The Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Centenary Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research was instituted in the year 1991-92 as part of the Dr.Ambedkar Birth Centenary Celebrations. The award, of value Rupees one lakh, is awarded in alternate years for excellence in any field of biomedical research as evidenced by scientific publications in internationally recognised journals and contribution to advancement of knowledge and/or improvements in medical practices, health programmes etc. This Award is open to scientists of all age groups.

The Award for 1999-2000 is being presented to Dr. Sandip Kumar Basu, Director, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, for the outstanding quality and importance of his research contributions, inspiring leadership in building and nurturing institutions of excellence in scientific research, exemplary initiatives, demonstrated success in fostering partnership between science and the healthcare industry in India and translating research leads into products.

Dr. Basu pioneered the concept of receptor-mediated targeting of drugs as a new therapeutic approach against macrophage associated infections like kala-azar, tuberculosis, etc., and cancer. His highly innovative work, wholly done in India, also provides a new tool for targeting antigens to macrophages for generating predictable immune responses deemed essential for designing new vaccines and immunotherapeutics.

His leadership has been successful in translating research outcome into product development through a strong industrial partnership, the most significant being a therapeutic vaccine against leprosy.

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The Basanti Devi Amir Chand Prize is the oldest award of ICMR instituted in 1953 by the late Major General Amir Chand for significant research contributions in Biomedical Sciences.

The prize for 2000 is being awarded to Dr. Manorama Bhargava, Professor and Head, Department of Haematology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi for outstanding contributions in the field of Haematology i.e. for her work on the Biology of lymphoid neoplasia.

Dr. Bhargava has been working in the fields of Pathology and Haematology for the last 30 years, especially on studies dealing with the biology of lymphoid neoplasia including acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), non Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) among Indian patients. The results of her studies demonstrate several differences in the biology of ALL, NHL and CLL in Indians as compared to patients in the West. Some of these differences appear to determine the early treatment response as well as long-term survival in these patients and in part may explain the poor treatment outcome reported from our region, at least in childhood ALL. These observations have a bearing on the development and practice of appropriate therapy protocols relevant to the Indian setting and situation.

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The Kshanika Oration Award was instituted in 1977 by Dr.K.N.Sen, former Professor of Medicine, School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta, to be given annually to an eminent women scientist for outstanding contributions in Biomedical Sciences.

The Award for 1999 is being presented to Dr. Nancy Malla, Professor and Head, Department of Parasitology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh for contributions in the field of Parasitology i.e. for her outstanding work on Human and experimental cysticercosis.

Dr. Malla has been involved in research on several parasitic diseases. During the last five years, she has been guiding doctoral students for their research in the field of cysticercosis in standardisation and application of immuno-diagnostic techniques and development of animal models for human cysticercosis which could be used to study the pathogenesis, drug effects and immune responses in the disease.

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The JALMA Trust Fund Oration Award was instituted with funds donated by the Japan Leprosy Mission for Asia to commemorate the Mission's work on leprosy in India. This award is given to an eminent scientist for significant achievements in the field of Leprosy.

The Award for 1999 is being presented to Dr.Vishwa Mohan Katoch, Deputy Director (Senior Grade), Central JALMA Institute for Leprosy (ICMR), Agra for research in Leprosy i.e. for his outstanding contributions in the Development and application of alternate viability methods for leprosy.

Dr. Katoch has spent more than 20 years in developing technologies for improving the diagnosis, assessment of viability, DNA fingerprinting method for molecular epidemiology of mycobacterial infections especially leprosy and mechanisms of drug resistance. These techniques have been found useful for monitoring the therapeutic responses of patients with multibacilliary leprosy and for drug screening.

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This prize was instituted by the ICMR in 1983 for scientists who have contributed significantly to any field of biomedical sciences in underdeveloped areas.

The Prize for 1999 is being awarded to Dr.S.L.Choubisa, Lecturer, SBP Govt. College, Dungarpur for his outstanding contribution in the field of Fluoride toxicity.

Dr. Choubisa worked on chronic fluoride toxicity in man and domesticated animals of the mostly backward and underdeveloped areas of Banswara, Dungarpur and Udaipur districts of southern Rajasthan. His research significantly advanced the understanding of dental and skeletal fluorosis, and the relationship between chronic fluoride toxicity and hyperthyroidism in the backward and tribal population of Rajasthan.

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The Smt. Swaran Kanta Dingley Oration Award was instituted in 1984 by the late ShriH.B.Dingley in memory of his wife to be awarded to a scientist for significant contributions in the field of Reproductive Biology. This award is being given in alternate years since 1993.

The award for 1999 is being presented to Dr. Siddhartha Majumdar, Professor and Head, Department of Experimental Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh for his outstanding contributions in spermatozoal membrane and sperm motility.

Dr. Majumdar has been working in the field of Reproductive Biology for the last two decades and his major research has been in male infertility. His studies have shown that a high prevalence of azoospermia is usually associated with severely impaired sperm characteristics. Varicocele and male accessory gland infection are rarely associated with azoospermia, but usually with moderate degree of impairment of semen quality and reduced concentration of motile sperms. Dr. Majumdar has further investigated the cell signaling system in spermatozoal membrane which is necessary for spermatozoal motility. These investigations have been done particularly in males with infertility of unknown origin. This knowledge could be used for the development of a male contraceptive.

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The Dr.M.O.T.Iyengar Memorial Award was instituted in 1983 by Mrs.Rukmani Iyengar in memory of her husband Dr.M.O.T.Iyengar, a well known entomologist and malariologist. This award is given annually to an eminent scientist for outstanding contributions in the fields of Malaria, Filariasis, Plague or Medical Entomology.

The Award for 1999 is being presented to Dr. V.K Dua, Dy. Director, Malaria Research Centre (Field Station), Haridwar for studies in the field of Malaria. Dr. Dua has demonstrated bioenvironmental control of industrial malaria at the BHEL, Haridwar. He applied locally available flyash and through sustained intervention interrupted the malaria transmission. This strategy of malaria control has been found to be sustainable and has also been replicated in similar industrial settings.

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The Amrut Mody Unichem Prize was instituted by Unichem Laboratories in 1985. This prize is to be awarded to a scientist for outstanding work carried out in the fields of Cardiology and Neurology, and Gastroenterology in alternate years.

The prize for 1999 in the field of Gastroenterology is being presented to Dr.Y. K. Chawla, Professor, Department of Hepatology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh for his outstanding contributions in the field of Ectopic varices in portal hypertension.

Portal hypertension has been the main area of interest of Dr. Chawla during the past 17 years. He has been looking at unusual sites where varices may develop in a patient with portal hypertension which may present as a clinical emergency. Analysis of splenoportovenography in patients with noncirrhotic portal hypertension demonstrated 9% spontaneous shunts in portal venous thrombosis and 10% in noncirrhotic portal fibrosis cases. He also showed that 94% of patients with portal venous thrombosis had anorectal varices compared to 56% patients with cirrhosis. Recently he has also demonstrated that patients with cirrhosis of liver and paraumbilical vein are associated with a lower incidence of upper gastrointestinal bleed and a higher incidence of hepatic encephalopathy. The observations have significant impact on the management and prognosis of portal hypertension.

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The Shakuntala Amir Chand Prizes for significant contribution to biomedical sciences by young scientists were instituted by late Major General Amir Chand in 1953.

A Shakuntala Amir Chand Prize for 1999 is being presented to Dr. Kamini Walia, Research Officer, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi for her research on the Purification and characterisation of a new toxin from Vibrio cholerae O1.

Dr. Walia worked on this toxin liberated by a strain of V. cholerae O1 isolated during an outbreak of cholera in south India. The studies undertaken by Dr. Walia on the purification and characterisation indicated that this novel toxin was structurally and functionally distinct from other cholera toxins but immunologically it appeared to show a similar mechanism in clearing cholera infection. The results have an important bearing from the point of view of pathogenesis of cholera and add significantly to the existing knowledge about the toxins of V. cholerae.

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The Shakuntala Amir Chand Prizes for significant contribution to biomedical sciences by young scientists was instituted by late Major General Amir Chand in 1953.

A Shakuntala Amir Chand Prize for 1999 is being presented to Dr.Tapas Chandra Nag, Lecturer, Postgraduate Department of Zoology, Government College, Darjeeling for his outstanding research on the Neurochemical development of the human retina.

Dr. Nag's work has shown the presence of several neuroactive substances in the developing (foetal and postnatal) and adult human retina. These substances include calcium binding proteins, GABA, taurine, nitric oxide and growth factors. The presence of these neuroactive agents during different developmental stages indicates the crucial role of these neurotransmitters in the development and maturation of the human retina. The results of these studies may have therapeutic implications if the content of these neurotransmitters is manipulated by gene therapy or other measures.

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