Prof. VR. Muthukkaruppan

Qualification M.Sc., Ph.D.
Designation Advisor
Aravind Medical Research Foundation
e-mail id muthu@aravind.org

Dr. Veerappan Muthukkaruppan, after his Master’s Degree in Zoology in 1957 at Annamalai University pursued higher studies for Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA on “The mouse lens induction and differentiation in vitro”. The significance of his finding was illustrated as a cover picture in Investigative Ophthalmology in 1993, demonstrating that the anterior lens epithelium isolated from the embryonic and even adult lens has the ability to organize into a complete lens only when the neural retinal stimulus is provided in culture.

He has worked as Professor of Immunology for over three decades in Madurai Kamaraj University wherein teaching at Master’s level and Research at Ph.D. level were established in the field of Immunology, first of its kind among Indian Universities. During this period, he has identified the origin of T and B lymphocytes in a reptile from which both mammals and birds evolved. He has elucidated the basic mechanism of immunological unresponsiveness in one polar form of Leprosy. His  another major interest has been the development of candidate vaccine and diagnosis for murine typhoid using purified porine for which he also developed several monoclonal antibodies.

During his several visits to University of Wisconsin, as Visiting Professor he has developed a mouse corneal model to study the mechanism of angiogenesis induced by tumour, activated allogenic lymphocytes, and subsequently recombinant proteins like fibroblast and vascular endothelial growth factors. His mouse corneal model was also used to study the factors which inhibit angiogenesis.

As Founder-Director of Research, Prof. Muthukkaruppan has organized the research laboratory at Aravind Medical Research Foundation in 1999 and contributed to the understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of diabetic retinopathy, corneal epithelial stem cells, Immunology of uveitis. At present, as Advisor-Research  he is interested in developing new programmes on the application of adult tissue resident stem cells in regenerative medicine. His involvement in the genetics of retinoblastoma resulted in establishment of cancer Genetic Testing centre in Aravind Eye hospital only, such a only one centre in India.

He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences (IASc), Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and recipient of Ranbaxy Research Award for Basic Medical Sciences.

Peer-Reviewed Journals
  1. Sundaresan Y, Veerappan M, Ramasamy KS, Chidambaranathan GP. Identification, quantification and age-related changes of human trabecular meshwork stem cells. Eye Vis (Lond). 2019 Oct 17;6:31. doi: 10.1186/s40662-019-0156-z.
  2. Abraham A, Thirumalairaj K, Gaikwad N, Muthukkaruppan V, Reddy AG, Thangaraj K, Kim U, Vanniarajan A. Retinoblastoma discordance in families with twins. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Mar;67(3):436-439.
  3. Khedekar A, Devarajan B, Ramasamy K, Muthukkaruppan V, Kim U. Smartphone-based application improves the detection of retinoblastoma. Eye (Lond). 2019 Jun;33(6):896-901
  4. Ashwinbalaji S, Senthilkumari S, Gowripriya C, Krishnadas S, Gabelt BAT, Kaufman PL, Muthukkaruppan V. SB772077B, A New Rho Kinase Inhibitor Enhances Aqueous Humour Outflow Facility in Human Eyes. Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 19;8(1):15472.
  5. Kasinathan JR, Namperumalsamy VP, Veerappan M, Chidambaranathan GP. A novel method for a high enrichment of human corneal epithelial stem cells for genomic analysis. Microsc Res Tech. 2016 Dec;79(12):1165-1172.
  6. Senthilkumari S, Neethu M, Santhi R, Krishnadas SR, Muthukkaruppan V. Identification of glaucomatous optic nerve head changes in Indian donor eyes without clinical history. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2015 Jul;63(7):600-5.
  7. Chidambaranathan GP, Mathews S, Panigrahi AK, Mascarenhas J, Prajna NV, Muthukkaruppan V. In vivo Confocal Microscopic Analysis of Limbal Stroma in Patients with Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency. Cornea. 2015 Nov;34(11):1478-86.
  8. Gaikwad N, Vanniarajan A, Husain A, Jeyaram I, Thirumalairaj K, Santhi R, Muthukkaruppan V, Kim U. Knudson’s hypothesis revisited in Indian retinoblastoma patients. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2015 Dec;11(4):299-307.
  9. Thirumalairaj K, Abraham A, Devarajan B, Gaikwad N, Kim U, Muthukkaruppan V, Vanniarajan A. A stepwise strategy for rapid and cost-effective RB1 screening in Indian retinoblastoma patients. J Hum Genet. 2015 Sep;60(9):547-52.
  10. Devarajan B, Prakash L, Kannan TR, Abraham AA, Kim U, Muthukkaruppan V, Vanniarajan A. Targeted next generation sequencing of RB1 gene for the molecular diagnosis of Retinoblastoma. BMC Cancer. 2015 Apr 28;15:320.
  11. Mathews S, Chidambaram JD, Lanjewar S, Mascarenhas J, Prajna NV, Muthukkaruppan V, Chidambaranathan GP. In vivo confocal microscopic analysis of normal human anterior limbal stroma. Cornea. 2015 Apr;34(4):464-70.
  12. Murugeswari P, Shukla D, Kim R, Namperumalsamy P, Stitt AW, Muthukkaruppan V. Angiogenic potential of vitreous from Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy and Eales’ Disease patients. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 13;9(10):e107551.
  13. Priya CG, Prasad T, Prajna NV, Muthukkaruppan V. Identification of human corneal epithelial stem cells on the basis of high ABCG2 expression combined with a large N/C ratio. Microsc Res Tech. 2013 Mar;76(3):242-8.
  14. Sureshkumar J, Haripriya A, Muthukkaruppan V, Kaufman PL, Tian B. Cytoskeletal drugs prevent posterior capsular opacification in human lens capsule in vitro. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2012 Apr;250(4):507-14.
  15. Priya CG, Arpitha P, Vaishali S, Prajna NV, Usha K, Sheetal K, Muthukkaruppan V. Adult human buccal epithelial stem cells: identification, ex-vivo expansion, and transplantation for corneal surface reconstruction. Eye (Lond). 2011 Dec;25(12):1641-9.
  16. Arpitha P, Prajna NV, Srinivasan M, Muthukkaruppan V. A subset of human limbal epithelial cells with greater nucleus-to-cytoplasm ratio expressing high levels of p63 possesses slow-cycling property. Cornea. 2008 Dec;27(10):1164-70.
  17. Priya CG, Rathinam SR, Muthukkaruppan V. Evidence for endotoxin as a causative factor for leptospiral uveitis in humans. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Dec;49(12):5419-24.
  18. Murugeswari P, Shukla D, Rajendran A, Kim R, Namperumalsamy P, Muthukkaruppan V. Proinflammatory cytokines and angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in vitreous of patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy and eales’ disease. Retina. 2008 Jun;28(6):817-24.
  19. Arpitha P, Prajna NV, Srinivasan M, Muthukkaruppan V. A method to isolate human limbal basal cells enriched for a subset of epithelial cells with a large nucleus/cytoplasm ratio expressing high levels of p63. Microsc Res Tech. 2008 Jun;71(6):469-76.
  20. Priya CG, Hoogendijk KT, Berg M, Rathinam SR, Ahmed A, Muthukkaruppan VR, Hartskeerl RA. Field rats form a major infection source of leptospirosis in and around Madurai, India. J Postgrad Med. 2007 Oct-Dec;53(4):236-40.
  21. Rohini G, Murugeswari P, Prajna NV, Lalitha P, Muthukkaruppan V. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-8, MMP-9) and the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP-1, TIMP-2) in patients with fungal keratitis. Cornea. 2007 Feb;26(2):207-11.
  22. Rajasundari TA, Chandrasekar K, Vijayalakshmi P, Muthukkaruppan V. Immune status of health care personnel & post vaccination analysis of immunity against rubella in an eye hospital. Indian J Med Res. 2006 Nov;124(5):553-8.
  23. Vasanthi M, Prajna NV, Lalitha P, Mahadevan K, Muthukkaruppan V. A pilot study on the infiltrating cells and cytokine levels in the tear of fungal keratitis patients. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2007 Jan-Feb;55(1):27-31.
  24. Priya CG, Bhavani K, Rathinam SR, Muthukkaruppan VR. Identification and evaluation of LPS antigen for serodiagnosis of uveitis associated with leptospirosis. J Med Microbiol. 2003 Aug;52(Pt 8):667-73.
Non-Peer Reviewed Journal
  1. Mahendran V, Pitchappan RM, Namperumalsamy P, Pounraj K, Das TP, Manickavasagam T, Muthukkaruppan VR. Association of HLA with Eales (Periphlebitis Retinae) and Iridocyclitis in South India. TNOA. 1999;40:1-16.

1957 : B.Sc. (Hons) I Class, FIRST Rank, Maniketh Krishna Menon’s Prize

1978-79 : Visiting Professor, University of Wisconsin, USA

1981-82 : President, Indian Immunology Society

1986-88 : National Fellow of University Grants Commission (UGC)

1989 : Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (FNA)

1989 : Recipient of Ranbaxy Research Award for Basic Medical Sciences

1990 : Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences

1991 : Recipient of Swami Pranavanand Award for Senior Scientist on    Developmental Biology

1992 : Recipient of National Institute of Immunology Award for Senior Scientist