Qualifications MBBS, DGO
Designation (RETD) Scientist “D”, Head of the Clinical Division, National Institute   of Nutrition, ICMR, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India
Field of Specialisation OBSTETRICS & GYNAECOLOGY
Research Experience 35 years
Areas of Research Maternal Nutrition & Reproductive Health
Number of Publications (International and National Journals 70
Research Specialisation Was involved in development of maternal and child health surveillance monitoring system to evaluate maternal and child health problems. Data were collected in the hospital and in the rural communities using the surveillance system. An attempt had been made to define `High Risk’ mothers and infants in the community within the existing health care infrastructure.

The main areas of research were involved in contraceptive trials, maternal nutrition and pregnancy complications.  Anaemia in pregnancy, preeclampsia, micronutrients and body composition changes in pregnancy and new born.  Supplementation trials were carried out in pregnant women on vitamin A status.

Reproductive health especially RTI, and bacterial vaginosis was carried out in reproductive age women.  The effect of vaginal lactobacilli on bacterial vaginosis and vaginal immunology was investigated. And significant effect of lacto bacilli on treatment of bacterial vaginosis was highlighted.

Details of Important Multi-centric projects undertaken
  • WHO Study on metabolic side effects and changes associated with hormonal contraceptive effects of altered nutrition
  • Studies on antenatal care on birth weight and perinatal mortality
  • Studies on trace elements in human nutrition
  • Studies on the prevalence of B-complex deficiency signs in oral contraceptive users
  • Bioavailability of hormonal contraceptives
  • National Collaborative study on high risk families to screen for high risk pregnancies  (Community Study – Rural)
  • Long-Term follow-up of breastfed infants of oral contraceptive users during lactation – Both prospective and retrospective study for growth and morbidity
  • Riboflavin status of infants in relation to their feeding practices
  • Screening for prevalence of rubella in women of reproductive age and children
Major Areas of Research As Medical Scientist of the Institute in the field of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, I was involved in various research projects to see the interaction of nutrition in women during various phases of life like pregnancy, lactation and contraception. I have been responsible for recruitment, clinical monitoring of women, obstetric follow-up, treatment of women during antenatal and postnatal period. Also involved in laboratory work in some of the projects.  Some of the major research projects undertaken are listed below:

  • Studies on the effect of contraceptives on maternal nutritional status and studies on the metabolic and nutritional consequence of contraceptive usage in undernourished women, bioavailability and efficiency of contraceptive steroids in relation to maternal nutritional status.
  • Trace elements profile on pregnancy and contraceptive users including oral contraceptive and IUD wearers.
  • Prevalence of vitamin B-complex deficiency in women during reproductive age and oral contraceptive.
  • Studies on the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy, prevalence of maternal risk factors in anaemic pregnant women and the effect of anaemia on immune competence, morbidity due to infection, birth weight, perinatal mortality and maternal mortality and exploration of alternative approaches for management of anaemia in pregnancy.
  • Investigation of risk care approach to management of problem of poor intrauterine growth evolving simple method for diagnosis and management of intrauterine growth retardation.
  • Studies on lactation, nutrition, fertility, interaction including effect of lactation on maternal nutritional status, effect of maternal nutritional status on lactation, effect of breast feeding practices on infant growth.
  • Long-term follow up of breast fed infants of oral contraceptive users during lactation. Both prospective and retrospective study for growth and morbidity of infants.
  • A National collaborative study on high risk families’ mother and outcome of their offspring with particular reference to the problem of maternal nutrition, low birth weight, perinatal and infant mortality in rural community (ICMR-multi-centric collaborative study).
  • Studies on pregnancy induced hypertension.
  • Carbohydrate metabolism in pregnancy.
  • Vitamin A supplementation to lactating mother and to study the effect on growth, morbidity and vitamin A level in mother plasma, breast milk and infants’ plasma.
  • The prevalence of iron deficiency in preschool children as assessed by ferritin and free protoporphyrin.
  • Thyroid function in normal and abnormal pregnancies.
  • Studies on bioavailability of ferrous glycine sulphate and ferrous sulphate.
  • The knowledge, attitude and practice of studies on infant nutrition weaning, immunization and contraceptives (a) in adolescent and adult primiparous women (b) between primiparous and multiparous lactating women.
  • Studies on the prevalence of Rubella antibodies in pregnant women and children.
  • Reproductive tract infection in perimenopausal women.
  • Intrauterine infection in pregnancy and their relation to adverse pregnancy outcome in relation to maternal nutritional status.
  • Serum DHEA and MDA levels in humans in relation to aging
  • Cord blood homocysteine levels in low and normal birth weight infants
  • Effect of vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy on maternal and child health
  • Effect of spirulina supplementation during pregnancy on maternal and child health
  • Effect of food-based vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy on maternal and child health
  • Maternal and neonatal body composition at term in relation to birth weight of infants
  • Maternal body fat changes during pregnancy and its relation to birth weight and neonatal body composition – A prospective study
  • Maternal nutrition in early pregnancy and its effect on placental development
  • Expression of lepin in early placental development and its association with maternal nutritional status
  • Maternal nutritional status in early pregnancy and effect on intrauterine foetal growth – A Prospective Study
  • Maternal malnutrition and foetal pancrease
  • Obstetric outcome and immune response in women with genital tract infections
  • Persistent/Recurrent bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy and effect on pre-term delivery
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension and antioxidant nutrition
  • Nutrient pollutant interaction studies in pregnancy (A collaborative study in association with International Atomic Energy Association, Vienna
  • Evaluation of National Anaemia Prophylaxis Programme in Severely Anaemic Pregnant Women
Current Research after Retirement The main area of current research is vaginal infections in pregnancy –vaginal microbiome.

The title of research project is oral probiotic supplementation in pregnancy and its impact on bacterial vaginosis, pregnancy outcome and birth weight of infant.

Important recent publications (last five years) Hemalatha R, B Anantha Ramalaxmi, E Swetha. Evaluation of Vaginal pH as a marker for bacterial vaginosis.   Published inInd J Med Research .138:3, 354-359, 2013.

Babu Geddam JJ, Radhakrishna KV, Ramalaxmi BA, Ravinder P, Balakrishna N:  Expression of  leptin in early placental development – its association with maternal nutritional status. Int. J Medicine and Public health. 2:21-24, 2012.

R Hemalatha, Paola Mastromarino, Baru Anantha Ramalaxmi, N.V.Balakrishna and B Sesikeran. Effectiveness of vaginal tablets containing Lactobacilli versus pH tablets on vaginal health and inflammatory cytokines; a randomized, double-blind study. Eur J Clin Microbiol and Infect Dis. DOI 10.1007/s10096-012-1671-1.

 R Hemalatha, Baru Anantha Ramalaxmi, Gummuluri Krishna Swetha, Dasari Madhusudhan Rao and B Dinesh Kumar. Association of Bacterial vaginosis with Nutritional status in an urban slum in Indian. International Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism Vol. 4(5), pp. 77-82, May 2012. Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/IJNAM. DOI: 10.5897/IJNAM12.005.

 Babu Geddam JJ, Radhakrishna KV, Ramalaxmi BA, Balakrishna N, Qadri
SSYH, Sesikeran B : Maternal nutrition in early pregnancy effects placental
development.  Int J Med Public Health 1 : 22-29, 2011

 R Hemalatha, Ramalakshmi BA, Krishna Swetha G, Uday Kumar P, Madhusudan Rao D, Balakrishna N, Annapurna V. Cervicovaginal inflammatory cytokines and sphingomyelinase in women with and without bacterial vaginosis. American Journal of Medical Sciences(accepted) July/August  2011.

 Sreeramulu, D; Ramalakshmi, BA; Balakrishna, N; Raghuramulu, N. Serum Dehydroepiandrosterone And Lipid Peroxides In Human Volunteers Of Different Age Groups.  Indian J. Clin. Biochem. Vol.19(1),  79-82, 2004 .

 Yasodhara, P; Ramalakshmi, BA; Prasanna Krishna, T. Socioeconomic Status And Prevalence Of  Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy, Indian J. Microb. Vol. 22, 241-243,2004.

Family Son (Venkatesh Tilak) and Daughter in law (Joyeela Mukherjee) both of whom have done MBA and are working with Deloitte Consulting


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