Tirumalai Rangachar Kasturi obtained his BSc (Hons) degree (1952) from Central College, Bangalore and joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to pursue his research career. He did his MSc from Bombay University and worked in the area of steroids under the guidance of Dilip Kumar Banjerjee to obtain his PhD (1958) from Bombay University. After securing a Fulbright Travel Grant, he left for the USA as a post-doctoral fellow (1959) to work with George R Pettit. He was also associated with L Jaenicke of Institute of Bio-Chemistry, University of Koln, as a Humboldt Fellow on returning to India in 1961, he joined IISc as a Lecturer in the Department of Organic Chemistry. He was promoted to be a Professor (1973) and continued in the Department till 1992. After retirement he worked in the Department as an INSA Senior Scientist. He was Chairman, Department of Organic Chemistry; Chairman, Division of Chemical and Biological Sciences, and later of Chemical Sciences; and Dean, Science Faculty all at IISc, Bangalore.
Academic and Research Contributions: Kasturi worked on the chemistry of spirosapogenins and was responsible for developing a novel one-step method for reduction of esters to ethers using LAH-AIC13. This method was used in the synthesis of cyclic ethers from lactone. At IISc he initiated research in the area of heterocyclic steroids and continued to work in the area of synthetic, mechanistic and structural organic chemistry. He has published over 150 research papers in national and international journals, and contributed a chapter entitled Application of IR spectroscopy in Organic Chemistry for the book Chemical Application of IR Spectroscopy by CNR Rao (Academic Press, 1963). He has guided 30 PhD students and mentored several post-doctoral researchers.
Others Contributions: Kasturi was on the Editorial Board of the Indian Journal of Chemistry. He was also a Member of Technical Advisory Committee of Karnataka Pollution Control Board.
Awards and Honours: Professor Kasturi received the Sudborough Medal of IISc (1958), Mortin Forster Gold Medal (1959), Devaprabhakar Memorial Oration Award (1982). He was UGC's National Lecturer in Chemistry (1985-86); and Tata Chem Professor of IISc (1990-92). He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.