Prof. Dayananda Siddavattam demonstrated bacterial phosphotriesterase role in iron acquisition and outer membrane transport
HYDERABAD, July 22 (The CONNECT) - Prof. Dayananda Siddavattam has been appointed the new Vice-Chancellor of Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management or GITAM, Deemed to be University.
Dr. Siddavattam, a senior academician and researcher, has had a long and illustrious career as an academic administrator, having previously served as HoD of Animal Biology Department as well as the Dean of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Hyderabad. During his tenure at the University of Hyderabad, he received wide acclaim for his administrative and infrastructural reforms. The state-of-the-art laboratories and inter-institutional collaborations established under his stewardship have accelerated the interdisciplinary research activities at the University of Hyderabad.
A researcher par excellence, with his areas being molecular biology, environmental microbiology, and regulation of gene expression, Prof Siddavattam started his career at the Institute for Genetics in the University of Bayreuth, Germany. After returning to India, he established a molecular biology lab at SK University, Anantapur, by obtaining competitive research grants from various national and international funding agencies such as the DST, DBT, The Wellcome Trust, UK, and British Council, UK.
He brought global visibility to the unit by collaborating with reputed institutions such as the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. His laboratory made fundamental contributions to the field of Environmental Microbiology and succeeded in identifying genetic and biochemical principles behind the survival of microbes in highly polluted and harsh habitats. By pursuing these extensive research projects, he discovered novel genes and unique degradation pathways.
He critically questioned existing theories on the evolution of bacterial phosphotriesterase (PTEs) and demonstrated their role in iron acquisition and outer membrane transport. He has been a consultant to several leading pharma companies and has successfully executed several highly goal-oriented industry sponsored research projects.
He has received significant recognition for his contributions to research in these areas, in India as well as abroad. He is the recipient of the Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship, awarded by the British Council in the U.K. His other credits include winning the prestigious DAAD (1988–90) and BMFT visiting scientist fellowships (1992-93) from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Federal Republic of Germany, right at the beginning of his career. In 2008, the state of Andhra Pradesh honoured him with the title of Scientist of the Year.
He is a member of all three of India's leading science academies: the National Academy of Sciences in Allahabad, the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bengaluru, and the Indian National Science Academy in New Delhi. Most recently, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, awarded him the prestigious JC Bose National Fellowship.
GITAM was founded in 1980 by an inspired group of eminent intellectuals and industrialists of Andhra Pradesh led by Dr M. V. V. S. Murthi, former Member of Parliament and popular philanthropist. Located in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, it also has campuses in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Collectively, the three campuses have 19 institutions under their wing. Over the years, GITAM has taken part in many social activities and has also produced many renowned personalities.