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106. Dr. Obaid Siddiqi



Dr Obaid Siddiqi, founder director, National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore
Dr. Obaid Siddiqi (born January 7, 1932) is a neurogeneticist who has done pioneering work on the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. He is still active as a researcher at National Centre for Biological Science, Bangalore.







Early Life

He was born in Basti, Uttar Pradesh, the son of M. A. Qadeer Siddiqi. He gained M.Sc. from AMU Aligarh in 1953 and a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow in 1961 where he worked in the Department of Genetics. He is married to Dr. Asiya Siddiqi (who had served in Dept. of History, AMU Aligarh).




 Career

Obaid Siddiqi started his scientific career at the Aligarh Muslim University as a lecturer after graduating from the university. His romance with molecular biology began long before it became the ‘cool’ area of research of modern times. Realizing Obaid’s inclination towards the field, his teacher-cum-colleague Riyasat Khan of AMU’s Botany Department encouraged him to work on mapping of rust-resistance genes in wheat at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in Delhi. He then proceeded to work for his PhD at the Department of Genetics at the University of Glasgow. Even before he had completed his degree, Obaid was offered a post-doctoral position at the MIT to work with a giant in genetics fieled, Dr. Alan Garen,leaving Glasgow he went to MIT to work on genetics with Dr. Alan Garen. They later moved to the University of Pennsylvania. Together they discovered the suppressors of “nonsense” mutations that led to the discovery of “nonsense” codons, the stop signals in the genetic code.In early seventies, his work with Professor Seymour Benzer of the California Institute of Technology led to the identification of several genes that control nerve conduction and synaptic transmission. Obaid and his associates’ pioneering work on neurogenetics of fruit fly, Drosophila, has opened up the prospects of an integrated genetic and neurobiological investigation of chemosensory perception.
Obaid’s desire to return to India was fulfilled when Homi Bhabha of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, invited him to start a molecular biology group at the institute in early 1960s. Obaid recruited top-class scientists and put the TIFR’s molecular biology group on world map of genetics. Later, with the support of government of India, he founded TIFR’s National Center for Biological Sciences at Bangalore. The mandate of this Center is basic research in the frontier areas of biology and currently it has many distinguished scholars working in various fields of science with state-of-the-art facilities testifying that Obaid’s brainchild, NCBS, will one day flourish into a research institute of international repute(By Zafar Iqbal, Ph.D., 19105 Warrior Brook Drive, Germantown, Maryland).
Obaid and his associates’ pioneering work on neurogenetics of fruit fly, Drosophila, has opened up the prospects of an integrated genetic and neurobiological investigation of chemosensory perception.
Im Mar 1984 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
In 2003, the United States National Academy of Sciences made him a Foreign Associate, citing his "pioneering experiments on the chemical senses of the fruit fly, Drosophila" and noting the following:
His work has increased our understanding of how olfactory information is encoded in the brain. He has also made important contributions to our understanding of DNA transfer and recombination in fungi and bacteria.
In 2006, the Government of India conferred the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award) on him. Earlier he was conferred Padma Bhushan in 1984.







Career Summary:
  • National Research Professor,NCBS-TIFR,Bangalore(Presently)
  • Founder Director,TIFR National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore
  • Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, 2005-2009
  • President National Academy of Sciences(NAS), India : 1986-88
  • Vice-President: 1983-85
  • Council Member NAS : 1974-91
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), India, 1968- Till date
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2003-Till Date
  • Sr. Associate. Fellow, Royal Society of London,
  • Director: TIFR, National Centre for Biol. Sc., Bangalore, 1993;
  • Sherman Fairchild, Distinguished Scholar 81-82, 86;
  • Gosney Fellow 72-73,
  • Visiting Professor Cambridge Inst. of Tech., USA: 1968, 1970-71;
  • Visiting Associate Yale Univ., Dept. of Biophysics in 1966;
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore:
  • Hon. Prof. National Inst. of Advanced Studies, Bangalore:
  • INSA, TWAS, Maharashtra Academy of Science.
  • Pennsylvania Univ., USA: Post doctoral Fellow 61-62;
  • Lallor Foundation Fellow, Cold Spring Harbor Lab., USA, 1961
  • Res. Scholar, IARI, Delhi: 1957-58
  • Lecturer, AMU Aligarh, 1954-57

 Awards

  • Sir Syed Ahmad Khan International Award for Life Sciences 2009
  • Padma Vibhushan, 2006
  • B.C. Roy Award, 2004
  • Sir Syed Life Time Achievement Award, AMUAA New York, 2004
  • Pride of India Award, AFMI, USA, 2004
  • INSA Aryabhata Medal 1992;
  • Goyal Prize 1991;
  • Birla Smarak Kosh National Award 1989;
  • Padma Bhushan 1984;
  • Bhatnagar Award 1976;
  • Honorary D.Sc. from AMU Aligarh., BHU Banaras & Jamia Hamdard Delhi.

 Selected publications

  • GAREN A, SIDDIQI O.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1962 Jul 15
  • Siddiqi OH.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1963
  • Siddiqi O, Benzer S.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1976
  • Siddiqi, O. (1983) Olfactory Neurogenetics of Drosophila (Oxford, New Delhi).
  • Arora K, Rodrigues V, Joshi S, Shanbhag S, Siddiqi O.Nature. 1987
  • Siddiqi, O. (1987) Trends Genet. 3, 137-142
  • Ayyub, C. , Paranjape, J. , Rodrigues, V. & Siddiqi, O. (1990) J. Neurogenet. 6, 243-262
  • Siddiqi O.Nature. 1999 Nov 18
  • Khurana S, Abu Baker MB, Siddiqi O.J Biosci. 2009
  • Chakraborty TS, Goswami SP, Siddiqi O.J Neurogenet. 2009
  • Iyengar A, Chakraborty TS, Goswami SP, Wu CF, Siddiqi O.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 .
Source : Wikipedia

Prof. Obaid Siddiqi, eminent geneticist and last year's recipient of American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin's Pride of India award, was among 54 eminent personalities who received the prestigious Dr.B.C.Roy National Awards today from President A P J Abdul Kalam. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, after whom the awards are named, was an eminent medical scientist, educationist and a statesman. He was the first President of the Medical Council of India, the apex body for maintenance of standards of medical education in the country. He was also Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1948 to 1962. The awards in the category of `Eminent Persons' carry a citation, a silver salver and Rs 100,000 in cash. 
Prof Obaid Siqqiqi receiving the ward from President Kalam
Prof Obaid Siqqiqi receiving the
award from President Kalam

Dr. B.C. Roy awards, established under the aegis of the Medical Council of India, are given every year by the Dr. B.C. Roy National Award Fund to honour eminent persons who have achieved distinction in medicine, philosophy, science and arts.

Prof. Siddiqi is a geneticist who has carried out pioneering experiments on the chemical senses of the fruit fly, Drosophila. His work has increased our understanding of how olfactory information is encoded in the brain. He has also made important contributions to our understanding of DNA transfer and recombination in fungi and bacteria. Prof. Obaid Siddiqi is the founder director of the TIFR National Centre for Biological Sciences at Bangalore. He began his research career in microbial genetics. He made contributions to the understanding of DNA transfer and recombination in fungi and bacteria. His experiments (with A. Garen) on the suppression of 'nonsense' mutation in E. Coli were an important step in the understanding of chain termination in polypeptide synthesis. In the seventies Professor Siddiqi turned to behavioral genetics and neurobiology. His work (with S. Benzer) on paralytic mutations of Drosophila led to the identification of the genes that block nerve conduction and synaptic transmission. He and his associates have carried out pioneering experiments on neurogenetics of the chemical senses in Drosophila which have led to an improved understanding of how olfactory information is encoded in the brain of the fruit fly. His pre-doctoral studies were at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, doctoral work at Glasgow University, Scotland and post-doctoral work at University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 


2 comments:

  1. He has the stature of Satyajith Ray (in Science)-not only literarily!

    ReplyDelete