Dr Girish Sahni, who had been the Director, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH), Chandigarh, assumed charge as the next Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Secretary, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology, with effect from August 24, 2015.
Dr Sahni, having specialization in Protein Engineering, Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology, has contributed significantly in the area of protein cardiovascular drugs especially ‘clot busters' and their mode of action in the human body. The team led by him is responsible for producing technology for India's first indigenous clot bluster drug, natural streptokinase (under brand name ‘STPase' marketed by Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Ahmedabad), and recombinant streptokinase (produced by Shasun Drugs, Chennai) marketed as several brand names eg. ‘Klotbuster' (Alembic) and ‘LupiFlo' (Lupin). His team has also developed a novel life-saver thrombolytic drug (Clot-specific streptokinase), India's first bio-therapeutic molecule which is not a Biosimilar. This life-saver drug has been patented worldwide and licensed to a US Pharma company for which the commercial launch is expected in 2016. Recently, the team led by him developed fourth-generation ‘Anti-thrombotic' clot busters - the first of its kind in the world.
Born on March 2, 1956, Dr Sahni is a PhD from Indian institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. His post PhD career included a stint each in University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA: Postdoc Trainee 1984-86; Rockefeller University New York, USA: Sr. Research Associate and Adjunct Faculty 1986-88; and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York: Sr. Research Associate 1987-91, before he joined CSIR-IMTECH in 1991 and became its Director in 2005.
Dr. Sahni is internationally recognized for his research contributions. He has been the author of several papers published in high impact refereed scientific journals and has a number of national and international patents to his credit. He is Fellow, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi; Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore, and NASI, Allahabad; Fellow, Association of Microbiologists of India; and Member, Guha Research Conference.
Amongst the many awards he has received for his contributions, the most important ones are: National Biotechnology Product Development Award 2002, CSIR Technology Shield 2001-2002, The Vasvik Industrial Award 2000, Ranbaxy Award in Pharmaceutical Sciences 2003, Vigyan Rattan Award 2014, Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award 2013, and CSIR Technology Award for Business Development and Technology Marketing 2014.