Mohammad Zahid Ashraf, a professor in the Department of Biotechnology, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), has been awarded the prestigious Basanti Devi Amir Chand prize. The prize instituted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The Prize was given by Honourable Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday in recognition of Ashraf’s research excellence. Basanti Devi Amir Chand Prize is one of the earliest instituted awards of the ICMR in the year 1953 for significant research contributions in the field of biomedical sciences.
Mohammad Zahid Ashraf’s lab has been instrumental in understanding the role of low oxygen due to high altitude in the development of cardiovascular disorders including blood clotting.
The significance of research of cellular reactions in response to low oxygen could be analyzed from the fact that this year’s Nobel Prize committee for physiology or medicine recognized the potential of the discovery of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability and jointly awarded the three scientists for their landmark discoveries in this field.
Oxygen is required for the process of oxidation that produces energy. Therefore, its short supply might result in lung damage, brain dysfunction, heart problems and many more. Ashraf’s research have provided insight on the role of oxygen-regulated mechanisms behind blood clotting disorders and demonstrated the detrimental effects of low oxygen availability at high altitude.
Ashraf is a Fellow of both the National Academy of Sciences and the Indian Academy of Sciences. He is also the recipient of the prestigious DBT’s S Ramachandran-National Biosciences Award 2018. He is currently holding the position of Director (Academics) in the university.