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Prof. Dr.

G. Balakrish Nair

Year of election: 2011
Section: Microbiology and Immunology
City: New Delhi
Country: India

Research

Balakrish Nair's research at NICED was focused on the bacteriology, ecology and epidemiology of enteric pathogens, particularly Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera.

He established Campylobacters as enteric pathogens in India, he was associated with discovery of the new cholera serogroup named O139 Bengal and also identified the first pandemic serogroup of Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6, all of which later spread globally. He also diversified his research into molecular epidemiology and molecular pathogenesis of enteric pathogens and traced the spread of these pathogens nationally, regionally and globally.

In 2000, while at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research in Dhaka (Bangladesh), he was instrumental in developing the research programs of the laboratory science division. Another landmark discovery at the ICDDR, B was the discovery of the El Tor variant of V. cholerae O1 that produced cholera toxin of the classical type; in effect a hybrid strain. This strain is now the causative agent of cholera across the globe. Nair has now taken up the role of translating basic research findings into tangible health solutions in India.

Career

  • since 2016 Acting Regional Advisor, Research Policy and Cooperation Unit, Communicable Diseases Department, World Health Organization
  • 2011-2016 Executive Director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), India
  • 2000-2007 Director of Laboratory Sciences Division at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases in Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • 1981-2000 Staff Scientist at the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Calcutta, India
  • 1982 Doctoral degree in Marine Biology

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