The Jesuit Higher Education Association of South Asia, nominates Fr. Ignacimuhu Sarvarimuthu, the former vice chancellor of both Madras and Bharathiar State Universities, the only Catholic priest selected to run two state- owned universities in India.


During his four decades of service as both an administrator and research faculty member and mentor, Fr. Ignacimuthu has been a prolific scientist with 11 Indian patents and 2 US patents in his name. (There is also an insect which goes by the name Ignacimuthu!) He is a recognized expert in the fields of biotechnology, bio-infomatics, bioethics and the environment with textbooks in each of these fields.


He is best known for his work in plant biology having authored 40 books, edited 20 science journals and written or co-authored over 800 research papers. And has submitted more than 400 gene sequences to the GENBANK. He is a member of the National Academy of Agricultural Science in India and is a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of England. Stanford University’s science faculty list him in the top 1% of influential scientists. The Government of Tamil Nudu, where his work has positively impacted agricultural productivity, awarded him Tamil Nudu “Scientist for Life” in the year 2000.


Fr. Ignacimuthu’s work has had enormous positive impact on the ability of farmers to manage crop disease in ways that are natural and sustainable. He has guided over 50 dissertations and assisted in another 50, inspiring many students in the sciences to pursue careers that will lead to the betterment of the health and well-being of their fellow citizens. Two of his books, “Environmental Spirituality” and “Praying with Creation” combine his keen knowledge of science with his deep faith and respect for nature, promoting the Pope’s encyclical, “Laudato Si,” and the Society’s Preference to Care for our Common Home.