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Gopi Krishna Podila

(1957 – 2010)
We offer deepest condolences to the Podila family in their insurmountable loss. He has
been a great leader in the scientific community all along and befriended many from all sectors of
life through his pleasing mannerism, helpful nature, as well as interest in culture and arts. Dr.
Podila is survived by his wife Vani, two daughters Bindu and Anila, mother Ramalakshmi Devi,
and three brothers Sitaramanjaneya Sarma, Ravi and Siva Subrahmaniam. He was preceded in
death by his father Surya Prakasa Rao, Retired Reader at Nagarjuna University, Guntur.

While many aspects of the funeral arrangements are being finalized, up to date
information can be obtained from the website dedicated in honor of Dr. Podila or by contacting Ramesh Kantety: (256) 655-1597 /

Funeral Arrangements:
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Visitation: 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Hindu Funeral Ceremony (Family & close friends) 1:00 PM
Berryhill Funeral Home & Crematorium
2305 North Memorial Parkway, Huntsville AL 35810
Phone: (256) 536-9197
In lieu of flowers, the Podila family requests contributions made by writing
checks to – Gopi K. Podila Memorial Fund .

Checks should be mailed to:

Gopi K. Podila Memorial Fund
Progress Bank, 201 Williams Avenue, Huntsville AL 35801

Dr. Podila, son of (Late) Sri Surya Prakasa Rao and Smt. Ramalakshmi Devi was born
in 1957 at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. He was youngest of the four brothers in the family. He
obtained Undergraduate and Masters level education from Nagarjuna University, India in the
fields of Biology, Plant Pathology and Soil Microbiology. He continued his graduate education
in United States by studying Plant Pathology to achieve a Masters degree from Louisiana State
University. He continued the graduate education further at Indiana State University and
obtained a Doctors degree in Molecular Biology in 1987 and began postdoctoral fellowship at
the Ohio State University under the guidance of Dr. Kolattukudy.

Dr. Podila joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological

University as Assistant Professor in 1990 and rose through faculty ranks to become the Professor
and Adjunt Associate Professor in the School of Forestry within a short period. He served that
department until 2002 when he was chosen to lead the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s
Department of Biological Sciences in the dual roles as Professor and Chairman. During his
tenure at UAH, he was instrumental in strengthening the Biological Sciences program from
undergraduate to Ph.D. level training while coordinating the role for university researchers to
interact with Biotechnology Industry in Huntsville.

His pioneering work at Michigan Tech and UA Huntsville had set him on course for
recognition in the field of in plant biology with specializations in the genomics of poplars and
symbiotic mycorrhizal associations between trees and a beneficial fungus. Dr. Podila had
published over 90 research papers, three books and is an owner of four patents. He has served on
the Editorial Boards of eminent journals – Symbiosis journal, New Phytologist, Physiology and
Molecular Biology of Plants, Journal of Plant Interactions and Global Science Journals. Dr.
Podila trained eleven post-doctoral scholars; seventeen graduate students and over forty
undergraduates in his laboratory. He was a sought after visiting professor, having served in that
capacity at University of Urbino and University of Torino, in Italy, the University of Stuttgart,
Germany, and at the Finnish National Academy. Dr. Podila had an accomplished career that
was well known around the world. He will be missed by his colleagues in Alabama, US and on
nearly every continent for his outstanding contributions to biological science education and

Friends and Family