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Global Indian – Prof. V S Ramachandran

Posted on June 8, 2020
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Global Indian Professor V S Ramachandran


Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran is an Indian-American  .

He was born on August 10, 1951 in Tamil Nadu, India. His mother had a degree in mathematics. Ramachandran’s father, V. M. Subramanian, was an engineer who worked for the U.N. Industrial Development Organization and served as a diplomat in Bangkok, Thailand. His grandfather was Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, one of the framers of India’s constitution.


Ramachandran attended schools in Madras, and British schools in Bangkok. His father wanted him to become a physician rather than a researcher, therefore he obtained an M.B.B.S. from Stanley Medical College in Chennai, India. Ramachandran obtained a Ph.D. from Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He spent two years at Caltech as a research fellow working with Jack Pettigrew.


Prof.Ramachandran is known for his wide-ranging experiments and theories in behavioural neurology, including the invention of the mirror box. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego in 1983 and became a full professor there in 1998. He currently holds the rank of Distinguished Professor in the UCSD Psychology Department, and is the Director of its Centre for Brain and Cognition, where he works with graduate students and researchers from UCSD and elsewhere on emerging theories in neuroscience. As of July, 2019, Ramachandran is also a professor in the UCSD Medical School’s Neurosciences program, and an Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Ramachandran is collaborating with Indian doctors doing research on Mucuna  pruriens, an ayurvedic therapy for Parkinson’s disease

Awards and Recognition

Ramachandran’s popular books Phantoms in the Brain (1998), The Tell-Tale Brain (2010), and others describe neurological and clinical studies of people with synaesthesia, Capgras syndrome, and a wide range of other unusual conditions. Ramachandran has also described his work in many public lectures, including lectures for the BBC, and two official TED talks. Both his scientific research and his popularization of science have been recognized with multiple awards.

In 2005 he was awarded the Henry Dale Medal and elected to an honorary life membership by the Royal Institution of Great Britain, where he also gave a Friday evening discourse (joining the ranks of Michael Faraday, Thomas Huxley, Humphry Davy and others).

His other honours and awards include fellowships from All Souls College, Oxford, and from Stanford University (Hilgard Visiting Professor).

The Presidential Lecture Award from the American Academy of Neurology, two honorary doctorates, the annual Ramon Y Cajal award from the International Neuropsychiatry Society, and the Ariens Kappers medal from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences.

In 2007, the President of India conferred on him the third highest civilian award and honorific title in India, the Padma Bhushan.

In 2014, the ARCS Foundation (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) named Ramachandran its “Scientist of the Year.”

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