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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Shah M. Faruque

Shah M. Faruque

Dr. Shah Mohammad Faruque (Bengali: শাহ এম. ফারুক) (Jessore District, 1956) is a Bangladeshi scientist and a leading researcher in Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium which causes the epidemic diarrhoeal disease Cholera. Currently he is the Director of the Centre for Food and Water Borne Diseases at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). His areas of interest include microbial genetics, molecular epidemiology, environmental microbiology, ecology, and evolution of bacterial pathogens, particularly those associated with waterborne and foodborne diseases. Dr. Faruque is well known for his pioneering works in molecular genetics, epidemiology and ecology of the cholera pathogen.

Dr. Faruque is a Fellow of TWAS, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, as well as a Fellow of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, ISID, and a founding member of the Association of Vibrio Biologists, AViB. Besides his active research career, he is involved in teaching in a number of universities.


Personal life

Shah Mohammad Faruque was born in Jessore District, Bangladesh in 1956. He received his early education in Jessore Sacred Heart School, Jessore Zilla School, Jhenidah Cadet College, and Jessore Government M.M. College. He has two children, Elora Faruque and Shah Nayeem Faruque, and his wife is Hasna Hena. Dr. Faruque is a Bangladeshi citizen, and resides in Bashundhara Residential Area in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Education and career

Dr. Shah Faruque received his BSc, and MSc degrees from the department of Biochemistry, Dhaka University in 1978 and 1979 respectively. He obtained his PhD in 1988 from the University of Reading,in the UK. In Reading, he worked on hormonal regulation of gene expression. He was a Commonwealth Scholar in the UK. He joined the Department of Biochemistry of Dhaka University as a Member of the Faculty, and taught biochemistry and molecular biology. He later joined ICDDR,B as a scientist, and pioneered molecular biology research in Bangladesh. In ICDDR,B, he set up the Molecular Genetics Laboratory, which is currently highly reputed for conducting and publishing outstanding research work. In recognition of his contributions to the understanding of natural phenomena associated with the dynamics of cholera epidemics, he was awarded the "TWAS Prize-2005" in Medical Sciences, by the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. Dr. Faruque collaborates with scientists from different countries and Institutes in India, Japan, Thailand, Sweden, UK, and the US.

Addressing the health problems of developing countries, Dr. Faruque has contributed significantly to the understanding of natural mechanisms associated with the emergence of bacterial pathogens. Although he has conducted significant work in understanding the epidemiology and transmission of Shigella and diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli infections, his major contribution is in the epidemiology and genetics of Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera epidemics. In collaboration with Dr. John Mekalanos, Adele H. Lehman Professor of Microbiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Dr. Faruque has contributed extensively to the recent understanding of the epidemiology, transmissibility and ecology of Vibrio cholerae. Their work showed the genetic basis for the origin and evolution of new Vibrio cholerae strains with epidemic potential and the role of bacteriophages in this process. They characterised several novel filamentous phages (e.g., KSF-1, RS1 and TLC satellite phages) of Vibrio cholerae, and contributed substantially to understanding the molecular mechanisms for transmission of these phages, and their role in Vibrio cholerae evolution. Dr. Faruque has proposed models to explain the role of environmental and host factors and lytic bacteriophages in the ecology of Vibrio cholerae, that supports a self-limiting nature of seasonal cholera epidemics.


• TWAS Prize in Medical Sciences in 2005


As of 2012, Dr. Shah Faruque has authored more than 120 original research papers, reviews, and book chapters. His work have been published in top ranking international scientific journals, including Nature, PNAS, Lancet and ASM Journals. He has also edited a number of books which include "Vibrio cholerae: Genomics and Molecular Biology" (2008), and "Foodborne and Waterborne Bacterial Pathogens" (2012). Further details on publications of Dr. Faruque are available on the ICDDR,B website.

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