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Prof. M.R.S. Rao
alt text
Born Jan 21, 1948
Residence Bangalore
Nationality Indian Flag of India.svg
Fields Biological Sciences
Institutions Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research JNCASR Logo -1.jpg
Alma mater Indian Institute of Science
Doctoral advisor Prof. G. Padmanabhan
Known for Chromatin Biology and Cancer Biology
Notable awards Padma Shri (2010) and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology(1988)

Manchanahalli Rangaswamy Satyanarayana Rao (M.R.S. Rao) is an eminent Indian scientist, born on January 21, 1948 at Mysore, India. He has been awarded Padma Shri in Science and Engineering category (year 2010) by the Government of India. He is the President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, India.


Education and Personal Life

M.R.S. Rao obtained his bachelors degree (B.Sc.) in 1966 and Masters degree (M.Sc.) in 1968 from Bangalore University. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore in 1973. Prof. Govindarajan Padmanabhan (Former Director, IISc) was his doctoral advisor at Department of Biochemistry. He did his postdoctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA, (1974-76) and was as assistant professor at the same institution. He decided to come back to India and joined Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

At present, he is President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore and actively running Chromatin Biology laboratory. He has been credited as first scientist to initiate Chromatin Biology research in India. In more than 30 years of active research career, his lab at IISc and JNCASR, has trained more than 35 Ph.D. students, dozens of Postdoctoral fellows and hundreds of research trainees.

M.R.S. Rao is married to Padma S. Rao and the couple has 2 sons, M.S. Sharat and M.S. Rohan, both engineers by profession. The happy family lives in Bangalore.

Professional Life

After having his postdoctoral research and short stint of assistant professorship at Baylor College of Medicine, USA, he returned back to India in 1978 and joined the Department of Biochemistry, IISc as Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1987 and Professor in 1991. He was the Chairman of Centre for Genetic Engineering, IISc between 1990-93. For several occasions, he served as visiting professor to Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and University of California at San Diego, USA.

In 2003, he accepted the chair of President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Jakkur, Bangalore. He was the Chairperson of Department of Biochemistry, IISc (1998-2003) and Molecular Biology and Genetics Unit (MBGU, JNCASR) between 2005-09. He has served as President of Society of Biological Chemists (India) for two terms between 2000-04. M.R.S. Rao has been associated as a governing body member or as a scientific advisor to several research institutes in India. He is Chairman of Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

He has served as chairperson or expert member of several scientific councils (DST, DBT, CSIR, ICMR), academies (IAS, NASI, INSA, TWAS) or committees in Government of India organizations, Institutions and Universities in India. He is also active member of Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) activities.


Prof. M.R.S. Rao is a prolific scientific researcher and author of hundreds of peer reviewed international journal articles. Several research articles have been cited extensively throughout the world scientific community. Most of his research work is focused on Chromatin biology and Cancer biology.

Awards and Recognitions

Prof. M.R.S. Rao has received several medals, awards and fellowships both in India and overseas. He has been awarded the Padma Shri award (year 2010) by Government of India for his immense contribution in Science and Engineering to the country. He has received coveted Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology (1988) from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr. B R Ambedkar Centenary Award from Indian Council of Medical Research (2005), Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lecture award of Indian National Science Academy (INSA), FICCI Award, J C Bose Medal of INSA, Rockefeller Foundation Biotechnology Fellowship, Om Prakash Bhasin Award, Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Medal Lecture Award 2008, Ranbaxy Science Foundation Award for Basic Medical Sciences and Sir M. Visveswaraiah Senior Scientist State award by Government of Karnataka and many more.

He is fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS), Bangalore; Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Delhi; National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), Allahabad; Third World Academy of Science (TWAS), Triesty, Italy; American Society for Cell Biology, American Society for Microbiology, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Human Genome Organization award.




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