ROLL OF HONOURS

 
FORMER DIRECTORS  

FOUNDER DIRECTOR 
                   
 

     Dr. S. R. SREERANGASAMY 
PERIOD: 07.11.1990 to 17.01.1994
        Dr. S. R. Sreeranagasamy, an alumnus of TNAU, enriched the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in many ways by his varied and active career. Dr. SRS was firmly rooted in conventional research in cytogenetics, genetics and plant breeding and achieved an integration of conventional disciplines with modern and innovative plant breeding tools such as plant tissue culture. His personal and intellectual qualities are such as to enable him successfully to undertake the highest type scientific and administrative work. He was the first Dean, Basic Sciences and Humanities and second Director, School of Genetics (now Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics) from 1981 to 1990.
       He became the founder Director of Centre for Plant Molecular Biology (CPMB) in 1990. As the Director, CPMB (1990-1994), he laid a lasting foundation for plant tissue culture, molecular marker technology and other areas of biotechnology in TNAU. He remained as an icon for the development of human resources in the field of biotechnology in TNAU with the help of Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi and through the International Rice Biotechnology Programme of the Rockefeller Foundation, New York, USA.
  


                   
 

    Dr.  S. SADASIVAM
PERIOD: 17.01.1994 to 10.03.2003
       Dr. S. Sadasivam started his academic career of TNAU in the year 1974. He became the first Professor and Head of the Department of Biochemistry in the year 1982 and served twelve years as the Head of the Department of Biochemistry. He assumed the charges of the Director of the Centre for Plant Molecular Biology in the year 1994 and continued as the Diretcor, CPMB until his retirement in March 2003. He is the recipient of Raobahadur Dadasaheb Sembekar award of Pune University (1997) and TNAU's Dr.V.L.Chopra award for best researcher in Biotechnology (1997). He is known for his teaching biochemistry in a simpler way to the non-biochemistry students.
      He is a person who believes that the community in our country should be exposed to the world of science so as to help the people to lead a healthy and comfortable life. This made him to write books of scientific knowledge in Tamil. He remained as an able administrator of research and education at an interdisciplinary mode. As the Director of CPMB, he was able to harness large-scale funding for biotechnology research in TNAU from various national and international organizations. His association with the Rockefeller Foundation, New York made the possibilities in developing human resource development in biotechnology at TNAU.
  


                   
 

   Dr. K. RAMASAMY 
PERIOD: 11.03.2003 to 10.03.2006
         
     Dr. K .Ramasamy, the former Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, is a versatile personality with strong academic background in Applied Microbiology. He pursued M.S. in Fermentation Technology at Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and he was a post doctoral fellow at the Michigan State University, USA on Gene Cloning later.
          He is specialist in the area of bioconversion and bioremediation. He has mainly contributed on waste recycling for food, manure and energy, bioremediation and detoxification of industrial pollutants and elucidating the mechanism behind these processes. He developed selective and specialized consortia for biomethanation of pharma, distillery and paper industry wastewaters. He is one of the few specialists in the area of microbial ecology, especially in the anaerobic microorganisms. His excellence in research on aerobic / anaerobic microbiology led him for many national & international funding agencies from 1982 onwards. He has published more than 152 research publications, including 8 books and 23 bulletins. His excellence in academic and research achievements has been widely recognized nationally and internationally. He has been honoured with 21 awards, 2 medals and 6 fellowships.
          He served as National Syllabus Planner and Examiner for University Grants Commission (UGC), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He has acted as Visiting Professor for many leading Universities in USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. He also worked as Dean, School of Biosciences and Bioengineering at SRM University, Chennai and as Vice-Chancellor, Karpagam University, Coimbatore. In recognition of his services as Vice-Chancellor, Dr. K. Ramasamy was honoured with the Best Vice-Chancellor of State Agricultural Universities (SAU) Award for the year 2014 by All India Agricultural Students Association (AIASA) and for his outstanding contribution in Anaerobic Microbiology, he was recognized as the Fellow of Indian Academy of Microbiological Sciences by the Indian Academy of Microbiological Sciences (Association of Microbiologists of India) in 2014.

 
                   
 

    Dr. P. BALASUBRAMANIAN 
PERIOD: 10.03.2006 to 03.07.2009
       Dr. Balasubramanian was involved in establishment of Rice Transformation Facility at TNAU in 1996 with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation New York. The Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi (DBT) with its funding assigned to him the work on cloning antifungal genes from Trichoderma spp. for use against Rhizoctonia solani, the invincible soil-borne plant pathogen. He worked in evolving several transgenic lines of elite rice cultivars of Tamil Nadu expressing resistance to sheath blight and bacterial blight by pyramiding genes encoding a chitinase, a thaumatin-like protein and Xa21. He built two Transgenic Greenhouse Facilities at TNAU with funding from the Govt. of Tamil Nadu and DBT. His transgenic lines are awaiting clearance from DBT for field trials.
       He was specialized in transgenic plant technology and molecular plant pathology and trained at University of California, Davis, John Innes Centre, UK and the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA. He is currently engaged in evolving transgenic lines of papaya expressing resistance against papaya ringspot virus, and transgenic banana expressing enhanced shelf life using elite banana cultivars of Tamil Nadu. He was instrumental in evolving BT Brinjal with funds from DBT and USAID. He is the Editor-in-Chief of a Plant Molecular Biology Journal published from Tamil Nadu. He is a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committees of the following research organizations such as, Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirapalli, PSG Institute of Technology and Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Quinquiennial Review Team on Spices Research and Tamil Nadu Biotechnology Board, Coimbatore.
  


                   
 

    Dr. R. SAMIYAPPAN 
PERIOD: 04.07.2009 to 30.06.2012
        Dr. R. Samiyappan obtained his Ph.D. in 1988 from TNAU, Coimbatore and got postdoctoral training in Molecular Plant Pathology and biotechnology career fellowship training in Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA during 1990-1993 and 1995-1999 respectively. He served at TNAU in different positions for 32 years as Teacher for UG, PG students & Plant Protection Scientist & Director, Centre for Plant Protection Studies for three years (2009-2012). He worked on biotechnology based diagnosis and management in plants to reduce the harmful effects of pest and diseases. He developed Pseudomonas and Bacillus based eco friendly disease management strategies for the management of many plant diseases, insect pests and nematodes in major Agricultural and Horticultural crops in India.
       He has also developed DNA and ELISA based molecular diagnostic kits for early detection and molecular tracking of plant pathogens viz., Ganoderma, Colletotrichum and Banana bunchy top virus pathogens in agricultural ecosystem.He has isolated and characterized several plant protection related genes like chitinase, ACC deaminase and coat protein genes and deposited them in the GenBank, NCBI, USA. Some of the above said genes were cloned and transformed into rice and tomato and transgenic plants are under evaluation for yield and disease resistance. Besides, differentially expressed 150 ESTs in rice plants primed with P. fluorescens were cloned and sequenced. He has published one book and 250 International and National level research papers.He was conferred with 17 awards and honors and recognitions include Dr. Noel Deerr Gold Medal for best research work in sugarcane crop during 2000 and Tamil Nadu Scientists Award (TANSA) in the field of Agricultural Sciences for the year 2005.
  


                   
 

    Dr. R. CHANDRA BABU 
PERIOD: 01.06.2013 to 22.09.2017

      Dr. R. Chandrababu is the current Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), started his productive and purposeful career at TNAU in 1979. He was an excellent administrator and instructional leader with strong ethics, dynamic personality, and unyielding commitment to students. He mentored 11 PhD & 22 MSc students in rice drought resistance research. He was awarded the prestigious Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship to pursue research on ‘Translational genomics for drought resistance improvement in cereals’ in Cornell University, USA.
   He was an Adjunct Professor at University of Tokyo, Japan and was Visiting Scientist to various Universities at US and Japan. His contributions to education are launching of dual degree Masters programs with Cornell University, USA, initiated academic and research collaboration with University of Tokyo, Japan and he facilitated research collaboration with University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
    He was involved in evaluation and release of Anna 4, mapped meta-QTLs drought resistance using wide germplasm and local landraces, developed high yielding near-isogenic lines using molecular marker-assisted breeding by introgressing quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for deep root growth from Columbian rice. He mobilized research grants to TNAU through many external funded projects and was responsible to establish UIC in Biotechnology to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in young graduates.
  


                   
 

     Dr. R. Gnanam 
PERIOD: 23.09.2017 to 21.01.2019

        Dr. R.Gnanam, completed her post graduate studies in Plant Breeding and Genetics and Ph. D in Biotechnology. She was awarded the Gurudev Khush Gold medal for Best Ph. D student in Biotechnology. She has about 29 years of experience in teaching, research and extension work. Her major area of specialization is Plant Biotechnology with special reference to Plant Tissue culture. She has optimized tissue culture protocols for more than 20 plant species that are difficult to propagate. She was a visiting scientist to University of Guelph, Canada.She was the member in Question Paper Passing Board of Anna University for Biotechnology, Question Paper Setting Committee for  JNU entrance examinations for Agricultural Biotechnology, Nominated Member in Board of studies in Biotechnology (UG and PG), Bharathiyar University, Coimbatore (2005-2007), Mother Teresa Women’ University, Kodaikanal (2005-2007) and  External member in the Doctoral committee for Ph.D programme in Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT),Vellore, Kaarunya University, Coimbatore and SRM University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.