CMS Dass did his BSc (Hons) and MSc in Zoology from Central College (University of Mysore) in Bangalore. He joined the department as Lecturer in Zoology (1947). He started his research career in Central College under Professor BR Seshachar and worked on the nuclear organization and post-conjugation development of macronuclear anlagen in Peritrichous Ciliate Protozoa to obtain his PhD from Mysore University. In 1954, on Fulbright Fellowship for further studies and research, he joined the University of Wisconsin, USA as Graduate student in the Zoology Department and worked for his PhD (1957) under Professor Hans Ris. He returned to Central College and continued as Lecturer, and then joined Zoology Department of Delhi University (DU) as Lecturer (1958). He was awarded International Post-graduate Fellowship (1961) by National Research Council (NRC), Ottawa, Canada, to work in the Biophysics Department. He returned to DU as Reader in Zoology (1963) and later appointed as Professor of Zoology in the Centre of Advanced Study in Cell Biology and Endocrinology, DU. On superannuation (1986) he was re-appointed as Professor and finally retired in 1991. He was an Emeritus Professor (Honorary) in Karnataka State Sericulture Research and Development Institute (SRDI).
Academic and Research Achievements: Dass worked on the ultrastructural organization and the development of sperms, especially the acrosome, mitochondria and the nucleus in grasshoppers. He also demonstrated cytochemically the role of highly basic aminoacid lysine in the compaction of DNA during spermateleosis. His research in NRC concerned the structure of rat liver ribosomes. He studied the sub-units of 70S ribosomes and the organization of polysomes in association with RNA. He demonstrated the association of 5S RNA with 30S subunit of the ribosome using urinyl acetate as a positive stain. He set up Electron Microscope Laboratory in the Department of Zoology and along with his students worked on several aspects of the cell cycle, nuclear organization and development of macronucleus in the hypotrichous ciliate Stylonychia. Further, they showed by auto-radiography the reutilization of the breakdown products of old macronuclear fragments in the synthesis of DNA in the macronuclear anlagen. He has published 105 research papers and guided as many as 22 students for their PhD.
Other Contributions: Dass worked in the Silkworm Pathology Units of SRDI, where he set up the Electron microscope Unit and worked on the problem of intra-cellular development of the parasite Nosema Bombycis in Silkworm and spore structure of the parasite. Professor Dass was actively associated with organizing All India Cell Biology Meetings in Delhi University as a Part of the activity of Advanced Centre and also with the formation of Indian Society of Cell Biology. He was Founder Secretary and later, elected as its President. He was invited to attend Ciliate Biology Conferences in Fort Collins, Colorado. USA and University of Shanghai, China.
Awards and Honours: Professor Dass was awarded Sunder Lal Hora Medal of INSA (1990).