Giridhar Akkaraju, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth where he has been since 2002. His research interests include the pathogenesis of Hepatitis C virus infection, anti-cancer drug discovery and tissue engineering.
He received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1997. Prior to his appointment at Texas Christian University, he was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Zhijian Chen at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.
He was born in the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) in India where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry in 1985. He came to the US in 1986 to pursue graduate studies in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry. His PhD thesis was based on his studies on using Herpes Simplex Virus I as a gene therapy vector for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He went on to do two post-doctoral fellowships at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, where he studied the effect of cell killing drugs on cancer cells, and at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he studied the mechanisms by which viruses avoid the immune system. His current research focuses on Hepatitis C virus, specifically studying the mechanism by which it persists in the body and causes liver cancer.
He has been married to Mala Ganapati, a social worker, since 1993 and has two dogs. His hobbies include sitting in on classes at TCU, reading about history, (specifically the history of science), traveling (he has travelled around the world twice and visited twenty countries on five continents), and working in his garden and on his house. The achievement he is most proud of is climbing the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, in the summer of 2011.