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347. Dr. Shahid Jameel

Dr. Shahid Jameel is the second Aligarian to receive the prestigious Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award in 2000 after a gap of a quarter century, when Professor Obaid Siddiqui was honored with the award. Instituted in 1957 by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Science and Technology, government of India, the Bhatnagar Award is the most coveted science and technology prize in India. This meritorious award is given to Indian citizens who are under 45 years of age and have made outstanding contribution to knowledge and progress of science while working in India. In addition to a citation and a plaque, the prize carries a cash award of Rs. 200,000. Shahid is also a recipient of many national and international awards and has been elected to membership of distinguished scientific societies, such as the Guha Research Conference, American Society for Microbiology, Indian Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences, India. He is also serving as a member of different academic and scientific research committees and editorial boards of scientific journals.

Shahid Jameel

Shahid graduated with honors from the Aligarh Muslim University in 1977 and was a recipient of the University Medal for standing first in the science faculty. After finishing a master’s degree in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, he joined the Washington State University in Pullman, Washington on a fellowship to work on his Ph.D., which he completed in 1984. He received postdoctoral training and also served as an assistant professor at the University of Colorado for a short time before moving back to India. Since 1988, he is working at the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, where he is currently Virology Group Leader.

Shahid has published more than sixty original research papers in internationally acclaimed microbiological and molecular biological research journals and contributed many chapters in books. He is considered an expert in the area of hepatitis E- a viral disease that results in inflammation of liver. He has been working on the development of a vaccine that would be employed to prevent the onset of the disease.

Shahid was born in Aligarh and raised in a family that has a tradition of service to the University. His father (Dr. Abdul Majid Siddiqui) retired as the Dean of School of Life Sciences, mother (Jameela Aleem-Siddiqui) served as a faculty in the University Medical College, and grandfather (Professor Abdul Aleem) had been a Vice Chancellor of the university. Although Shahid is not working at the Aligarh University, he is continuing the family tradition and working for the betterment of the university by providing guidance and help to the students of the university.

Academic and Research Achievements: Shahid Jameel returned to India in 1988 to start the virology research programme at International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi. He started his research on the newly described hepatitis E virus (HEV), which causes an acute form of hepatitis endemic to India and other developing countries. His group cloned the viral genome and studied various aspects of HEV biology and pathogenesis. He heads one of the foremost groups in the world studying molecular aspects of HEV. In the mid-1990s, Jameel turned his attention to HIV and first showed the predominance of HIV-1 subtype C infection in Indians. He now studies the role of HIV accessory proteins in antigen presentation and the host response. His most recent work deals with HIV co-receptor dynamics in infected patients. He has also worked on the functional properties of other viral proteins, particularly, the hepatitis B, X and SARS virus 3a proteins. New directions of his research include the application of genomics and proteomics to disease biomarker and pathogen identification.

Other Contributions: Dr Jameel sits on various national and international committees in the area of infectious disease biology and medical biotechnology. He is the Editor (Medical Section) of the Indian Virological Journal and serves on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Journal of Biosciences and PINSA. Dr Jameel frequently comments on infectious disease issues to the national and international press.

Awards and Honours: Dr Jameel received the BM Birla Science Prize (1995), SS Bhatnagar Prize (2000), Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship (2001) and the MR Das Memorial Lecture Award of INSA (2008).He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad. 

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