Ananda M. Chakrabarty
University of Illinois,College of Medicine in Chicago
Ananda M. Chakrabarty, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. While working at the Research & Development Center at General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York, he was awarded the ‘Scientist of the Year’ award in 1975 by Industrial Research Organization of the United States. This work led to the development of a genetically-manipulated microorganism that was the subject matter of a landmark decision from the Supreme Court of the United States that genetically engineered life forms are patentable. Dr. Chakrabarty has served as a consultant with the United Nations and was the founding member of a UNIDO Committee that proposed the establishment of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (ICGEB) based in Trieste, Italy, New Delhi, India, and Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Chakrabarty has been a member of the Panel of Scientific Advisors, later called Council of Scientific Advisors, of ICGEB since its very inception. Dr. Chakrabarty has also been a member of the International Advisory Board of Chulabhorn Research Institute in Thailand, which is headed by the Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India. He has received many awards, including the Distinguished Scientist Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), MERIT Award from NIH, U.S. Army Distinguished Service Award, Pasteur Award, Inventor of the Year Award, American Chemical Society Public Affairs Award, Procter and Gamble Environmental Biotechnology Award, European Union Eurydice Award given in Brussels in 2007, among others. He served the U.S. Govt. as members of various NIH study sections, member of the Board on Biology of the U. S. National Academy of Science, Committee on Biotechnology of the U.S. National Research Council, The Stockholm Environment Institute of Sweden, and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of many academic institutions such as Michigan Biotechnology Institute, Montana State University Center for Biofilm Research, Center for Microbial Ecology at the Michigan State University, and in Canada as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network based in Calgary, Canada. Dr. Chakrabarty also served NATO as a member of NIAG, NATO Industrial Advisory Group based in Brussels, Belgium. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Einstein Institute for Science, Health and the Courts, where he participated in judicial meetings involving contentious scientific issues. He was also involved in international judicial working conversations, where he served as a Scientific Advisor for meetings in Hawaii and Ottawa, Canada, organized by the Supreme Court of Canada. Dr. Chakrabarty’s current research involves development of anticancer and anti-retroviral agents from microbial sources. As part of CDG Therapeutics Inc. ( www.cdgti.com ) , he has developed candidate anticancer drugs such as azurin that can act on both the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the AIDS virus HIV-1 to combat co-infection, as well as drug candidates that can be used for the potential treatment of many forms of cancer including brain tumors. A chemically-synthesized 28 amino acid peptide derived from azurin, termed p28, has shown very little toxicity in 15 advanced stage cancer patients but significant beneficial effect, including partial and complete 2 regression of tumors that were refractory to conventional drugs, in phase I human clinical trials in Chicago. He has also developed similar candidate anticancer drugs as part of an Indian company Amrita Therapeutics ( www.amritatherapeutics.com ). He was awarded the civilian Padma Shri award by the Government of India in 2007.
Dr. Chakrabarty has emphasized for patent oriented research and marketable product development through biotechnological processes. He also suggested that each Research & Development organization should have a patent cell and establish contacts with industries to produce the useful and marketable product developed by the organization. Recently Dr. Chakrabarty has isolated and identified a bacterial protein ‘Alzurin’, which is claimed to be potent inhibitor of various cancers, HIV and malarial diseases. He named the protein as ‘Drug of the Future’.