Addicam Jagannadha Rao got BSc and MSc, both from Andhra University, and PhD (1971) from the Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He did his postdoctoral work with Professor CH Li at the Hormone Research Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco and also at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. During this period, he initiated studies on role of hormones in cellular differentiation using Leydig cells and adrenocortical cells. Thereafter, he joined as Assistant Professor (1982) at Department of Biochemistry; became Chairman of the Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics (MRDG) in 1991; and currently INSA Senior Scientist at IISc.
Academic and Research Achievements: Rao's studies have revealed that hormones such as GnRH, FSH, LH and Estradiol 17? exert differential action on the target cells. For example, LH stimulates proliferation of Leydig cells when they are in an undifferentiated state and releases testosterone when the Leydig cells are fully differentiated. Thus, some of these hormones stimulate proliferation when the cells are in a relatively undifferentiated state, while only functional parameters are stimulated when they are in a completely differentiated state. Based on the results on differential action of hormones and the fact that prostatic cells express LHR and respond to LH by way of proliferation, he proposed that LH could be one of the factors responsible for androgen independent prostatic cancer. He also authored over 150 research articles and mentored a large number of students including about 22 PhDs.
Other Contributions: Rao served on the Organizing Committee of XVI International Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1994). He worked as DBT short-term Research Scientist (1991) at Department of Physiology, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA. He was invited to speak at the IX International Congress on Hormonal Steroids (1994) and the VII International Congress of Reproductive Immunology (1998). He edited two books; and also served on the Editorial Board of Reproductive Bio-Medicine.
Awards and Honours: Professor Rao received several awards and honors including ICMR award for best work in Reproductive Biology (1991); M Sreenivasayya Memorial Award for best work in Biological Chemistry & Allied Sciences (1992); MRN Prasad Memorial Lecture (2004); Rockefeller Foundation Biotechnology Career Development Award (1986, 1992); and Shanta S Rao Memorial Oration (2009). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.