N.R. Jagannathan completed his M.Sc. from St. Joseph’s College, Trichy, University of Madras in 1975. Later he joined the Department of Biophysics, University of Madras for PhD and completed the same in 1982. He did his post-doctoral Fellowship from the Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada from September 1982 to March 1986. Briefly he was a Senior Scientific Officer at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore till August 1987. In September 1987, he again moved to the Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA as a post-doctoral Fellow. In August 1988 he joined as a Research Associate at the Department of Radiology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, USA to work on MRI. In July 1989 he returned to India and joined as a Lecturer at the Department of Biophysics, University of Madras and worked there till August 1993. In September 1993 he joined the Department of NMR & MRI Facility, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi as an Assistant Professor and later rose to the level of a full Professor and Professor & Head in 1998.
Academic and Research Achievements: Research interests are in the area of clinical applications of cancer using molecular and functional imaging (MRI and in-vivo MR spectroscopy) methods to understand disease biology, physiology, and metabolism. His group has made seminal contributions in identifying non-invasive MR biomarker/s for early diagnosis, early assessment of treatment response and prediction of treatment outcome in breast and prostate cancer patients in a clinical setting. He documented choline metabolite as a non-invasive molecular biomarker in breast cancer that’s useful in early diagnosis, therapeutic assessment and for prognosis. His group also developed pre-biopsy MR guided method for early diagnosis of prostate cancer to avoid unnecessary biopsies. In the area of pre-clinical research, his group developed a novel method to identify sleep areas in conscious rats using simultaneous electrophysiology and fMRI. The neuronal loss and deranged membrane metabolism in alcoholics by MRS before morphological changes was demonstrated. His group studied the reversal of myelination abnormalities in adult brain beyond postnatal window period using MR after initiation of thyroxin therapy in congenital hypothyroidism. Also, the pathophysiology during de- and re-myelination of multiple sclerosis was studied in an animal model using MRI and MRS. Many drugs like melatonin, adenosine, rapamycin and aswagandha were evaluated for their neuroprotective property in animal model of stroke. His group also have used NMR metabolomics to find out biomarkers for diagnosis in muscular dystrophies, IBD and surgical outcomes in various spine abnormalities.He has published over 250 research articles in different national and international journals of repute and edited 5 volumes on MRI and MRS in cancer.
Other Contributions: Prof. Jagannathan has initiated MRI research in India in early 1990s and is instrumental in setting up MRI facility at various hospitals and Medical colleges across India. Recently he has made as an associate member of the Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA to foster collaboration between various Universities/Institutes in quantitative imaging aspects for diagnosis of cancer. He is the founder President of the Indian Chapter of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), USA (2014- till date). He also co-founded Molecular Imaging Society of India (MISI) which affiliated to the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS), USA and is currently the Vice-President of MISI (2014- till date). His professional activities also include being a Member, Chapters Committee, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), USA [2015-16]; Member, Young Investigators Awards (YIA) Committee, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), USA (2014-16); Member, Program Committee, 2014 World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC), Seoul, South Korea (2014); Elected Member, Executive Council, International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB; 2008-2014); Member (Director), Executive Council of the International Conferences on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems (ICMRBS; 2005 - 2014); President, Asian Biophysics Association (ABA; 2011 – 2013); Member, Steering Committee, Asian Biophysics Association (ABA; 2007-till date); Vice-President, Asian Biophysics Association (ABA; 2009 – 2010); Member, Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC), International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM; 2007-2010); Member, Education Committee, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM; 2007-2009); President, Indian Biophysical Society (IBS), India (2007-09); Presently he is the Chairperson, Indian National Committee of INSA for IUPAB (2016-2019).
Awards and Honours: Dr Jagannathan is a recipient of several awards and honours including (i) J. C. Bose National Research Fellowship, Government of India; (ii) Drs. Kunti & Om Prakash Oration Award, ICMR; (iii) A. V. Modi Birth Centenary Lecture; (iv) Achanta Lakshmipathi Oration, NAMS; (v) Platinum Jubilee Lecturer, Indian Science Congress; (vi) Bruker Young Scientist; and (vii) INSA Research Fellow. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, India; Fellow, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, USA, and a Fellow of Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. He is currently the Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad. Prof. Jagannathan is the Member, Editorial Board, “NMR in Biomedicine”; Associate Editor, “Biophysical. Reviews”; Member, Editorial Board, “MAGMA” (Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine); Member, Editorial Board, “Magn Reson Imaging”; Member, Editorial Board, “Magn Reson Insights”, and Member, Editorial Board, “Biomedical Spectroscopy & Imaging”.