CR Krishna Murti did his PhD (1948) from the University of Bombay. His specialization was in biochemistry. He was Senior Scientist and Deputy Director, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow (1950-75); and Deputy-Director and later Director, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow (1975-83); Principal Coordinator of Integrated Environmental Programme on Heavy Metals (Department of Environment, Government of India), Centre for Environmental Studies, Anna University, Madras.
Academic and Research Achievements: Krishna Murti started his research career by developing processes to make pectins from Indian fruits papaya and guava. He also developed methods to prepare a milk-clotting enzyme from the latex of Ficus carica, which was relatively free from the proteolytic activity and effective in curdling milk, an important step in cheese making. Dr Krishna Murti and his team initiated studies on the residue levels of organochlorine pesticides (DDT, BHC) in wild birds, oils, milk, human tissues including adipose, maternal blood, cord blood, human placentae to evaluate the placenta transfer and ill effects on new-borns. He worked on the molecular mechanisms of encystation and excystation of parasitic amoebae. The mechanism of bilirubin toxicity during neonatal jaundice was investigated through its interaction with human erythrocytes. The toxicity involved binding of bilirubin to membrane lipids, derangement of membrane permeability and leakage of hemoglobin and Glucose-6-phsphate dehydrogenase as well altered uptake of nutrients. He made valuable contribution on the role of non-enzymic lipid peroxidation in tissue inflammation and other toxic manifestations as well as the role of antioxidants like rutin.
Other Contributions: Dr CR Krishna Murti evinced a sustained interest in understanding environmental changes in the Indian sub-continent in relation to diverse developmental activities. Specifically he was concerned with pollution by heavy metals and non-biodegradable organic chemicals as a result of industrial growth and modernization of agriculture. He synthesized toxicological information on industrial and agrochemicals and developed multidisciplinary approaches to their safety evaluation. Krishna Murthi served on the Editorial Boards of several CSIR journals including Indian Journal of Biochemstry & Biophysics. Krishna Murthi was a Member of INSA Council (1978-80).
Awards and Honours: Krishna Murthi received Basanti Devi Amirchand Award of ICMR (1973), Sunder Lal Hora Medal of INSA (1981) and Pitamber Pant National Environmental Fellowship (1983). He was a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and National Academy of Medical Sciences (India). He was a Member of the Society of Biological Chemists (India).