School of Life Sciences was founded in 1977 with the vision of promoting inter-disciplinary teaching and research. The first Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Gurbaksh Singh, pre-eminent scholar, formally inaugurated the academic divisions with the following strategic initiatives:
Initially, School of Life Sciences was a small campus north of the University and offered Master’s program, M.Sc., Biochemistry. The courses taught in this era were biochemistry, plant and animal physiology, enzymology and cell metabolism with broad continuum of approaches to understand the basics of cell functions and how their activities are regulated. The 1980s opened with a burst of new faculty and in the following years of the decade, the School of Life Sciences identified new frontier areas and experienced a substantial net growth. The foresight and vision of the first Vice-Chancellor of UH, Prof. Gurbakhsh Singh, catapulted the school on a fast lane. Prof. Singh laid a strong foundation for carrying out basic research in biological sciences. Under the able leadership of Prof. A. N. Radhakrishnan, who was appointed as the first Dean of the school in 1977, the school garnered momentum with committed faculty and devoted students. Their hard work and perseverance laid a strong groundwork in nurturing the school. With strong fundamental principles in biological sciences, launching new programs with specialization in Biochemistry, Plant Sciences and Animal Sciences in 1979 became a natural progression of the school. Confirming the Central University status, the school attracted enrollment into these programs from students drawn from across the country. National level screening of students to gain admission into the programs strengthened the goal of achieving quality research and brought diversity with high research acumen and eventually brought laurels to the school. In a short time the School of Life Sciences became a national leader in higher education and research in biological sciences. Establishment of higher education programs: M.Phil. and Ph.D propelled the School of Life Sciences towards achieving the highest academic standards.
Over the years, the School of Life Sciences has steadily progressed towards achieving academic excellence. The infrastructural facilities were greatly expanded through the plan funds of University Grants Commission (UGC), DBT, DST as well as extra-mural funding attracted by the faculty of the School of Life Sciences. A healthy competitive atmosphere among the academic programs and the faculty resulted in excellence in teaching and research. It is this spirit and the personal goals of the faculty of the school lead to attract funds from national and international funding agencies. The School of Life Sciences received funding from every major research initiative in India. The faculty members have been very successful in attaining the financial support to achieve specific objectives through clearly established programs of DBT, DST, UGC and CSIR as well as biotech/ pharmaceutical industries.
To this day, School of Life Sciences reflects its rich heritage-boasting more than 60 faculty members. It is no exaggeration to claim that the School of Life Sciences faculty members are the most decorated and come from highly reputed Universities/Institutions from all over the world. Our faculty members pursue every aspect of biological systems. The research work carried out by the faculty and their students has received appreciation and the School of Life Sciences is able to carve its own identity in diverse areas of biological sciences. The testimony of these efforts and hard work is measured in terms of quality research publications in referred national and international journals. Organizing distinguished lectures by national and international scientists, and conducting national and international conferences on frontier areas of biological sciences, School of Life Sciences creates vibrant and exciting learning atmosphere. The School of Life Sciences has attained national recognition for its achievements and it is a step closer to the international standards of scientific competence.
Many of our faculty members have received recognition for their academic contributions in the form of fellowships from prestigious Academies such as Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Science, National Academy of Science, National Academy of Medical Science, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences, and Third World Academy of Sciences, etc and serve as advisory board members in various high-tier committees.
School of Life Sciences achieved its 25th anniversary in 2002 with approximately 35 faculty members, M.Sc. students in Animal Biology (previously known as Animal Sciences), Biochemistry, Plant Sciences and Biotechnology and Bioinformatics as well as Ph.D. research scholars. In that decade there were new appointments to the faculty represented the growing influence of modern biology. A new building for School of Life Sciences was completed and occupied in March 2013. Since the opening of the modern building, designed for interaction between investigators, has been fully occupied by the core-facilities, bringing a total number of 65 laboratories, number class-rooms, practical laboratories, and auditoriums. The size of the new School of Life Sciences is an all-time high and a beginning of exciting times to come. As the School of Life Sciences enters its 40th year, the traditional areas of biological sciences: cell biology, immunology, biochemistry, microbiology, plant sciences, genetics, and biotechnology are joined with new areas of functional genomics, proteomics and systems biology.
But as in the beginning the educational and research partnership between our faculty and students is one of our unique strengths, enabling us to accelerate the advances in science and technology. For more than 39 years, the School of Life Sciences has been a leader in biological sciences. The current breadth and depth in biological sciences ensure cutting-edge, multidisciplinary training for future scientists and scholars, and the knowledge and experience they attain at the School of Life Sciences will impact on the progress of biological sciences at large. We will integrate the knowledge of chemists, geneticists, molecular biologists, bioinformaticians, and physicists as well as partner with leading pharmaceutical industries as we enter this next chapter of School of Life Sciences. Together, we will strive to advance towards our goal of prevailing excellence in teaching and we thrive to answer some of the most challenging questions in biological systems to improve the well-being of humankind.