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November 17, 2016

Prof Zulfiqar Bhutta bags TWAS Prize for ‘incisive work on academic paediatrics’


November 17, 2016

The World Academy of Sciences prize has been

given to only three Pakistani scientists to date

Professor Zulfiqar A Bhutta has been honoured with The World Academy of Sciences 2016 (TWAS) Prize in medical sciences in recognition of his “incisive work on academic paediatrics and public health in Pakistan, which has contributed to shape global child health and policy”.

TWAS prizes are in nine fields and this year 10 winners were announced at the Academy’s 27th General Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, according to a statement issued by the Aga Khan University on Wednesday. 

To date, only three prizes have been given to Pakistani scientists – one each in agriculture and biological sciences previously – since its inception in 1983.

Each year, TWAS awards prizes worth $15,000 each to individual scientists from developing countries in recognition of their outstanding contributions to scientific knowledge, and to the application of science and technology to sustainable development.

The award is given to those who have been working and living in a developing country for at least 10 years. The prizes are given in nine fields ranging from agricultural sciences, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering sciences, mathematics, physics, social sciences to medical sciences.

This year there were 10 prize winners: two each from Brazil, China and India; and one each from Chile, Mexico, Turkey and Pakistan.

The winners will present a lecture on their research at TWAS’s 28th General Meeting in 2017, when they will also receive a plaque and the prize money.

Professor Bhutta’s nomination was made by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences.

Speaking about the prize, Professor Bhutta said, “I am deeply conscious of the fact that my contributions have largely been possible because of the phenomenal team of young people that I work with, and the opportunity for scholarship and research that my peers and mentors provided me.”

Professor Bhutta has had a 30-year-long academic career at the university and the global impact of his work has seen him take up prominent positions at leading universities in Canada, the UK and the United States.

An expert on nutrition, newborn and child survival, and micronutrient deficiencies, Professor Bhutta is one of the most cited health sciences scholars from the developing world. He has published eight books, 88 book chapters, and over 725 indexed publications to date, including 145 in the world’s leading journal The Lancet alone.

At the launch of the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health in September last year, Professor Bhutta represented AKU. The university has pledged to invest more than $85 million over the next decade in support of the global strategy.

In December 2015, he was presented with the prestigious Turkish award, the 2015 International TÜBA Academy Prize, in health and life sciences.

The president of Pakistan has also conferred the Pride of Performance Award on Professor Bhutta in recognition of his major contributions in the field of healthcare education.