hon Scientist 2010-.
Academic and Research Achievements: During his predoctoral work at IISc, Subba Rao established the growth promoting and systemic functions of the acid form of Vitamin A, retinoic acid, for the first time. While at the Temple University, he pioneered the biosynthetic pathways of galactosyl diglycerides and their role in myelin architecture. After returning back to India (1969), he made significant contributions dealing with DNA metabolism, in particular, the DNA repair, in developing, aging and undernourished (natural and calorie restricted) brain. The research contributions include: establishing base excision DNA repair pathway as the major pathway in brain and crucial role of this pathway in brain aging and possibly age associated neurological debilities. The work also established that calorie restriction in experimental animals and in a naturally available human population, DNA repair is somehow maintained at a significant in contrast to that found in normally fed animals thus possibly offering explanation for the beneficial effects of diet restriction on aging. He also mentored 17 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Subba Rao played a crucial role in establishing an active center for research on aging and brain at the University of Hyderabad with the support of ICMR. This was eventually converted into a University Center for Research and Education in Aging (CREA). He also serving as Member on Editorial boards of the journals: Neurochemical Research, Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, and Gerontology and many Open access journals.
Awards and Honours: Professor Subba Rao was awarded National Fellowship by UGC, PB Rama Rao Award by Society of Biological Chemists of India, Award for Outstanding Research in Gerontology by ICMR, Hari Om JC Bose Award by UGC, and National Academy of Medical Sciences Oration awards (1999 and 2008). He was elected President of the Society for Neurochemistry, India and Association of Gerontology, India (1995-97); Fellow of National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, AP Academy of Sciences and Indian Academy of Neurosciences.