Dr. Shahida Hasnain Awarded Prize in Microbiology by UNESCO

by Hajra Saeed
Published: Last Updated on

Dr. Shahida Hasnain Becomes First Pakistani Female to Win Carlos J. Finlay Prize

It is a matter of great pride that Dr. Shahida Hasnain, has become the first female and second Pakistani to win the prestigious prize. She received it at the award ceremony which was held in Paris on 6th November 2017, at the 39thsession of UNESCO General Conference.

Dr. Shahida Hasnain, during an illustrious career that spans four decades has made great contributions to Microbiology in Pakistan. She has done her Ph.D. in Microbial & Molecular Genetics from Birmingham University, U.K. After which she established a Research Laboratory at the University of Punjab. She also did her Post-Doctoral research in Molecular Microbiology after being granted the Marie Curie Fellowship.

In 2002, she founded the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Punjab (It is widely recognized for its state of the art equipment and high level research), and was its chairperson from 2005 to 2013. She has served as chairperson of other departments and committees; as well as remained the Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences for several years.

Since 2011 she is a Distinguished National Professor, on appointment by the HEC. In 2013 she became the Vice Chancellor of The Women University, Multan. Also she is a member of numerous academic, administrative and technical committees.

Dr. Shahida Hasnain teaches a wide array of subjects related to Botany, Microbiology, Genetics, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology; at all levels i.e. BSc, MSc, MPhil as well as PhD, and has designed a multitude of courses. She has undertaken many important research projects and also supervised nearly 150 theses. More than 250 of her articles have been published in leading national and international journals. Furthermore she has been involved in curriculum development for HEC.

The Carlos J Finlay Prize

The Prize is named after Carlos Juan Finlay who was a Cuban physician and one of the most significant microbiologists in history, who made ground breaking findings linked to infectious diseases especially yellow fever. It was initiated in 1980, and is awarded every two years on the occasion of UNESCO General Conference and is sponsored by the Government of Cuba.

The aim is to recognize institutions, people and NGOs for their outstanding contribution to Microbiology and its applications through research and development. The winner receives $5,000 and an Albert Einstein Silver Medal from UNESCO.

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