Akhilesh Kumar Tyagi obtained PhD (1983) from Delhi University for his studies on haploid cell culture and genetics, and then worked in Germany on photosynthesis-related chloroplastic and nuclear genes. He joined the Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi (1988) and became Professor (1994). He has served as Head, Department of Plant Molecular Biology (1988, 1992-95, 1998-2001), Chairman, Board of Research Studies, Interdisciplinary and Applied Sciences (1995-2003), Director, Interdisciplinary Centre for Plant Genomics (2005-09) and Director, National Institute of Plant Genome Research (2009 onwards).
Academic and Research Achievements: He is among the few Indian plant scientists who have ventured to bring together knowledge of molecular physiology, genomics, and transgenics to study, analyze and improve crop growth and yield. Major research interests of his group relate to photosynthesis/phototransduction, stress/reproductive biology, genome analysis and genetic enhancement. He has been Coordinator/Team Leader of major research efforts India has undertaken in Plant Science, which include Centre for Plant Molecular Biology at South Campus, Indian Initiative for Rice Genome Sequencing, Indian Initiative on Tomato Genome Sequencing, Network Project on Rice Functional Genomics, Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Next Generation Challenge Program in Chickpea Genomics. He has over 150 publications in journals/books of high repute/impact and supervised work of several Post-graduate, Ph.D. and Post-doctoral students. Prof Tyagi has delivered over 250 invited lectures and chaired over 30 sessions in national and international meetings.
Other contributions: Akhilesh Tyagi has been General Secretary, the National Academy of Sciences, India, Vice-President of the Society for Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Vice-President, Indian National Science Academy as well as the Chairman of DBT-UGC Task Force on Human Resource Development and is serving as Chairman, PAC Plant Sciences, DST. He has also served on Organizing Committees of several national and international symposia. In addition, he is serving on Editorial Boards of Transgenic Research, Molecular Genetics & Genomics, Rice, International Journal of Plant Genomics, Peer J and Journal for Plant Biochemistry & Biotechnology.
Awards and Honours: He has been given JC Bose National Fellowship Award, National Bioscience Award, NASI-Reliance Industries Platinum Jubilee Award in Biological Sciences, BP Pal Memorial Lecture Award of NASI, Birbal Sahni Medal of IBS, Platinum Jubilee Lecture Award of ISCA, BN Chopra Lecture Award of INSA, BP Pal Memorial Award of ISCA, FC Steward Lecture Award of PTCA(I), Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award for Science & Technology, S.K. Mukherjee Commemoration Lecture Award by ISCA. He is Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences.