2012 Honorary Degree
Dr. Manju Sharma
Dr. Manju Sharma is the former secretary of the Department of Biotechnology of India and current president and executive director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Research. She is a renowned leader in promoting bioscience and technology in India and around the world. She has many research publications, a monograph on medicinal plants, several technical and policy reports, nationally and internationally, to her credit.
Beginning in 1974, she held various positions in the Indian government, including in the Department of Science and Technology, the Planning Commission, the Office of Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister, and the Department of Biotechnology. She has played an important role in promoting science and technology in general and biosciences in particular.
Over her career, Dr. Sharma has initiated and promoted many successful programs in diverse areas, including biomass production and conversion, biofertilizers, status reports on photosynthesis research, plant tissue culture for varied applications, biosphere reserves, report on the "Silent Valley" in Kerala and its conservation, transgenic research in crops, germplasm conservation, medicinal and aromatic plants, food biotechnology, diagnostics, new vaccines, and human genetics.
Dr. Sharma has used her role in government to establish of a number of new institutions such as the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi; the Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad; the National Brain Research Centre, Manesar; the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, Manipur; the National Institute for Plant Genome Research; and National Center for Cell Science in Pune.
Dr. Sharma received a master's degree in science from Lucknow University with a gold medal and performed post-doctoral research at Purdue.
She has served her country and the international community through numerous boards. She was the first female president of India's National Academy of Sciences. She is currently the Distinguish Women Scientist Chair of the Academy. She was the co-chair of the advisory panel on "Women in Science" of the Inter Academy Council, chair of Standing Committee for Biotechnology in TWAS and continues to be member and chair of the Board of Governors of the United Nations University - Institute of Advanced Science in Tokyo, to name a few.
Since retiring, she founded a new institute called the Indian Institute of Advanced Research, located in Gandhinagar Gurajat.
Her contributions to the field have been honored with numerous awards, among them the Padma Bhushan, National Senior Woman Bioscientist Award, NASI Platinum Jubilee Gold Medal, and the Norman E. Borlaug Award. In 2004, she received a lifetime achievement award from BIOSPECTRUM.
Dr. Sharma has left her mark as a researcher and science promoter over the last 30 years.