Dr. Virendra B. Mahesh

The Virendra B. Mahesh Lectureship was established in 2001 in the Medical College of Georgia Department of Physiology at Augusta University as a lasting tribute to its namesake. The lectureship brings to the Augusta campus outstanding and distinguished leaders in science, enabling them to exchange ideas with Medical College of Georgia researchers while inspiring trainees and young investigators.

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Dr. Virendra B. Mahesh was a pioneer in steroid biochemistry and reproductive biology for over four decades.

The Physiology Trainees are responsible for the nominations and election of guest speakers as well as for the organization of the lecture.


Mahesh receives President’s Award, the highest award given by the University

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Dr. Mahesh earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Patna University, India, and a master’s degree in chemistry and PhD in organic chemistry in 1955 from Delhi University, India. He earned a DPhil in biological sciences from Oxford University in 1958, then completed a James Brown Memorial Fellowship at Yale University. He joined the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) Department of Endocrinology faculty in 1959 and in 1970 was named Regents’ Professor and director of the MCG Center for Population Studies. He chaired the MCG Department of Endocrinology from 1972-86 and the Department of Physiology and Endocrinology from 1986-99. In 1979, he was appointed the Robert B. Greenblatt Professor of Endocrinology.

He authored over 400 peer-reviewed papers on polycystic ovarian syndrome and physiological events controlling ovulation.

He received the 1963 Rubin Award, the 1965 Billings Silver Medal, the 1986 Albert Einstein International Bronze Medal and the 1996 Carl G. Hartman Award. Mahesh was named the American Biographical Institute World Laureate representing the United States in January 2001 by the publisher of the international reference volumes. He also received the institute’s 2002 American Medal of Honor and the 2002 Bharat Excellence and Jewel of India Award.

Dr. Mahesh has served on the National Institutes of Health Reproductive Biology Study Section and the Human Embryology and Development Study Section, which he chaired from 1991-93. He has served on the editorial boards for scientific journals including The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Steroids, Maturitias, Archives of Andrology, the Journal of Endocrinological Investigations and Endocrinology.

He was a counselor and Steering Committee member of the American Physiological Society (APS) Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism from 1999 to 2001. He was a member of the APS Joint Programming Committee from 2001-04 and was editor-in-chief of Biology of Reproduction from 1999 to 2004. He was a past chair of Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) Publishing Committee and currently serves on the SSR Public Affairs Committee. Dr. Mahesh represented the SSR on
the Board of Directors for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and served on the FASEB Public Affairs Committee.

Dr. Mahesh served as a chair of the APS Endocrinology and Metabolism Section. That section of the APS established the Virendra B. Mahesh Award of Excellence in Endocrinology in 2004 to promote the career development of the graduate student or postdoctoral fellow submitting the best abstract at the annual Experimental Biology meeting in the area of Endocrinology and Metabolism. The Georgia Health Sciences University Research Institute also established the annual Mahesh Distinguished Research Award for faculty with significant, sustained contributions to research. Most recently, the Medical College of Georgia established the Endowed Virendra B. Mahesh, PhD, DPhil Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience in April 2017.

In 1965, Dr. Mahesh helped establish the Medical College of Georgia’s PhD program in endocrinology, which was funded by an NIH training grant for 34 years. The program produced 11 master’s students, 25 PhD students and 59 postdoctoral fellows.

An exemplary teacher who influenced the lives of young scientists, many of whom are leaders in reproductive biology, Dr. Mahesh will always be remembered for his humble and kind nature. He was quick to give credit to his co-workers and took great pride in the accomplishments of his former students. His contributions as a scientist, educator and scholar are truly remarkable.

An interview with Professor Virendra B. Mahesh (Biology of Reproduction)

Past Lecturers:

2023- Dr. Joey Granger, The University of Mississippi
2022- Dr. Timothy Hla, Harvard Medical School
2021 - Dr. Patricia Molina, Louisiana State University Health New Orleans
2020 - Dr. David Hoadley Ellison, Oregon Health and Science University
2019 - Dr. Anil K. Bidani, Loyola University Medical Center
2018 - Dr. Lisa A. Cassis, University of Kentucky
2017 - Mary Woolley, President and CEO of Research! America
2016 - Dr. David G. Harrison, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
2015 - Dr. Polly Matzinger, National Institute of Cellular and Molecular Diseases
2014 - Dr. Carl J. Hauser, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
2013 - Dr. Kathleen Morgan, Boston University
2012 - Dr. Oliver Smithies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and 2007 Noble Prize recipient in Physiology or Medicine
2011 - Dr. Frank M. Faraci, University of Iowa
2010 - Dr. Philipp E. Scherer, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
2008 - Dr. Sue P. Duckles, University of California
2007 - Dr. Edward D. Frohlich, Oschner Clinic
2006 - Dr. Kathryn Sandberg, Georgetown University Medical Center
2005 - Dr. Susan Smith, Oregon Health and Science University
2002 - Dr. Patricia D. Hurn, Johns Hopkins Medical Institute
2001 - Dr. Kenneth S. Korach, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences