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Subba Rao

Subba Rao

G.S.R Subba Rao

Professor, Department of Organic Chemistry,
Indian Institute of Science,



Subba Rao completed his Ph.D from Manchester; he served as Professor at Indian Institute of Science, bangalore, India. With 40 years of teaching postgraduate students; 26 Ph.D's and 30 post-doctoral fellows were trained in his laboratory, published around 175 papers.

Prof. Subba Rao has developed new strategies of synthesis of natural products using cyclohexadienes, readily available from the Birch reduction of aromatic substrates. This methodology has been extensively used for the total synthesis of several mold metabolites, which include the orsellinic acid derivatives, macrocyclic lactones, several naturally occuring sesquiterpenes with a tricycle ( undecane and the tricycle (,.5) undecane skeleton. Developed synthesis of steroid hormones, prostaglandin derivatives by using this methodology; total synthesis of diterpenes, complex xanthones and spiro(4.5) decanes. Suggested a new mechanism involving the formation and protonation of anion radicals to explain anomalous behaviour during the Birch reduction of styrenoids. Elucidated the structures of several natural products. These include diterpenes, triterpenes, alkaloids and steroid sapogenins. Investigated the application of organometallic reagents in the homogenous hydrogenation, oxidation, isomerization and related processes. Also developed methods for the production of various drugs and drug intermediates including oral contraceptives for the Indian pharmaceutical industry.

Overseas Visits:Traveled extensively in USA, UK, USSR, France, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, China, Italy, Taiwan, Korea, Canada and Pakistan for Professional, Academic and Consultancy work.

Industrial Experience
: Consultant to many Indian and Foreign pharmaceutical Companies on Synthesis of Drugs & Drug Intermediates, Natural Products, Steroid hormones, Combinatorial synthesis.Flavours & Fragrances, Neutraceuticals etc

Other Activities:
Served on many Scientific Committees of the Central and State Governments. (CSIR, UGC, DST, ICMR, ICAR) & Selection Committees for Faculty Recruitment in the Universities, IIT’s and other Academic Institutions.


Research Interest

Organic Synthesis, Natural Product Chemistry, Reaction Mechanisms, Organometallic Chemistry, Combinatorial Chemistry.