LS Shashidhara obtained his BSc and MSc (Genetics and Plant Breeding) (1987) from University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad; and PhD (1991) from University of Cambridge, UK. Thereafter, he carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge, then worked in National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore as Visiting Fellow, joined Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in 1995 and then shifted to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune where he continued working as Professor and Coordinator (Biology) (2007- ).
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Shashidhara explored the mechanism by which the Hox gene Ultrabithorax functions in fruitfly Drosophila to specify positioning of limbs and bringing out differences between forelimb and hindlimb during development. His results suggest that variation in appendage forms is generated during evolution when certain key signaling pathways such as Wnt, TGF-? and EGFR/Ras come under the influence of Hox genes. He also pioneered the development of techniques to use Drosophila as a model system to study human genes, diseases and in drug discovery programs. In this direction, his group developed a fly model to study human colon cancer gene APC and a method of using APC transgenic flies in screening for drugs against cancer. He mentored 10 PhD students and also authored about 25 high-impact papers.
Other Contributions: Shashidhara established a strong and interactive biology group in IISER and also set up a state-of-the-art biology laboratory. He organized several national and international symposia, workshops and training courses for research scholars as well as for school and college students.
Awards and Honours: Dr Shashidhara was awarded the CSIR Technology Prize in Biological Sciences (2003), DAE-SRC Outstanding Research Investigator Award (2006) and the SS Bhatnagar Award (2008). He was also elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore in 2007.