Only faculty in a University system in the country to receive this award in 2016
The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology (SSB) for the year 2016 has been awarded to Dr. Niyaz Ahmed, Head of the department of biotechnology & bioinformatics, School of Life Sciences at the University of Hyderabad (UoH). These awards were announced on 26th September, Platinum Jubilee Celebration of the CSIR at its 75th anniversary at New Delhi. Dr. Niyaz receives it in the field of Medical Sciences for his outstanding contributions to the functional epidemiology of chronic pathogens such as entero-pathogenic bacteria and Mycobacterium tuberculosis by successfully combining the rigours of genome inspired epidemiology and decipherment of bacterial virulence mechanisms. The award will be presented to Dr. Niyaz at a function to be presided over by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. Incidentally Dr. Niyaz is the only awardee from the University system in the country this year.
Reacting to the announcement Prof. P Appa Rao, Vice-Chancellor of UoH said, “We are proud that you brought the University and your School once again into limelight with this prestigious honour for yourself. Working on molecular aspects of epidemiology of infectious diseases, with a battery of cheerful youngsters, you made your mark in the field. I congratulate you, your mentors, your past and present team of researchers for this award.”
Dr Ahmed has been the recipient of the National Bioscience Award of the Government of India and he directs a team of PhD scholars and post-doctoral fellows at the University. His work remains highly acknowledged and known in the area of infectious disease epidemiology and pathogen biology including studies on multiple drug resistance in pathogenic bacteria such as those causing TB and diarrheal diseases. Dr Ahmed has also contributed extensively to the area of identification and biochemical characterization of novel proteins from different bacteria while establishing their roles in disease mechanisms. His recent work on ‘geographical genomics’ of the human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori has been published in Nucleic Acids Research journal in January 2015 in collaboration with Australian Nobel Laureate, Barry J. Marshall. He has been admitted as the Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), United Kingdom in 2015.
SSB is a science award given annually by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for notable and outstanding research, applied or fundamental, in biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and Physics. The purpose of the prize is to recognize outstanding Indian work (according to the view of CSIR awarding committee) in science and technology. It is the most coveted award in multidisciplinary science in India. The award is named after the founder Director of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar. It was first awarded in 1958. The prize is awarded on the basis of contributions made through work done in India only during the five years preceding the year of the prize. The prize comprises a citation, a plaque, and a cash award of₹5 lakh. In addition, recipients also get Rs. 15,000 per month up to the age of 65 years.
Dr Niyaz can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org