Rajiv Krishna Saxena received BSc (Hons) (1970) from Delhi University. Later, he completed MSc and PhD for studies on 'endocrine regulation of thymic metabolism' under the guidance of Professor GP Talwar, Biochemistry Department, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. In 1978, he joined the National Institute of Aging, National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA for postdoctoral research and returned in 1984 to India to join the National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi. In 1985, he shifted to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as Associate Professor of Immunology in the School of Life Sciences, became full Professor (1991), Dean (2001); and later the Rector (pro-Vice Chancellor) of the University (2002-05). He worked for 2 years as a Visiting Professor at the School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh (1990, 1991). He also worked as a Senior NRC Fellow at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH-CDC) (1999-2001) and the US-Environmental Protection Agency (2005-07). In 2008, he joined on deputation the South Asian University jointly being established in New Delhi by the eight SAARC countries, as an OSD (Academics and Planning).
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Saxena worked extensively on interactions between NK cells and tumor cells, lung immunity and its regulation by environmental pollutants, mechanisms of erythrocyte turnover in blood circulation and on interactions between nano-particles like carbon nano-tubes, nanodiamonds and diesel exhaust particles, with cells and tissues in vivo and in vitro. He has so far guided 14 students for their PhD degree and published 135 research papers in National and International journals.
Other Contributions: Professor Saxena served as Secretary of the Indian Immunology Society (1995-97) and International Congress of Immunology (1998). He is a poet too and has published "Geeta Kavya Madhuri" (Pustak Mahal, 2002) that is a complete translated of Srimad Bhagvat Geeta into metered Hindi verses.
Awards and Honours: Professor Saxena was awarded the National Science Talent Scholarship in 1967 and later received Professor TR Seshadri Award (1970) for topping the Delhi University's BSc(Hons) Chemistry program. He received the NII Senior Scientist Oration and Gold Medal (1995) and was twice awarded the Senior Fellowship of the National Academy of Sciences, USA (1999 and 2005). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1993), and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1997).