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Name Professor Guruswamy Krishnamoorthy
(Professor Guruswamy Krishnamoorthy)
FNA ID P09-1483
Address Department of Chemical Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road,
City Mumbai
Pin Code 400005
Country India
Gender Male
Specialization Biophysical Laser Spectroscopy, Macromolecular Dynamics
Service in the Council
Qualification PhD
Membership FASc
  Year of Election 2009  
E-mail gk@tifr.res.in
Personal Website

Guruswamy Krishnamoorthy obtained his BSc and MSc degrees from Madras Christian College (Chennai). He joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and worked on two broad topics: (i) Electron paramagnetic resonance of metal complexes with the aim of understanding the mechanism of spin transfer and (ii) Temperature-Jump relaxation kinetics of enzyme-ligand complexes, under the guidance of BS Prabhananda, to obtain his PhD (1980). Subsequently he worked with Peter Hinkle at Cornell University, on the mechanism of coupling between intra-protein electron flow and proton pumping in mitochondrial energy transducing systems.

Academic and Research Achievements: At Cornell University, Krishnamoorthy's work provided a quantitative understanding of the origin of steady-state electrochemical proton gradient as arising from non-ohmic proton conductance across biological membranes. Later, his research career was largely localized at TIFR. His contribution began with the invention of a novel technique based on Temperature-Jump to study fast transport of protons across biological membranes. Subsequent work on the use of ultrafast laser spectroscopy in biomolecular dynamics has resulted in several significant findings such as: (i) The presence of intracellular viscosity gradients and cell type dependence of viscosity; (ii) Convincing demonstration of the existence of nanometer sized clusters (called 'rafts') on cell surfaces and their dynamics related to membrane composition, for the first time; (iii) Demonstration of continuous transition between 'native' and 'unfolded' states and the direct experimental visualization of 'folding funnel' that have far-reaching implications; (iv) Solution of the puzzle of ATP requirement in RecA-mediated DNA recombination; it was shown that efficient strand exchange process requires a novel segmental dynamics in DNA caused by ATP hydrolysis; (v) Establishment of fluorescence dynamics map of polypeptide, a novel method to get structural insights in unfolded proteins and protein aggregates and fibrils, etc. Several students obtained their PhD degree under his guidance.

Other Contributions: As Dean of Graduate Studies at TIFR, Professor Krishnamoorthy has contributed significantly to enhance both the quality and quantity of research scholars selected for various programmes in TIFR.

Awards and Honours: Professor Krishnamoorthy is a recipient of the CRSI Medal and is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.

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