Antapur Venkoba Rao received DSc (1978) from University of Madras, Chennai. He worked as Professor and Head, Institute of Psychiatry, Madurai Medical College, Madurai (1962-85), Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry (1985- ) and Officer-in-Charge, ICMR Centre for Advanced Research on Health and Behaviour, Madurai (1985-92). He was Visiting Scientist, National Institute of Mental Health, USA (1986). He was also WHO Consultant on Psychiatric Diseases (1980).
Academic and Research Achievements: Venkoba Rao did notable researches in affective disorders (specially depressive disease), psychiatry of old age, suicidology, clinical use of lithium, biological psychiatry, especially melatonin studies in depression, psychotherapy based on Gita and other Indian scriptures, and history of psychiatry with reference to Ayurveda and Indian philosophical systems. He contributed to the science of suicidology, crisis intervention, lithiumology and evolved a model for total health care of the rural aged. He authored/co-authored three books: Depressive Disease (ICMR), Lithium and Psychiatry of old Age in India.
Other Contributions: Venkoba Rao served on the Tamil Nadu Prison Reform Commission, National Committee to study the extent of drug addiction in India (1976) and World Psychiatric Association. He was Editor, Indian Journal of Psychiatry (1971-77), and a few more journals.
Awards and Honours: Professor Venkoba Rao was conferred the JC Marfatia Award (1972, 1975, 1979), DLN Murti Rao Oration Award (1980) and Sandoz Award (1974), all by the Indian Psychiatric Society. He won Sandoz Oration Award by University of Edinburgh (1984), PN Raju Oration Award (1975), MN Sen Oration Award (1983) by ICMR, MK Seshadri Prize by ICMR, Gold Medal (1987) by ICMR, Sir Shriram Memorial Oration Award (1983) by NAMS, India, RV Rajam Oration Award (1991-92) by NAMS, India, Dr BC Roy National Award by Medical Council of India (1981), May & Baker Oration Award by Geriatric Society of India (1990), Dr NN De Oration Award (1991), Academy of Medical Specialities Award (1989-90), also Madurai Kamaraj University Endowment Lecture (1970, 1973) and Girindrasekar Bose Lecture Award (1979). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India), Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, American Psychiatric Association, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Canadian Association of Psychiatrists, International Association for Suicide Prevention, Indian Psychiatric Association (Life Fellow), and Indian Academy of Neurology. He was also President, Association of Gerontology (India) (1990-92) and Indian Association for Social Psychiatry (Founder President).