Professor M. Chandrasekaran is a distinguished scientist and a Teacher who has made significant contributions in the field of marine microbiology and biotechnology. Born on April 10th 1956 he had his B.Sc. Degree in Zoology from University of Madras, India, M.Sc. degree in Marine biology from Annamalai University, India and Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from Cochin University of Science and Technology, India. He did his post-doctoral research in genetic engineering of bacteria for waste water treatment in Hiroshima University, Japan. His major areas of research interest are harnessing marine microorganisms for novel enzymes and bioactive molecules.
He started his career as Lecturer in the Department of Applied Chemistry in the Cochin University of Science and Technology in 1983 and later in 1991 as Founder Head organized the Department of Biotechnology in Cochin University of Science and Technology, India and served in the same department as Professor of biotechnology till 30-11-2014. Also, served as a Professor in the Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the period from 31-1-2009 to 3-9-2016 (availing leave at CUSAT Cochin). Currently he is working as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biotechnology in Cochin University of Science and Technology, India.
On the research front, he has made significant contributions to the growth of marine microbiology, through publications in peer reviewed International Journals. He demonstrated for the first time that marine bacteria and fungi could be harnessed efficiently for the production of industrial enzymes such as L-glutaminase, Chitinase, alkaline protease, lipase, beta glucosidase and tannase. He showed that L-glutaminase enzyme from marine bacteria is a good antileukemic agent for the first time in the world. He also made pioneering work in the world in developing fermentation processes for the large-scale production of these enzymes besides characterizing the enzymes, finding industrial applications for them. His studies have significantly advanced the existing knowledge on marine microbial enzymes which were never studied before for their possible application. Further has also significantly contributed to utilization of solid wastes and waste water treatment evidenced by his publications. Other research contributions were in the filed of protease inhibitors, halocin, pigments etc. and have 192 publications in peer reviewed journals, proceedings & in Books; and as presentations in International and national symposia/seminar/ conferences; Edited two books entitled (i)‘Valorization of Food Processing By-Products’ (2012) and (ii) “Enzymes in food and beverage processing” (2015) for CRC press. He has Cumulative Impact factor index of100 from publications in ISI listed journals and “h’ index-‘25’ (Google scholar citation) - as on August 12th, 2018) (https://scholar. google.com/ citations= en&user BBCYKJ8AAAAJ)
He has earned recognition as a career awardee for his contribution in microbiology from University Grants Commission, India. He was recipient of Indian National Science Academy, India Visiting fellowship and Overseas Associateship of Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and technology, Govt of India. He is an elected Fellow of Mycological society of India. He was honored with the Life Time Achievement award 2017 by SCIRE SCIENCE Pvt ltd Cochin and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award for Life Time contribution in Science 2017 by MARINA LABS Chennai.
He has completed 4 sponsored research projects funded by UGC, CSIR and DBT.Govt. of India. He has organized 3 national symposia and one popular lecture program in biotechnology. He has 34 years of postgraduate teaching which includes research supervision of dissertation work at B. Tech, M.Sc., M.Tech and PhD Degree levels, and 20 years of Post graduate teaching experience as University Professor.
He has guided 29 PhDs. These candidates are now holding high positions in society. Some are scientists in national laboratories and some are working in Universities as faculty members. Thus, the nominee contributed to the upliftment of students from socially backward communities. Several candidates are in USA serving as scientists.He has made significant and pioneering contribution in the development of curricula for academic degree programs in Microbiology and Biotechnology, at UG and PG level, by serving as subject expert in the board of studies in microbiology and biotechnology of several Universities in India. Also, served as examiner for several universities in the conduct of UG and PG examinations by setting question papers and evaluation of M.Phil. and PhD theses.
As Founder President, he founded the Society for Biotechnologists of India in 1995.
He also founded, as Founder President, the Cochin unit of Association of Microbiologists of India. He is a life member in more than 5 professional societies in India.
He has also contributed intensively and enormously in the dissemination of contemporary scientific knowledge and inspired students and young teachers through scientific lectures in various fields of microbiology and biotechnology during UGC refresher courses, seminars, symposia, and popular lectures in several colleges and many universities in India over a period of 25 years. He has contributed significantly to the Research and Development programs at National level in terms of development of research concept notes, identification and promotion of specific research activities pertaining to microbiology and biotechnology, review and evaluation of research proposals in thrust areas, by serving as Member, Formulation Group for Establishment of “Marine Biotechnology Application Centre", Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. Of India 2000-2001, Member, Steering Committee, National Bioresource Development Board, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India 2002-2007, Nominee of University Grants Commission (UGC) India, to the Advisory Committee of DRS programme of Department of Botany, University of North Bengal, India (April, 2002-March 2007), Member, Task Force on Biotechnology, ICAR, Govt. Of India (July 2003-2006), Member, Sub-Committee of the Earth Sciences Research Committee on Disaster Preparedness, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, HRD Group, New Delhi (May 2006 to March 2009) Member, Task Force on Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. Of India 2006-2009 and Member, Research Advisory Committee (RAC) of the Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE) Mumbai, Indian Council of Agricultural Research ICAR, Govt of India for the period 2010-2013. Co-Chair & Member, Task Force on Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. Of India 2017-2020.
1. Career Award of University Grants Commission (UGC), Govt. of India, 1994, for Microbiology
2. Overseas Associate ship of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, 1995-96
3. Visiting Fellowship of Indian National Science Academy (INSA), India, 1996-97
4. Fellow of Zoological Society of India (FZSI) award, Zoological society of India, 2008, for his outstanding research contributions in Life Science
5. Life Time Achievement award 2017 by SCIRE SCIENCE Pvt ltd Cochin
6. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award for Life Time contribution in Science 2017 by MARINA LABS Chennai
7. Fellow of Mycological Society of India (FMSI) award Mycological society of India, 2017, for his outstanding research contributions in mycology