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Professor Devarajan Karunagaran

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Career profile

Professor Karunagaran, before joining at IITM in his current position, was involved in research at various levels. Starting his career in academia as a lecturer (1979-1986) and then senior lecturer (1986-1992) in biochemistry, he moved onto research as a Postdoctoral Fellow (1992-1995) at the Weizmann Insitute of Science, Israel where he worked on the molecular mechanisms involved in Her2/Neu (ERBB2) receptor signaling. He later worked as a project investigator (1995-1997) at the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA continuing his work on ERBB2. He came back to India in 1997 and heading the division of cancer biology at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for more than 8 years, mentored many postdoctoral associates (two of whom won national awards from DBT). He has made original and novel contributions on nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), transforming growth factor-ß (TGF-β signaling mechanisms in cervical cancer, anticancer properties of various chemicals obtained from traditional herbs of India, including curcumin (turmeric), alicin (garlic). His present work, at IITM, covers the broad areas of apoptotic mechanisms, signal transduction events triggered by various growth factors and microRNAs.


Prof. Karunagaran obtained his Masters degree in Biochemistry in the Faculty of Medicine at Jawaharlal Insitute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry. He received his MPhil in Biochemistry from the University of Madras, Chennai and his Doctoral degree in Biochemistry at Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur.


  • C. R. Krishnamurti Lecture Award for the year 2003 by the Society of Biological Chemists (India)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


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