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Published in the 16-31 Aug 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

BC Roy award for Obaid Siddiqi

By Mohammad Ayub khan

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. 

Dr. Syed Samee, AFMI president, congratulated Prof. Siddiqi on his remarkable achievements and hopes that he continues to contribute in advancing human knowledge.
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