PhD, DSc (h.c), DMedSc (h.c.), ML, FAAM, FTWAS, FNA
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
Professor Seyed E. Hasnain, Padma Shri is recipient of Germany’s Highest Civilian Award– The Order of Merit (Das Verdienstkreuz, 1.Klasse), (equivalent of India’s Bharat Ratna), and joined the league of outstanding previous recipients from various fields including Nobel laureate biologist Herman Muller, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and music conductor John Crosby.
He is internationally acclaimed for his work on DNA-fingerprinting and tuberculosis. Based on his work on Indian Basmati Rice DNA-fingerprinting, India won the case against Pakistan enabling continued export of Basmati to UK, preventing major economic loss to India. Subsequently, Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India (GoI) established CDFD-APEDA Basmati DNA Analysis Centre, where ALL basmati exports are certified.
Former Visiting Scientist at NERC Inst of Virology, Oxford, UK, Hasnain is also an institution builder and policy maker. Recipient of Ph.D. (JNU-Delhi), D.Sc. (h.c.), D.Med.Sc (h.c.), he taught at Delhi University as a Lecturer (Permanent position) and left for Canada/USA (on Extra-Ordinary-Leave) for Post-Doctoral fellowships. He joined (1987) National Institute of Immunology (an autonomous Institute of DBT, Min of S&T, GoI; was invited (1999) as the first Director, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), a DBT Institute. CDFD became a gold standard for Forensic/Crime Investigations and High Courts/Supreme Court of India referred all high profile/political cases to CDFD. CDFD started attracting several Nobel Laureates as Foundation Day Lecturers. The International meeting organized by him in Hyderabad on New Biology and Justice Delivery System, inaugurated by President of India, attended by Supreme Court/High Courts Judges, laid the foundation for DNA Profiling Bill, which he drafted (awaiting Parliamentary approval).
He was invited as Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad (UoH) and during his tenure (2005-‘11), UoH displaced JNU/DU as # 1 University. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) awarded UoH highest score ever given and the International SCOPUS database analyses (2010) ranked UoH as the Top Indian University. The 2009 QS ranking, placed UoH at 34th position (no University from India figured in top 90), in Asia.
He was Professor-by-invitation at IIT-Delhi until superannuation (2011-2019). During his tenure as Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard (Deemed to be University) climbed within 4 years into higher orbits of excellence and was recommended by MHRD as Institution of Eminence – the 5th Highest Ranked Privately Funded Institution functioning in India.
Hasnain is a recipient of many prestigious awards such as ICMR’s BR Ambedkar Award, the highest award for excellence in biomedical research; G.D. Birla Award; Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (considered as India’s Nobel Prize and given by the Prime Minister); FICCI Award (given by the President of India); J.C. Bose National Fellow Award; Ranbaxy Research Award; Goyal Award; Bhasin Award etc. International recognitions include the rare Humboldt Research Prize (Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, Germany); the very exclusive Robert Koch Fellowship, of the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin; the 3rd Indian (Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, 2009, Dr Amartya Sen, 2010) to receive an Honorary Doctorate (2011) from Queen’s University, UK (member of the Russell Group of Universities which include Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, etc).
Hasnain was a Member, Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (SAC-PM) (2004-‘09, 2009-‘14) and was a Member of Scientific Advisory Committee to Union Cabinet (SAC-C). He was Chairman, Biotech Advisory Council, Government of Andhra Pradesh for several years and a Member Biotech Advisory Council of many other States.
An Elected Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Microbiology, USA and all the major Science Academies of India (FNA/FASc/FNASc), he is the first Indian elected as a Member of German National Academy of Sciences-Leopoldina and youngest to be elected as a Fellow of TWAS, Trieste. He was a Member of the International Advisory Board, EuroPathoGenomics Network of Excellence.
Member, Science and Engineering Research Board, Ministry of S&T, GoI; Governing Council, ICMR, Ministry of Health, GoI; Res Advisory Com of AIIMS-New Delhi; he was Chairman of Acad Committee and Member of Institute Body and Governing Council of PGIMER-Chandigarh; Member of Review Committees of TIFR (a Dept of Atomic Energy, GoI, Institution), Mumbai; and TISS-Mumbai. Member, University Grants Commission; Governing Councils of ILBS, Vasant Kunj, Delhi; Ind Inst of Adv Studies-Shimla; IISc-Bangalore; IIM-Khozikode; IISER-Bhopal; JNU-Delhi; AMU-Aligarh and institutions/policy-making bodies of Ministries of S&T/MHRD/Health/Defence he is a Member of Aga Khan Foundation National Committee, and serves on the Board of Directors/Audit Committee/ Remuneration Committee of several Companies; Executive Council, etc.
A National Science Chair of SERB, at Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology at IIT-Delhi (2020-2023); with >300 publications (>11,000 citations, H-index=58) in high impact international journals (Nature Medicine, PNAS-USA, Lancet, mBio, Autophagy, Nature Reviews Microbiology, etc) and ~3 dozen patents, he has mentored >150 PhD/MD/Post-Doctoral students, many of whom received the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize/INSA Young Scientist Medal, etc. Hasnain is also a Distinguished Professor, by invitation, at Sharda University, Greater Noida and leads a very large, well-funded and active group of researchers in the areas of TB, and lately in COVID-19.