|Biographical detail : ||Scientist
The scientist who established molecular biology and pioneered into how genes produce proteins, Professor Obaid Siddiqi became a key figure in the field and has left his legacy of a flourishing research base in India.
Born in Basti district, Utter Pradesh, India, Obaid Siddiqi graduated from Aligarh Muslim University in 1953. On completing his PhD from Britain, in 1961, he left for the US where he worked at Cold Spring Harbour University, New York and later the University of Pennsylvania.
He returned to India in 1962. At the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, Professor Siddiqi established the molecular biology unit, nurturing it to international renown. In 1992 he became the inaugural director of the TIFR National Centre for Biological Sciences at Bangalore, putting it in the vanguard of biological research.
In the early 1960s Professor Siddiqi branched out into another area of research: neurobiology. His aim was to understand how genetic variations affect the nervous system and the brain. He returned to the US to learn the necessary skills and carried out pioneering work to investigate genetic mutations and cause flies to become paralysed above certain temperatures. He discovered several genes that are involved in nerve function.
Professor Obaid Siddiqi was awarded India’s Padma Vibhushan. He passed away in Bangalore, India.