Distinguished Toxicologist: Dr. Sibte Hasan Zaidi

Late Dr. Sibte Hasan Zaidi was a medical toxicologist. A medical toxicologist studies the effects of toxins or poisonous chemicals on people's health and diseases.

Dr. Sibte Hasan Zaidi is best known for his experiments that described the effects of silica, coal dust, asbestos, synthetic dyes and heavy metals on the human body, and their role in diseases, such as silicosis and coal worker's pneumoconiosis. He was also instrumental at founding several institutions related to industrial toxicology and occupational health in the South East Asian region.


Prof S H Zaidi
Image Credit: http://iitrindia.org

Dr. Zaidi completed his graduate medical education from Lucknow's prestigious King George Medical College, and his post-graduation and doctorate degrees from the University of London. During his Ph.D., he developed an interest in lung diseases of the coal miners, and produced similar experimental lung illness in animals, after injecting them with coal dust, which led the foundation of his glorious future career in toxicology.

He returned to India and headed the experimental medicine division at the Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow. There, he founded the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, which is now known as the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research. His leadership of the Institute for a period of 13 years led to the global recognition of the institute as a center of excellence in the field of occupational health. His relationship with the government of India also continued after retirement in the form of "Advisor" to ministries of railways, environment and health.     

Following his retirement from government service, he also worked for multiple UN agencies, such as WHO, ILO, UNDP, and UNEP in various technical capacities. While working in his UN assignments, he was successful at starting centers for toxicology research in Burma, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. He was also successful at introducing several new international courses in toxicology. 

He published over 100 scientific papers that summarized his experiments and were published in reputed international journals. He closely coordinated his research with the international scientific community, especially with scientists from the USA, UK, Venezuela, and Germany. Through his experiments, he strengthened the global knowledge base of the effects of a range of toxins on the body, resulting in the promotion of numerous preventive and legislative actions. This knowledgebase has immensely contributed to the specialty of industrial medicine and occupational health, impacting the lives of millions of industrial workers and their families. 

His contributions to medical science and society have been recognized in the form of multiple awards that he received and through an oration in his name, at the institute that he founded. In recognition of his contribution, government of India awarded him with the prestigious Padma Shri and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awards. He was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement award from the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

His legacy is taken forward by two subsequent generations of medical researchers, i.e. his children and grandchildren. 

Do you feel inspired by his journey? Feel free to share your views.


References and further reading:


1. Major Contributions of Professor S.H. Zaidi
2. Sibte Hasan Zaidi
3. Dr Zaidi passes away
4. Prof. S.H. Zaidi Former Director, Passes Away
5. Dr Sibte Hassan Zaidi



Views expressed are personal



Author Profile: Dr. Naval Asija is a New Delhi based non-clinical doctor having health administration postgraduate training. Since 2018, he has been writing/blogging full time on health issues. In the past, he has worked for a decade in healthcare, in different organizations, namely Innodata India Pvt. Ltd., Win-Medicare Pvt. Ltd., National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Integrated Disease Surveillance Project and National Polio Surveillance Project. He can be contacted through https://www.linkedin.com/in/navalasija/
Journey of a non clinical doctor

 

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Last Updated On 10/11/2019 06:00 PM



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