• 7 May 2008
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France honors Dr Villoo

The French government has bestowed the award of Officier de L'Ordre National du Mérite (Officer of the National Order of Merit) on Dr Villoo Morawala-Patell, founder, chairperson and managing director of Avesthagen. The National Order of Merit is an Order of Chivalry awarded by the President of the French Republic. It was founded on December 3, 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle.

The award conferred by Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the Republic of France, was presented to Dr Villoo Morawala-Patell by the Ambassador of France to India, Jerome Bonnafont at a felicitation ceremony in Bangalore on April 23, 2008. The citation reads "This award acknowledges your great merits as a prominent figure in the scientific field in the entrepreneurship of your country, as the creator of Avesthagen, a major company in India in the area of biotechnologies. It is also a tribute to your cooperation with French scientists, your numerous and fruitful partnerships with major French industrial firms, and to the affection you have on many occasions expressed for our country."

Accepting the award, Dr Villoo said, "This is indeed a moment of great pride. This is not just an award for me; it is recognition of the achievement of India in the field of science and innovation. It's an award for the entire industry. India has arrived on the scientific map of the world and has emerged as an intellectual powerhouse to reckon with."


Transasia Bio-Medicals bags export performance award

Transasia Bio-Medicals, a leader in the clinical diagnostics segment and the first Indian company to manufacture and export sophisticated state-of-the-art blood analyzers and reagents, has been awarded a state-level export award by the Industries Department, Maharashtra government, in recognition of the export performance for the year 2006-07 and 2005-06 respectively.

The award was presented to Suresh Vazirani, CMD, Transasia Bio-Medicals, Subodh Kant Sahai, minister of state (independent charge), ministry of food processing industries, government of India, at a function held in Mumbai recently.


Dr Bernd Sundermann joins TCG Lifesciences

TCG Lifescience has appointed Dr Bernd Sundermann as an associate vice president, pre-clinical R&D, for looking after its business interests in Europe and EU.

Prior to this Dr Sundermann was head of drug discovery at Grunenthal GmbH in Aachen, Germany. At Grunenthal, he has over the years served in a variety of functions with responsibilities spanning across the drug discovery value chain. With the goal to create first-in-class NCEs, Dr Sundermann has worked continuously on the interfaces with pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and toxicology. Dr Sundermann is a medicinal chemist by training and has more than a decade of experience in the fields of drug discovery and pre-clinical development and holds more than 75 global patents.


Dr Zaidi passes away

Prof. Sibte Hasan Zaidi, former director, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (formerly Industrial Toxicology Research Centre), Lucknow, passed away on April 5, 2008, at New York. He was 90 years old and had been ailing for the last few years.

Prof. Zaidi, who graduated from King George Medical College in Lucknow, established India's first toxicology research institute, the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre (IRTC) in 1965 under the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and was its director till 1978. Prior to this, he was a deputy director and in charge of experimental medicine division at the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow. He also served as a director of the Indian Institute of Biochemistry and Experimental Medicine, Calcutta, before his retirement.

He was an outstanding environmental and industrial toxicologist of the country and has been the recipient of several national awards including the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award and Padmashri. He was the Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, London and the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He was a member of the WHO's Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health. He is survived by his son, Dr Mone Zaidi, professor of medicine and endocrinology, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York. The Indian Institute of Toxicology Research has been organizing an annual SH Zaidi oration for the last eleven years to acknowledge the contributions of Dr Zaidi.

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