Thekkepat Ramakrishnan did his PhD (1955) from University of British Columbia, Canada. He worked as Professor and Chairman, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology (1957-82) and Dean, Science Faculty (1982), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was INSA Senior Scientist (1987-1990).
Academic & Research Achievements: Ramakrishnan elucidated the metabolism and molecular biology of mycobacteria, especially Mycobacterium tuberculosis. With his coworkers, he unraveled the carbohydrate, protein and nucleic acid metabolism of this organism and isolated a transducing mycobacteriophage, I3, for the first time, which can be used in mapping the genome of the organism. He elucidated the mechanism of action of antitubercular drugs like isoniazid, streptomycin and rifampicin, and discovered that plasmid codes for the virulence of the organism, and that RNA polymerase of the organism is a good target for devising new drugs. He also published three manuals on the molecular biology of bacteria and viruses.
Other Contributions: Ramakrishnan served as Member, International Cell Research Organization, UNESCO, Paris, and Advisor, Leprosy, WHO, Geneva (1982). He was also on the Editorial Board of Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics.
Awards and Honours: Professor Ramakrishnan won the Watumull Award (1966), FIE Foundation Award (1982) and Ranbaxy Award (1985). He was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.