Padmanabhan is a Distinguished Professor at IUCAA, Pune. He obtained his PhD from TIFR, Mumbai in 1983 and held faculty positions there during 1980-92 before joining IUCAA in 1993. He was the Dean of Core Academic Programmes of IUCAA during 1997-2015. He has authored over 250 research papers and eleven books including six graduate-level textbooks published by Cambridge University Press. He was a Sackler Distinguished Astronomer of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, President of the Cosmology Commision of IAU, Chairman of Astrophysics commission of IUPAP and an elected Fellow of all the three Academies of Science in India. His research has won prizes seven times from the Gravity Research Foundation, USA including the First Award in 2008. His other awards include TWAS Prize, Infosys Science Foundation prize for Physical Sciences, and the Presidential Medal of honour, Padma Shri.