Jamia Millia Islamia Professor Zahid Ashraf on Tuesday received the prestigious Visitor’s Award for his pioneering research on resolving the mystery of blood clotting on exposure to hypoxia at high altitudes. Ashraf got the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at a function organized at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He received a citation and Rs 2,50,000 as award money.
Ashraf was conferred with the award under the Biological Sciences category in which maximum entries (29) were received, the JMI said. The Visitor’s Awards were instituted in 2014 to promote healthy competition amongst central universities and motivate them to adopt best practices from around the world in pursuit of excellence. The President of India, in his capacity as the ‘Visitor’ of central universities, presents the awards.
Ashraf received the award for his pioneering research on resolving the mystery of blood clotting on exposure to hypoxia at high altitudes. “The outcome of his research has given insights into our understanding of blood clot formation on ascension to mountains, sports, pilgrimage, and soldiers working in hostile environments.
"The commendation has been made keeping in view Prof. Ashraf’s immense contribution in the area of hypoxia and their crucial role in the development of cardiovascular diseases," the university said. "His work has significantly contributed towards developing strategy for an early diagnosis and treatment of thrombosis at extremely challenging environmental conditions at high altitudes," it added.
The award ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan was attended by JMI Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar. Akhtar, who has recently been conferred Padma Shri, congratulated Ashraf for this honor and mentioned that it is a recognition of the research accomplishments by the university. "Prof. Ashraf’s achievements will motivate other faculty members towards the pursuit of excellence in research along with academics," she said.
Ashraf is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad, and the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore. He is a member of the distinguished Guha Research Council. He is also the recipient of ICMR’s Basanti Devi Amir Chand and DBT’s National Biosciences Award for his seminal work on high altitude-related thrombosis in the Indian population.
This is the second time a JMI Professor has been conferred with the Visitor’s Award. In 2015, the Cosmology and Astrophysics Research Group headed by Prof. M Sami of the Centre for Theoretical Physics, JMI, also received the Visitor’s Award for path-breaking research carried out in the field of Contemporary Issues in Astrophysics & Cosmology, the varsity said.