Dr. Gullapalli N Rao founded the L V Prasad Eye Institute in 1987, after a successful career in the United States as an academic ophthalmologist. Dr Rao received his basic medical education in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, and completed his postgraduate residency training in ophthalmology at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He went to the United States in 1974, where he was trained first at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and later at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, where he continued on the clinical faculty until his return to India in 1986. His areas of specialization include diseases of the cornea, eye banking and corneal transplantation, community eye health, eye care policy and planning.

He has published nearly 300 papers in national and international journals, and has contributed several book chapters, in addition to serving on the Editorial Boards of several journals . He was a visiting Professor at several Universities in the USA, Europe, Australia and Asia and delivered many named lectures around the world.

Dr Rao has been honoured with several international and national awards in recognition of his services to eye care and public health. He also holds several board and leadership positions in prominent national and international organizations and was formerly the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). He is currently the Chair of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.