The Hunan University of Chinese Medicine has named its newly-established One Belt One Road TCM Research Centre after Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, Pakistan’s the most decorated scientist having won four civil awards by the government, at its main campus in Changsha, capital of China’s Hunan province.
Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman obtained his PhD in organic chemistry from the Cambridge University in 1968. He has 1232 publications in several fields of organic chemistry including 771 research publications, 45 international patents, 70 chapters in books and, 341 books published largely by major US and European presses.
The opening ceremony of the proposed centre was held in the university, along with fifth annual Bio-TCM International Conference. Prof Wei Wang said that this centre is indeed a humble recognition of tremendous scientific contributions of Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman in the field of traditional medicine, and his leadership of developing scientific collaboration between the two countries.
Dr Atta-ur-Rahman is the first scientist from the Muslim world to have won the prestigious UNESCO Science Prize (1999) in the 35 years old history of the prize. He received Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in 1983, Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1991, Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 1998, and Nishan-i-Imtiaz in 2002. In 2006, he was elected as fellow of the Royal Society of London. He was elected honorary life fellow of the Kings College in 2007.
Prof Wei Wang said that it is also a celebration of induction in the highest honour of fellowship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Hunan University is one of the largest public sector universities of China, recognized internationally for excellence and quality of research. The university has a large number of foreign students, including 500 Pakistani scholars.
Dr Atta-ur-Rahman is the editor-in-chief of eight European chemistry journals. He is editor of the world’s leading encyclopedic series of volumes on natural products Studies in Natural Product Chemistry 62 volumes of which have been published under his editorship during the last two decades. About eighty two students have completed their PhD degrees under his supervision.
He has been conferred honorary doctorate degrees by many universities including the degree of Doctor of Science (ScD) by the Cambridge University of UK in 1987, honorary degree of Doctor of Education by the Coventry University of UK in 2007, Honorary DSc degree by Bradford University in 2010, honorary PhD by the Asian Institute of Technology in 2010 and the honorary doctorate from the King of Malaysia University of Technology in 2011.
Dr Atta-ur-Rahman was conferred the TWAS (Italy) Prize for Institution Building in October 2009 in recognition of his contributions for bringing about revolutionary changes in the higher education sector in Pakistan. The Austrian government has honoured him with its highest civil award – Grosse Goldene Ehrenzeischen am Bande in 2007 – in recognition of his eminent contributions.
He is president of the Network of Academies of Sciences of Islamic Countries (NASIC), Foreign Fellow of Korean Academy of Sciences, and Foreign Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society. Dr Atta-ur-Rahman has won the International Scientific Corporation Award by Chinese Academy of Science for building scientific collaborations between Pakistan and China in 2014, has been awarded prestigious Einstein Professorship by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2013 and has been awarded Friendship Award of China on September 28, 2014.
Recently, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman has been appointed as consultant of the Education Forum Asia (2015-2020) and the foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015. He has been elected as the president of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences twice from 2003-2006 and 2011-2014.
He is distinguished national professor as well as professor emeritus at the Karachi University. In recognition of his global outstanding services to the development of science and technology, Malaysia’s University of Technology has established an institution entitled Atta-ur-Rahman Institute on Natural Product Discovery (AuRins) in 2013.
The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has also established Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB) at their main campus in Islamabad in 2011. Prof Atta-ur Rahman has been appointed as chairman of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science and Technology, vice chairman of the Task Force on Technology Driven Knowledge Economy, and co-chair of the Task Force on Information Technology.