Prof Balasubramanian’s earlier work on the photochemistry of the eye lens revealed the mechanisms of formation of various tryptophan-photoproducts accumulating in the human lens with time, and the roles that each of them plays in situ on the structural features of the constituent lens proteins and the properties of the ageing lens. Recently, he has been looking at the functional role of the Greek key motifs in the βγ-crystallins in central nuclear transparency of the human lens and in congenital cataracts.
In collaboration with cell biologists and corneal clinicians at the LVPEI, he has been coordinating adult stem cell biological studies in the eye, and translating them into therapy. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed research papers, contributed to two books in biotechnology, and has published 6 books in popular science. As a science popularize, he regularly writes a biweekly column: ’Speaking of Science” in a national newspaper of India, and also appears on TV.
He has won all the major science awards of India, the TWAS Prize for basic medical sciences, the Khwarizmi Award for Medical Sciences of Iran, and the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for popularization of Science. He is an elected Fellow of all Indian Science Academies (FNA, FASc, FNASc), of TWAS, of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the African Academy of Sciences and the Mauritian Acad. Sci & Tech. Mauritius. He has been President of the Indian Academy of Sciences (2007-2009) and Secretary General of TWAS (2003-2009).