Yellapragada Subba Rao's groundbreaking contributions have left an indelible mark on medical science, notably in cancer treatment and the pivotal role of folic acid in health and disease prevention. His work, which elegantly bridges the gap between traditional Indian medicine and Western scientific research, has paved the way for lifesaving therapies and deepened our understanding of biological chemistry.

                                                                                                             – Dr. G. A. Ramaraju DNB PhD, Consultant Krishna IVF Clinic


Subba Rao's journey, inspired by his experiences with herbal remedies rich in folic acid during an illness, led him from India to the hallowed halls of Harvard Medical School and the innovative labs of Lederle Laboratories in the United States. His pioneering research resulted in the development of aminopterin as an anti-cancer drug, laying the foundation for using methotrexate with a reduced toxicity profile to treat psoriasis and various other conditions.

Beyond his work with folic acid, Subba Rao made significant strides in understanding the biochemical significance of phosphocreatine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). These contributions have had a lasting impact on the field of biological chemistry. His discoveries extend to developing antifolate cancer drugs, showcasing the breadth of his influence (Gupta, Bansal, & Ramesh, 2013); (Nagendrappa, 2012).

Folic acid, a crucial form of vitamin B9, is essential for DNA synthesis and repair. It is critical for preventing neural tube defects such as spina bifida in newborns. It is implicated in guarding against cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers and influencing pregnancy outcomes and cognitive functions. The complexity of folic acid’s relationship with health outcomes underscores the importance of Subba Rao’s work in this field (Lucock, 2000); (Smith, Kim, & Refsum, 2008).

The story of Yellapragada Subba Rao is not just one of scientific achievement; it is a testament to the power of integrating diverse medical and scientific traditions to advance global health outcomes. His legacy, characterized by a tireless pursuit of knowledge and a commitment to improving human health, inspires and influences medical science today.

Scroll to Top