Salem Ramachandra Venkatasubba Rao obtained BSc (Hons) and MSc (Zoology) from Mysore University, and PhD from University of Rajastan on 'cytology of Homoptera: Auchenorrhyncha'. Thereafter, he had a 2-year stint as Biologist in Madras Cancer Institute (1959-61). He worked in the Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, as Lecturer, Reader and then Professor till retirement (1987). Subsequently, he was reappointed till 1992.
Academic and Research Achievements: Throughout his research career, Rao focused his investigations on X-chromosome regulation and heterochromatin and discovered the mammalin type X-chromosome (inactivation) in the Indian Mole Cricket, Gryllotalpa fosser. His discovery of Fragile X-chromosome (analogous to human Fragile X-chromosome) in the Indian Mole rat, Nesokia indica is also noteworthy. He has nearly 75 papers in international journals of repute to his credit and also guided 12 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Rao served as Member, National Programme Committee of XV International Congress of Genetics (1984). He was Founder Member, Life Member and president of the Indian Society of Cell Biology.
Awards and Honours: Professor Rao was conferred the Hari Om Trust Award, and JC Bose Award for contributions in the field of Cell Biology and Genetics (1987). He was appointed National Lecturer in Zoology by the UGC (1986). He was Visiting Senior Scientist of Medical Research Council of UK (1986-87); UNDP Visiting Scientist (USA, UK); Population Council Fellowship, USA; and Visiting Scientist (UGC-NSF). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad in 1990.