Madhusoodan Hosur did his BSc from Karnatak University, MSc (Nuclear Physics) from Karnatak University, PhD from Indian Institute of Science (Department of Physics), Bangalore, and received his post-doctoral training at University of Wisconsin and Purdue University, USA with Professors M. Sundaralingam and John E. Johnson, respectively. He has been serving Bhabha Atomic Research Centre since 1985, and currently is Head, Protein Crystallography Section.
Academic and Research Achievements: Hosur is a Protein Crystallographer, and has taught courses at BARC, Mumbai University and Homi Bhabha National Institute. Hosur has determined the first crystal structure of an insect virus, to high-resolution. Hosur has solved the structure of ribosome inactivating protein, gelonin, and based on the structure, has identified sites for preparing immunotoxins to cure cancers. Hosur discovered unliganded-closed-flap structure of HIV-1 protease, and then cleverly exploited this discovery to obtain the first ever atomic-level description of active enzyme/true substrate complexes, trapped at different stages of the cleavage reaction. This work has led to mapping of the reaction mechanism at the atomic level. Hosur has determined structures of several drug-resistant mutants of HIV-1 protease enzyme, both in unliganded and ligand-bound forms, to understand the mechanisms of drug resistance. These results would be useful in the design of more effective drugs against HIV/AIDS. Hosur has developed a novel algorithm that enables regularisation of stereochemistry of molecules in-silico, and has implemented this algorithm (FRDICT) in a computer graphics software package used in drug-design. By exploiting anomalous scattering from selenium atoms engineered in his laboratory into the protein alkaline phosphatase, Hosur has determined its three dimensional structure, for purposes of enhancing its utility in bioprecipitation of uranium. More recently, Hosur has mooted the idea of remotely using protein crystallography beamlines on synchrotrons around the world. He has demonstrated feasibility of this idea by successfully operating, from Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, the FIP beamline on ESRF, France, to collect good quality diffraction data on crystals of drug resistant HIV-1 protease. He has published over 50 research articles in journals and has guided 5 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Hosur is the Co-Founder, National Facility for Macromolecular Crystallography at BARC; is a member of DST and DBT Expert Committees on Utilisation of Synchrotrons for Advanced Research. As a Co-Chair, planned and organised the International Union of Crystallography Microsymposium on “Cell signalling and Protein – Protein Interactions”.
Awards and Honours: Hosur is the recipient of Martin Forster Gold Medal from Indian Institute of Science, CIPLA Distinguished Biotechnologist Award from UICT, Mumbai, Visiting Scientist, National Cancer Institute, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA and Werner Grenn Fellowship, Lund University, Sweden.