Anil Kumar Tyagi obtained BSc (1970) from Meerut University, MSc (Biochemistry) (1972) from Allahabad University, and PhD (1977) from University of Delhi while working at the VP Chest Institute on oxidative phosphorylation in Mycobacteria under the supervision of Professor TAV Subramanian. He then worked at National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA (1978-83) with Dr David Cooney for the first two years and then with Dr Herbert Tabor for the next three years. On returning to India, he joined VP Chest Institute (1983) and along with Professor TAV Subramanian initiated the MSc programme in 'biochemistry' at the University of Delhi. In 1986, he shifted to the University of Delhi South Campus where he continues to be Head of the Biochemistry Department.
Academic and Research Achievements: While at NIH, Tyagi established the mechanism of action of L-alanosine, a novel antibiotic anticancer agent, and discovered the role of polyamines in the replication of double-stranded RNA plasmids in yeast. His other pioneering researches relate to: transcriptional signals of Mycobacteria which contributed significantly to the understanding of its gene expression, developing a repertoire of expression vectors which have been widely used by the scientific community, and TB vaccines leading to the development of several vaccine regimens which hold great promise. They are more efficacious than BCG and are scheduled for clinical trials. His work on pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis led to the identification of mymA operon and establishment of mymA operon and tyrosine phosphatases as potential drug targets based on their essentiality for survival of tubercle bacilli in host tissues. He has authored more than 80 research articles and book chapters and also mentored 18 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Dr Tyagi has served as Member of Guha Research Conference, Research councils and Scientific Advisory committees of several national institutions. He was Consultant to NIH Tuberculosis Programme (TBRU) (1993-98) and served on the Editorial boards of Tuberculosis and Indian Journal of Medical Research. He also organized a number of refresher courses and workshops.
Awards and Honours: Dr Tyagi won several awards, notably: SS Bhatnagar Award, Kona Sampath Kumar Prize by Delhi University, PS Sarma Memorial Award by Society of Biological Chemists (India), Ranbaxy Research Award, Dr Nitya Anand Endowment Lecture Award by INSA, and the oration awards: Professor Sibte Hasan Zaidi Oration (2005) and Dr CR Krishnamurthy Oration (2007). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and also Vice President of the Society of Biological Chemists, India (2004-06).