He earned a Ph.D. with Prof. T.R. Govindachari, Presidency College, Madras. Postdoctoral work with Prof. C.L. Stevens, Wayne State University, and Prof. J.D. Roberts, Caltech, and Prof. H. Schmid, Zurich University.
He was Head of Medicinal Chemistry, CIBA Research Centre, Goregaon 1963-1984. Director, R&D Centre, Searle India 1984-1992. Director R&D, Bangalore Pharmaceutical & Research Laboratory Private Limited, Bangalore, 1992-4; Director R&D, Recon Ltd., 1994- 2000. Consultant to M/s Rallis India Limited. (2001) Presently Corporate Advisor to Alkem Laboratories and M/s Hikal Ltd., Mumbai and consultant to Astrazeneca, Bangalore.
He is Fellow of Indian National Science Academy; Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; Fellow of the Maharashtra Academy of Sciences; Chairman and founding member, National Organic Symposium Trust; Senior exchange visitor of Indian National Science Academy, with U.K. Royal Society, French Academy of Sciences and Polish Academy of Sciences; past president of Indian Chemical Society, Bombay Branch; Member of the Editorial Boards of Indian Journals, Member at various times of University Board of Studies, Research Advisory Councils of CSIR and Project Advisory committee of DST; Till recently member Research Council, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology Hyderabad; Currently member, RC of RRL, Jammu.
He won the Bhatnagar Prize for Chemical Sciences, 1974; Prof. Venkataraman, Prof R.C. Shah and Prof Suresh Sethna Endowment Lectures; Platinum Jubilee Lecture in Chemistry, Indian Sciences Congress, Jan 1995. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award 2004 of Chemical Research Society of India.
Three Drugs, Sintamil, Varsyl, Satranidazole; several patents; about 270 publications; one antiamoebic in clinical trials in India and also exported. He discovered an important new lead for Anti TB activity. He was involved in the development and commercialisation of several drugs like azathioprine and pesticides like flucythrinate and quinalphos. He is experienced in custom synthesis, contract research.
His interests include natural products chemistry, medicinal chemistry, pesticide chemistry, applications of NMR to problems of structure and reactivity in organic chemistry.
His extracurricular interests include Carnatic Music, Bharathanatyam, Gardening.
- Kuppuswamy Nagarajan, Vunnam R. Rao, Rashmi K. Shah, Sharada J. Shenoy, Hans Fritz, Wilhelm J. Richter, Dieter Muller, "Condensed Heterotricycles. Synthesis and Reactions of b-Fused 1(2H)-Isoquinolinones with unusual enaminic properties", Helvetica Chimica Acta, Volume 71, Issue 1, pages 77–92, 3 February 1988
- Kuppuswamy Nagarajan, Patrick J. Rodriguesa and Munirathinam Nethajib, "Vilsmeier-Haack reaction of 1-methyl-34-dihydroisoquino lines-unexpected formation of 2,3-bisdimethylamino-5,6-dihydropyrrolo (2,1- ) isoquinolines", Tetrahedron Letters, Volume 33, Issue 47, 17 November 1992, Pages 7229-7232
- Kuppuswamy Nagarajan, Joy David, Agasaladinni N. Goud, 10-Alkyl- and 10-aminoalkyl-2,2'-bis(trifluoromethyl)-3,10'-biphenothiazines, J. Med. Chem., 1974, 17 (6), pp 652–653, June 1974