Raghavan Varadarajan

Indian Institute of Science, India

Raghavan Varadarajan obtained his MSc degree in 1982 at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, and his PhD in 1988, working with Professor Steven Boxer at Stanford University. Following a postdoctoral stint with Prof Frederic Richards at Yale University, he returned in 1992 to India to the Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science, where he is currently a Professor. His laboratory has made important contributions to understanding determinants of protein stability and interactions using high-throughput mutagenesis coupled to deep sequencing, developing a computational measure of residue depth in proteins, creating temperature-regulated molecular switches to control gene function in living organisms, and to the design of immunogens that elicit protective antibodies against HIV-1, influenza, and COVID-19.

In collaboration with Merck, in 2010 his laboratory reported one of the first successful examples of structure guided immunogen design, stabilizing the conserved stem domain of Hemagglutinin, the major surface protein of influenza virus. In 2017 he co-founded the start-up Mynvax, to take forward his research on viral vaccines into clinical testing. Mynvax is testing its influenza vaccine formulation in a Phase 1 clinical trial in Australia that will conclude in May 2024, with subsequent clinical development planned in India later this year.

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