Faculty Profiles of SHS

Dr. M N Balakrishnan Nair, PhD;
Emeritus Professor.

Dr. M N Balakrishnan Nair is Emeritus Professor with the School of Health Sciences at TDU. He has conducted several training programs on primary healthcare & medicinal plants and worked on forest products, 240 species of wood and gums and resins. He has also worked for the documentation, rapid assessment and promotion of local health traditions (both human and animals). He has trained 154 veterinarians and 1500 farmers on Ethno-veterinary practices in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He has to his name – 41 research papers and a book as well as edited 3 books.

Among his other achievements are:

  • Establishing 25000 HHG for managing primary healthcare for humans
  • Co-ordinating CAPTURED program and facilitiating registration of 8 students for PhD. 2 of the 8 have been awarded their PhD
  • Initiating a postgraduate diploma course on Ethno-veterinary practices along with Tamil Nadu University for Veterinary and Animal Sciences (TANUVAS) for veterinarians
  • Organizing an Indo-Dutch Exchange Program on reduction of antibiotics in dairy farming

He is interested to engage with PhD students, young people interested in designing and executing innovative educational and outreach programs related to

  • Ethno-veterinary Practices
  • Medicinal Plants and Primary Healthcare
  • Plant Anatomy (Functional Anatomy)
  • Gums and Resins
  • Antibiotic residue in food products
  • Documentation and rapid assessment

E-mail: nair.mnb@frlht.org


Dr. Prakash BN, PhD;
Senior Assistant Professor.

Dr. Prakash BN is a Senior Assistant Professor with the School of Health Sciences at the Trans-Disciplinary University. His Ph.D research is on validation of traditional plant-based malaria prophylaxis. He has master’s degree in yoga therapy (M.Sc.) from Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (sVYASA) University, Bangalore, India and undergraduate degree in Ayurveda (B.A.M.S.) from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India.

His research focuses on public health and traditional medicine and has an experience of twelve years as a part of developing and implementing community outreach programmes which includes programmes such as Documentation and Rapid Assessment of Local Health Traditions (DALHT & RALHT), home herbal garden and AYUSH Grama. Prakash’s research experience includes one and half years training on ‘modern drug testing protocols and methods for malaria’ under the guidance of Prof. Dominique MAZIER, INSERM laboratory in Paris, France.

He is interested to engage with PhD students, young people interested in designing and executing innovative educational and outreach programs related to:

  • Scientifically validated, low-cost solutions for prevention of malaria
  • Contribution of traditional medicine to primary health care
  • Exploring potential of Ayurveda in public health

E-mail: bn.prakash@frlht.org

Mr. Hariramamurthy
Associate Professor.

Mr. Hariramamurthy is Associate with the School of Health Sciences at TDU. He has documented, assessed and promoted the use of medicinal plants for health and livelihood security, and implemented across 7 states of peninsular India.

His other achievements are:

  • Networking and capacity building of Folk Healers across 18 states of India including North Eastern region
  • Community Knowledge Exchange Programs organized in India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Uganda

He is interested to engage with PhD students, young people interested in designing and executing innovative educational and outreach programs related to

  • Folk Healers
  • CBOs
  • NGOs

E-mail: g.hari@frlht.org


Dr. Mahadevan Seetharaman, PhD;

Dr. Mahadevan Seetharaman is a Pharmacy Gold Medalist from BITS Pilani where he also obtained his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering. He received his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Minnesota. During his post-doctoral research years at the Cleveland Clinic, he developed an interest in entrepreneurship and worked on a Masters in Science & Technology Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

In 2005, he joined a startup as part of the senior management team and has since helped grow the company to close to 500 people and $25M in revenues. Over this time he has gained expertise in the Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Life Science and IT industries. In addition to entrepreneurship, he is interested in sustainable grassroots development activities and is ex-President of the Minnesota chapter of the Association for India’s Development (AID), a NGO.

After spending close to 15 years in the United States, Dr. Mahadevan has recently moved back to India. Thanks to several personal encounters with Ayurveda in his own life, he is deeply interested in this medical science and is very happy to have the opportunity to work in developing and propagating this further.

E-mail: mahadevan@frlht.org

Dr. Maarten Bode, PhD;
Visiting Professor and PhD Guide.

Dr Maarten Bode is Adjunct Research Faculty at the Department of Sociology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and visiting professor at the Institute of Transdisciplinary Health Sciences and Technology, Bangalore, India. He has published on the modernization and commercialization of Indian medical traditions, contemporary practices, effectiveness and perspectives of Indian Medicine, in international academic journals and scholarly volumes. In 2008 his book Taking Traditional Knowledge to the Market: the Modern Image of the Ayurvedic and Unani Industry, c. 1980-2000 appeared with OrientBlackswan in the series “New Perspectives on South Asian History”. Maarten Bode is on the editorial board of the eJournal of Indian Medicine (eJIM), State University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and peer reviewer for academic journals such as the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Anthropology and Medicine, etc. In 2013 he started the Indian Medical Heritage Research Network (InMerit) under the Asian Heritages program of the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden University.

Research interests:
Social-cultural and historical aspects of Indian medical traditions. Contemporary forms of Indian medicine: change and continuity. Indian medical heritage as material and immaterial culture. Biopolitics and the construction of disease entities. Local illness perceptions and health seeking trajectories. Indian medicine, emancipation, and Universal Health Coverage.

Broad topics on which I would be happy to guide PhD and post doc students:
What good medicine means for the financially poor. The construction and transmission of Indian medicine in professional and folk settings. The professional and cultural transformations of being unwell (dis-eased). Medical plurality between and within medical systems. Patients’ health seeking trajectories.

E-mail: bode52@hotmail.com


Dr. Anna Spudich, PhD;
Visiting Professor and PhD Guide.

Annamma Spudich received her Ph.D. and did postdoctoral work in molecular cell biology at Stanford University and was a cell biologist at Stanford University for 25 years. About ten years ago she left basic science research to devote her intellectual energies to her life long interest in the history of Indian scientific traditions in the natural sciences. While a visiting faculty at the Dept. of Molecular Pharmacology at Univ. of Calif. San Francisco, she initiated her research into the history and healing traditions of her native Kerala. Her work has focused on how biomedicine and traditional medicine are coexisting in the contemporary context, how traditional medical practitioners, folk medical practitioners and Ashtavaidya scholar physicians of Kerala, are continuing their traditions while coexisting with biomedicine. She is also interested in the interaction of Indian botanical medical knowledge systems with Europeans in India as reflected in European documents from 16-early 19th centuries.

Spudich is interested in the visual communication of the history of medicine-she has curated two exhibitions that explore the history and impact of biomedical knowledge systems of India in global context. In 2003, she organized an exhibit at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University titled “From Forreine Places All the Varietie of Herbes” and a conference that examined Indian ethno botany and medicine and the European colonial enterprise in India.

In 2008 she curated a groundbreaking exhibit in Bangalore, at the National Center for Biological Sciences that explored the impact of the encounter with Indian botanical medical knowledge systems on European world. The exhibit titled “Such Treasure and Rich Merchandize:” is now a permanent installation at the Museum of Natural History in India.

Broad topics on which I would be happy to guide PhD and post doc students:

  • Issues of integration of traditional medicine and biomedicine
  • Documentation and validation of ecosystems specific folk medicinal plant therapies for chronic diseases
  • Single drug remedies, “ottamooilies” in traditional medicine
  • Understanding traditional medical quality standards
  • Science communication

E-mail: aspudich@gmail.com