28 Jan 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
New Delhi: Dr Maharaj Kishan Bhan, former secretary of India's nodal biotechnology agency (DBT), is going to receive the Genome Valley Excellence Award today. The award was introduced to recognize and honour eminent individuals and organizations for their exceptional contribution to life sciences research and the industry. The Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, had instituted the award during its first BioAsia 2004. During 2012, the award was given to Dr Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI Alliance, Geneva.
Dr Bhan also received the Padma Bhushan award in the last week, which is the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India after the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan, for his contributions to Indian science.
The life and times of MK Bhan
MK Bhan obtained his MBBS in 1969 from the Armed Forces Medical College, Poona University, and MD in 1974 from the Delhi University, India. His areas of specialization are pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric infectious diseases and nutrition. He held the positions of registrar at the Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India, from 1974-76); senior consultant at the Institute of Child Health, Kabul, Afganistan from 1976-78; lecturer at the Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, from 1978-79; assistant professor from 1979-81; and associate professor from 1981-87.
He has been the brain behind a Rota viral vaccine, which has not only created a new paradigm on health and international interaction, but also put India on the path of novel vaccine development. During his decade long stint at DBT, he has brought in new thinking and dynamism to the area of biotechnology.
Dr Bhan has previously been awarded the ST Achar Gold Medal of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (1984), SS Mishra Award of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India) (1986); National Ranbaxy Award (1990); SS Bhatnagar Award (1990); Biotech Product and Process Development and Commercialization Award (2003); Pollins Foundation Research Award (2003); TS Tirumurti Memorial Lecture (2001) and Sisir Kumar Mitra Memorial Lecture (2004) of INSA, among many others. He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, India.