Dr. K. K. Narayanan

Managing Director of Metahelix Life Sciences


Dr KK Narayanan, managing director, Metahelix Life Sciences, on how humans have modified the nature and nurture of plants to make them amenable for farming. Dr Narayanan states that all the external conditions that make it conducive for the plant to grow and produce constitute its nurture, whereas the inherent capacity of the plant to grow and produce is its nature, and this is determined by its genetic make-up.

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Dr. K. K. Narayanan is the Managing Director of Metahelix Life Sciences; a Bangalore based Ag-biotech Company that is focused on developing technologies for crop improvement. Metahelix has core competence in plant breeding, genomics and informatics combined with proven capabilities in the genetic transformation of several crop species including corn, cotton, rice and select vegetable species.

Narayanan is trained as a plant breeder and molecular biologist. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University at Coimbatore, India. He later on carried out post – doctoral research at the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University under a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship.

Returning to India, he started his career as a scientist at the SPIC Science Foundation, Chennai and later moved on to lead the Crop Transformation and Functional Genomics programme at the Monsanto Research Centre, Bangalore. In 2001, he along with four other scientist colleagues founded Metahelix Life Sciences and has since been leading its operations.

Narayanan is a member of several committees and advisory bodies including the Task Force on “Agricultural Biotechnology”, the Working Group on “Biosafety Regulations”, of the DBT, Government of India, “Vision Group” on Biotechnology set up by the Karnataka Government and the “Biotechnology Board” of the Kerala Government. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), an association of the Indian Biotechnology Industry, and was its immediate past-president.

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