Dr Pragna Rao

Dr. Pragna Rao

Dean, KMC, Manipal 

MBBS, MD (Biochemistry), PhD (Biochemistry)






Dr. Pragna Rao became the Dean of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, affiliated to Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India in August 2017. She is an alumnus of the same college, having completed her MD and Ph.D. in Medical Biochemistry there, after graduating from Grant Medical College and JJ Group of Hospitals, Mumbai. Being a professor of Biochemistry, she also heads the Department of Medical Education and is in charge of a Center of Excellence in Inborn Errors of Metabolism, established by a grant awarded by the Vision Group of Science and Technology (VGST), Government of Karnataka and supported by a generous grant from Grand Challenges, Canada.  In her 30 years of working experience, she has divided her time between diagnostics, teaching, and research. Dr. Pragna Rao is a recognized Ph.D. guide and has more than 100 publications in the area of maternal and child health. Her publications focus mainly on biomarkers in endometriosis, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, gestational diabetes, and endometrial carcinoma. She is also involved in establishing a newborn screening program to detect Inborn errors of metabolism in the local pediatric population. Dr. Pragna Rao serves as a certified lead assessor for the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.




Dr Rao’s interest in medical education and her several awards for good teaching  motivated her to pursue additional qualifications and specialized training in this area. Dr. Pragna Rao is a Fellow of GSMC-FAIMER (Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education) and has completed the Basic and Advanced course in Medical Education conducted by the Medical Council of India in 2015. In 2017, she was selected for the prestigious International Fellowship for Medical Education (IFME), supported by FAIMER, to pursue a Master’s Degree in Health Professions Education specializing in accreditation and assessment. As a Nehru-Fulbright Fellow, she has extensively visited several institutes of higher education in the USA and also coordinates the “Universities of Chicago and Manipal Academic Initiative” She is currently involved with an Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development program which envisages providing free videos of medical lectures across the country.



  • She joined as Assistant Professor at KMC Manipal in the Department of Biochemistry in 1987.
  • She was Head of the Department of Biochemistry and In charge of the Biochemistry Diagnostic services between 2011 - 2015.



  • She was the ISO Co-ordinator for KMC Manipal.
  • She has 78 national and international publications to her credit and has attended and presented research papers in various national/international conferences.
  • She is also a PhD guide at Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
  • She is trained in Problem Based learning from Maastricht University.She has a Fellowship from the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (GSMC FAIMER, 2010).
  • She is coordinator of the Medical Education unit.
  • Dr Pragna Rao is a Certified Technical Assessor for National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL, DST, Ministry of Science and Technology.) and a trained Internal Auditor for ISO 9001:2008 and 14000.
  • She has trained from IIM –Ahmedabad for Clinical laboratory management.
  • She holds the Dr TMA Pai Chair in Laboratory Quality Management.


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