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TWAS Newsletter
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TWAS elects 35 new TWAS Fellows

TWAS elects 35 new TWAS Fellows

In the newly elected class of Fellows, women represent an unprecedented 46%. And 10 new Fellows are from countries in the South that are under-represented in TWAS membership.

Today TWAS elected 35 new Fellows, bringing total TWAS membership to 1,302. Sixteen new members are women – which amounts to 46% of the new class, a record high.

Ten members hail from countries which have been under-represented in TWAS: two from Colombia and one each from Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mali, Peru, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Uruguay.

The other 25 members are from Argentina (1); Bangladesh (3); Brazil (4); Canada (1); China (7); India (2); Iran, Islamic Republic (1); Kenya (1); Mexico (1); South Africa (2); Switzerland (1) and Uganda (1).

The election results take effect on 1 January, 2021. The new members will be formally inducted at the next TWAS General Meeting.

01-Agricultural Sciences

GEBREKIRSTOS, Aster (Kenya): (F) PhD, Senior Scientist and Head of the Dendrochronology Laboratory, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Kenya. The nominee has conducted groundbreaking research in tropical dendrochronology, which is instrumental to address the lack of climate information in Africa by reconstructing past climate variability, recent trends of climate change, and their impacts on regional ecosystem services. She has contributed to the building of baseline data for carbon budgeting and restoration of degraded landscapes. By measuring the stable carbon and oxygen isotopes that are present in the tree rings she has produced further insights into plant- water-climate and environment interactions of several tree species in semi-arid Africa. Her pioneering research and contributions have been internationally acknowledged and won multiple awards and recognition. Member of the African Academy of Sciences, she has received the African Climate Award for Excellence in Research in climate adaptation and mitigation in Africa and the Special Award for Ground Breaking Science, among others.

MCMANUS, Concepta (Brazil): (F) PhD, Full Professor, Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil. The nominee looks at how animals react under heat stress and how these responses are affected by genes, breed and geographical location, etc. Responses are mapped geographically to aid in decision making for adaptation and management policies, nationally and internationally, especially under climate change. She is a Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and has achieved the Commander of the National Order of Scientific Merit and Order of Merit for Veterinary Medicine in Brazil.

SANGINGA, Nteranya (Congo, Dem. Rep.): (M) PhD, Director General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Congo, Dem. Rep.. The nominee leads a team of world-class scientists in the International Insititut of Tropical agriculture working with diverse partners and collaborators all over sub-Saharan Africa to help smallholder African farmers and farming communities attain a better life using novel research breakthroughs and innovative development and delivery interventions. As a scientist, research administrator, visionary leader, institutional change architect, strong advocate and influencer, effective mentor, resource mobilizer, and collaborative partner, he successfully leads and pioneers efforts that have resulted in developing solutions to challenges in tropical agriculture, including improved agricultural technologies, innovative products, breakthroughs, approaches, and models; and contributed to improving the quality of life and health of farm families in Africa, thus paving the way for a transformation in African agriculture. He has received Al-Sumait Prize for Food Security in Africa and the Africa Food Prize, among others.

ZHU, Yongguan (China): (M) PhD, Professor and Director for education and internationalization, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Globally, soil is the vital natural resource for food security and environmental quality. The nominee takes multi-scale and interdisciplinary approaches to soil environmental problems, and makes systematic contributions to understanding the dynamics of contaminants, nutrients and antimicrobial resistance at the soil-plant-microbe nexus. During his career, he has established extensive collaborative network in the developing world, demonstrated by diverse co-authors of his publications from Africa and Asia. He plays a significant role in global policies regarding arsenic in rice and environmental dimensions of antimicrobial resistance. Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, he received the TWAS Prize in Agriculture (2013), among many others.

02-Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology

BUSCHIAZZO, Alejandro (Uruguay): (M) PhD, Associate Professor (Research Director), Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Uruguay. The nominee aims at understanding the molecular mechanisms of pathogenicity-determinant proteins. He solved the first X-ray structures of trypanosomatid sialidases, uncovering their molecular workings within the protozoa, as well as the catalytic mechanism of sialidases in general. A modified nucleophilic system, as compared to all other glycosidases, was thus shown. He then unveiled the key signal-transmitting role of the central helical domain in sensory histidine kinases (HKs) within bacterial two-component signaling (TCS) systems. He disclosed the first crystallographic snapshots of HKs in distinct functional states (auto-kinase-, phosphotransferase- and phosphatase-competent), as well as of the binary complexes of HKs with their cognate response regulator. His lab has thus contributed substantially to understanding the molecular mechanisms of bacterial signaling. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Uruguay, he has received the François Jacob Prize, among others.

HUTZ, Mara Helena (Brazil): (F) PhD, Full Professor of Genetics, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The nominee's main research achievements are influence of human genome diversity in the susceptibilities to neuropsychiatric disorders, and infectious diseases and pharmacogenomics in admixed populations. Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, she received the Scopus/CAPES-Elsevier award and the Brazilian Society of Genetics honored her at the 60º Brazilian Congress of Genetics, among others.

SERAJ, Zeba Islam (Bangladesh): (F) PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The nominee has contributed to molecular biological approaches. She was involved with fine-mapping one of the major salinity tolerance loci in the rice landrace Pokkali. These loci were introgressed to produce salt tolerant versions of two commercial varieties. She has characterized many indigenous rice landraces as salt tolerant and fine-mapped one to find tolerance QTL loci in 2 developmental stages of rice. These are now being introgressed into commercial rice in a World Bank funded project using fluorescent KASP markers. She has produced a number of transgenic salt tolerant rice with regulatory genes from normal and halophytic rice. She has characterized an indigenous halophyte which produces rice-like grains and completes its life cycle in sea-water. She is trying wide hybridization with this species and rice. She is characterizing the endophytes associated with salt tolerant landraces and the halophyte. Member of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, she has received the Annannya award for scientific research and Dean’s award for research on salt tolerant helicase rice.

03-Biological Systems and Organisms

BABALOLA, Olubukola Oluranti (South Africa): (F) PhD, Full Professor/Research Director, Principal Investigator, Microbial Biotechnology Group, North-West University, South Africa; Vice-President OWSD Africa region. The nominee is a Full Professor, a postdoc in Israel and South Africa, she graduated 19 PhDs, 17 MSc, 77 Hons, 7 interns, and published 140 journal articles, 1 book and 16 chapters. Member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf), she has received the Established Researcher rating by the National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa; the Vice Chancellor’s award Top 20 employees (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015); the Institutional Research Excellence Awards (2010-2019); the Rector’s Award (2016); and she is a Fellow of the Africa Science Leadership Program.

RATSIMBAZAFY, Jonah (Madagascar): (M) PhD, President, Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates de Madagascar (GERP), Madagascar. The nominee is a prominent primatologist and powerful advocate for conservation of Madagascar's unique but threaten biodiversity. As a result, numerous species are currently on the verge of extinction. In the past decade, under the leadership of the Madagascar Primate Research Group he has discovered two new species of primates in Madagascar, with another waiting to be declared official. He is a world expert for lemurs. Under his guidance, there has seen a striking increase in the lemur populations (especially the indri and black and white ruffed lemur), who had been completely eradicated by human encroachment into forests. He is an acclaimed leader in the International Primatological Society (IPS). He is the newly elected President of IPS for 2020. Member of the Malagasy Academy and African Academy of Sciences, he has received the Madeline Fusco Award, among many others.

04-Medical and Health Sciences incl. Neurosciences

BINAGWAHO, Agnes (Rwanda): (F) PhD, Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity, Rwanda. The nominee is a pediatrician with over 13 years of high-level health leadership experience with an emphasis on equity and implementation science, evidence-based policy making. She has devoted a career to promoting the principle of global health equity through a variety of mechanisms – ranging from caring for her patients as neonatologist, to serving as Executive Secretary of the National AIDS Control Commission, then as Minister of Health of Rwanda to currently holding the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity; each of these experiences have provided her with invaluable knowledge, skills, perspectives, and networking platforms. She is a world health management-leader recognized for her work in improving national health care delivery, especially in maternal and child health. Member of the African Academy of Sciences, she has received The Roux Prize and the Women in Science Research Award, among others.

DJIMDE, Abdoulaye (Mali): (M) PhD, Director, Malaria Research and Training Center, Department of Epidemiology of Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Odonto-Stomatology University of Bamako, Mali. The nominee's original training is in pharmacy. He then switched into microbiology and immunology with PhD from University of Maryland, USA. His PhD project, conducted under the auspices of the US NIH, described the first reliable molecular marker for chloroquine resistance. From this a model was proposed for field monitoring of drug resistance using molecular markers. Thereafter, Djimde, his team and network of collaborators conducted long-term field and laboratory-based analysis to explore how genetic events in the malaria parasite, the human host and the mosquito vector’s genomes relate to treatment outcome and the spread of drug resistance. His translational research applies the latest genetic approaches to important public health problems. Some of his research results formed the basis of current malaria treatment guidelines in Mali. He is heavily involved in the clinical development of drugs and in capacity building in genomics and bioinformatics in Africa. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Mali and African Academy of Sciences, he received the Mali Chevalier de l’Ordre and the Prize Fighting Malaria, among others.

GONZALES, Gustavo Francisco (Peru): (M) PhD, Professor and Director of the Endocrinology and Reproduction Laboratory, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH), Peru. The nominee is biologist and endocrinologist, master and doctor in physiology, and doctor in medicine. He was Director of High Altitude Research Institute, and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Philosophy. President of the National Academy of Sciences and Board of Directors of the National Academy of Medicine. He has achieved important recognition as researcher in adaptation to high altitude. He has 335 papers and is the winner of 75 awards/recognitions.

KARUNAWEERA, Nadira Dharshani (Sri Lanka): (F) PhD, Senior Professor, Chair of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The nominee's pioneering work in leishmaniasis has laid the scientific foundation for a national framework for disease control. Her work has been recognized through national and international awards that include Fellowship awards from Harvard University, Fulbright Commission; European Union; W.H.O. and Presidential Awards. She is Founder President of the National Chapter of OWSD and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

MUSOKE, Philippa (Uganda): (F) PhD, Professor, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, College of Health Sciences Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. The nominee is a pediatrician and US board certified infectious disease specialist. She is a world renowned expert in prevention of mother to child HIV transmission (PMTCT) and treatment of pediatric HIV in resource limited settings. Since 1995, she has supervised the conduct of  HIV perinatal prevention and pediatric treatment phase I-III trials at the MUJHU CRS as part of NIH Division of AIDS networks; HIVNET, HPTN, and IMPAACT networks. She has been the lead investigator in multiple prevention of mother to child transmission clinical trials including; HIVNET012 (single dose Nevirapine) and PROMISE (triple antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy) which have informed national and international guidelines for PMTCT. Member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Ugandan Academy of Sciences, she has received the Presidential Science Excellence Award – for Outstanding Contribution to the Fight Against HIV/AIDS, among others.

RAQIB, Rubhana (Bangladesh): (F) PhD, Senior Scientist, Head of Program for Enteric and Respiratory Infections, Infectious Diseases Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (icddr,b), Bangladesh. The nominee has pioneering studies on immunopathogenic mechanisms in clinical shigellosis the paved the pathway of performing such mechanistic studies in human enteric diseases. She developed the ALS test, having high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing active TB and monitoring therapeutic response; this was replicated in four countries. Her clinical trials using non-antibiotic/repurposed drugs for combating infections by stimulating antimicrobial peptides demonstrated accelerated clinical recovery with enhanced innate immunity. The TB trial was replicated in Ethiopia. These work generated three patents. In a longitudinal cohort she showed that environmental arsenic exposure from in utero till adolescence resulted in immunosuppression, immunosenescence, and increased risk of chronic disease development. She demonstrated that daily intake of selenium-rich food increases urinary arsenic excretion and reduces arsenic-mediated toxicity.

05-Chemical Sciences

BERALDO, Heloisa (Brazil): (F) PhD, Full Professor of Chemistry, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Departamento de Química, Brazil. The nominee has published over 150 articles. She has supervised 24 PhD, 11 masters, 16 postdoctoral and 66 graduate students. Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, she has received the Medal of the National Order of Scientific Merit from the Brazilian Government, the Simão Mathias Medal from the Brazilian Chemical Society and the top scientific rank awarded by the National Research Council.

CHEN, Jun (China): (M) PhD, Dean, Nankai University, China. The nominee has developed reduction oxidation conversion crystallization methodologies for controllable synthesis of 3D metal oxide/sulfide materials to build advanced batteries. His research broadens the understanding of nanomaterials chemistry in energy stroage and conversion. Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, he has received Tianjin Award for Natural Science and the Chinese Electrochemistry Contribution Award, among others.

SHAABANI, Ahmad (Iran, Isl. Rep.): (M) PhD, Full professor, Shahid Beheshti University, Iran, Isl. Rep. The nominee is Distinguished Professor selected by Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran in 2003 and Iran Elite Foundation (First Festival of AllamehTabatabaei Award) in 2012. Visiting researcher at the University of Regina, Canada (2000), and University of California, Santa Cruz, USA (2018). The nominee’s main expertise is the discovery and design of novel Isocyanide-based multi-component reactions with application in the synthesis of biologically important heterocyclic compounds, and design and synthesis of novel functionalized/modified nano-materials and natural polymers with application in the catalytical chemical transformations and materials biomedical platform. Member of the National Science Academy of Iran, he has received a prize at the International Khwarizmi Festival in Basic Science, among others.

STASHENKO, Elena (Colombia): (F) PhD, Laureate Full Professor, School of Chemistry, Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS), Bucaramanga, Colombia. The nominee has been pioneer and leader on the study of the biodiversity of Colombian tropical plant species and their essential oils and extracts through the prism of their secondary metabolites. Her 30 years work has contributed to develop analytical chemistry in Colombia harsening the potential of the natural ingredients industry and permeating many fields. Author of over 230 scientific articles, 11 book chapters and 2 books, her discoveries have granted her 5 patents. She has been advising 15 PhD, 63 MSc and above 160 undergraduate projects. Member of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, she has received the Prize to Scientific Merit of the Colombian Association for the Advancement of Science (2001), the Frontier Award: Chemistry for Life of the European Society of Separation Science (Copenhagen, 2006), and the Acknowledgement as “One of the top 50 influential women in Analytical Chemistry” by The Analytical Scientist (United Kingdom 2016).

ZHU, Shiping (Canada): (M) PhD, Professor, McMaster University, Canada. The nominee has contributed to the mechanistic elucidation, catalyst supporting and development of reactor technologies that turned recipes for new polymers into industrial processes. Member of the Royal Society of Canada, the Academy of Science, he has received the premier R.S. Jane Memorial Award of Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award of Chemical Institute of Canada, and the West Lake Friendship Award of Zhejiang Province of China, among others.

06-Engineering Sciences

BAUZER MEDEIROS, Claudia Maria (Brazil): (F) PhD, Full professor, Computer Science, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. The nominee is a pioneer in Latin America in research in eScience and scientific data management, with intense involvement in Open Science policies. She created one of the first Brazilian laboratories for interdisciplinary data-intensive research. Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences; Commander of the Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit; Dr Honoris Causa Université Paris IX, France; Dangermond Lecturer (UCSB, USA); 2018 CLEI Latin America Award in Informatics (for the whole LATAM region).

GUO, Liejin (China): (M) PhD, Professor and Director of State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. The nominee has advanced theories and technologies of multiphase flow and heat transfer in power engineering, and developed efficient clean low-carbon and low-cost hydrogen production process from coal, biomass and solar energy. He has contributed hugely to the development of clean energy industry. He has 488 peer-reviewed journal articles with more than 28000 citations and h-index of 72. He is a Highly Cited Researcher (Clarivate) being listed in World's Most Influential Scientific Minds. He is also co-inventor for more than 60 patents. Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, he has received many awards and recognitions.

POVEDA, Germán (Colombia): (M) PhD, Full Professor, Department of Geociences and Enviroment, Colombian National University, Medellín, Colombia. The nominee is author of over 160 peer-reviewed papers in international and national journals, 7 books and more than 300 talks at international conferences, which have advanced the global knowledge on hydrology, hydroclimatology, hydroecology, oceanography, water resources, climate change and their social, environmental and economic impacts, including the transmission of tropical diseases. His work has granted him the appointment to many international organizations and programmes studying  Climate Change, Biosphere and Atmosphere processes, particularly in the Amazon basin, Global Energy and Water Exchange, Human Health, and Science Partnership. Member of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences and Spanish Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, he has received multiple awards and recognitions from Colombian research and science institutions.

SAYED, Ali H. (Switzerland): (M) PhD, Dean of Engineering, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. The nominee has contributed to Adaptation and Learning Theories. Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, he has received the Kuwait Prize in Basic Sciences, the IEEE Donald Fink Prize and the Athanasios Papoulis Award, among others.

ZHU, Meifang (China): (F) PhD, Director of State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers & Polymer Materials  (SKLFPM), Donghua University, China. The nominee has made significant contributions to both fundamental and application-oriented research related to fiber materials and organic-inorganic hybrid materials and is recognized as a pioneer in the discovery and development of melt spinning process theory of polymer-based nanocomposite fibers in China. She is a Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and has received many honors and awards during her career, including the National Innovation Competition Award (2017), First Prize of Shanghai Natural Science Award (2018), First Prize of Shanghai Award for Technological Invention (2015), the Cheung Kong Scholars (2013), Shanghai Science and Technology Elite (2011), Second Prize of National Award for Progress in Science and Technology (2006), among others.

07-Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences

ARMIENTA, María Aurora (Mexico): (F) PhD, Research professor, Geophysics Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico. The nominee has made outstanding contribution to the identification of natural and anthropogenic sources of arsenic and toxic metals in groundwater, to solve arsenic and chromium pollution problems in México, for the development of water remediation methods of arsenic, fluoride, and heavy metals using native rocks at polluted sites. She also made an important contribution to the protection of the population exposed to volcanic activity by means of affordable geochemical monitoring. Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, she has received the National Research Level III recognition (the highest level) by the National Science Council of Mexico and the Juana Ramírez de Asbaje award, among others.

WHITELOCK, Patricia Ann (South Africa): (F) PhD, Consultant Astronomer, South African Astronomical Observatory, South Africa. The nominee has made an outstanding and sustained scientific contribution in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, particularly optical astronomy. Her research in the late stages of stellar evolution, galactic structure and the stellar content of Local Group galaxies is distinguished. She has taken advantage of the unique facilities at the South African Astronomical Observatory, which have allowed for very long-term photometric monitoring of interesting stars, particularly in the near-infrared. Her work has led to an improvement in our understanding of the evolution of Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars through the provision of accurate observations of numerous individual stars in our own galaxy and in various galaxies in the Local Group. Member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, she has received the De Beers Gold Medal of the South African Institute of Physics.

ZHAO, Guochun (China): (M) PhD, Chair Professor, The University of Hong Kong, China. The nominee is an internationally well-known geologist and has made significant contributions to our understanding of continental tectonics in the early history of Earth, and the assembly, outgrowth and breakup of supercontinents in Earth’s history. His major scientific accomplishments are highlighted as follows: Recognition of global-scale 2.0-1.8 billion years old collisional events leading to the assembly of a supercontinent (now widely called Columbia or Nuna); and Discovery of two Paleoproterozoic orogenic belts in North China and proposing that the North China Craton formed by amalgamation of micro-continents in the period 1.95-1.85 Ga. Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, he received the 2018 TWAS Prize in Earth, Astronomy and Space Sciences, the 29th Khwarizmi International Award and State Natural Science Award, among others.

08-Mathematical Sciences

SHABANI, Juma (Burundi): (M) PhD, Professor of Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, Department of Mathematics, University of Burundi. The nominee has made a major contribution to the development of delta-sphere interactions in non-relativistic quantum mechanics by proposing for the first time in 1986 a precise and rigorous mathematical formulation of these interactions using the theory of self-ad joint extensions of symmetric closed operators in Hilbert spaces. This has made it possible to conduct a systematic mathematical study of these interactions and to improve the understanding of the way they should be used in physics. This formulation also made it possible to develop several generalizations of delta sphere interactions, including their extensions to relativistic quantum mechanics and to develop mathematical models of the physical problems related to these interactions. Member of the Burundi National Academy of Sciences and technology (current President) and African Academy of Sciences, he has received Award from the Global University Network for Innovation, among others.

YANG, Tong (China): (M) PhD, Chair Professor, City University of Hong Kong, China. The nominee has made fundamental contributions to hyperbolic conservation laws, kinetic theories, boundary layer theories and high Reynolds number limit. Together with Tai-Ping Liu, he introduced the Liu-Yang functional for the stability of BV solutions to system of hyperbolic conservation laws. And with his collaborators, he introduced a new macro-micro decomposition for the Boltzmann equation to study its fluid phenomena. In addition, he justified the Prandtl ansatz for the MHD system. Member of the European Academy of Sciences, he has received Morningside Silver Medal of Mathematics, The President Award, City University of Hong Kong and State Natural Science Award, among others.


CAI, Rong-Gen (China): (M) PhD, Professor and Director, Institute of Theoretical Physics, Chinese Aacdemy of Sciences, China. The nominee has made significant contributions in gravity and cosmology, especially to exact solutions of gravity, holographic property of gravity, the connection between thermodynamics and dynamics of gravity. Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, he has received the State Natural Science Award, and Highly Cited Researcher Award of Thomson Reuters.

GOSWAMI, Srubabati (India): (F) PhD, Senior Professor, Physical Research Laboratory, India. The nominee has made outstanding contributions in analyzing and interpreting the results of solar and reactor neutrino experiments in terms of neutrino oscillations. She has spearheaded the development of the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) by consolidating its physics potential, identifying major thrust areas of current and future experiments and integrating INO with this worldwide activity. Member of the three Indian science academies, she has received Humboldt Fellowship from Alexender-von-Humboldt Foundation, P. Sheel Memorial Award for Young Women Scientists and C.V.Raman Mahila Vijnana Puraskara, among others.

JOSHI, Pankaj S. (India): (M) PhD, Vice-Chancellor (Provost) and Founding Director, International Center for Cosmology (ICC), Charusat University (Charotar University of Science and Technology), India. The nominee has made fundamental contributions in black hole physics, gravitation and cosmology, which have brought him international acclaim. His extensive analysis of general relativistic gravitational collapse has been widely recognized as providing key significant  insights into the final fate of massive collapsing stars in universe, space-time singularities and cosmic censorship. Over past years, his paradigm changing work has shown that massive stars could collapse to black holes, or exploding fireballs called naked singularities. In later case, observable signals from ultra-dense regions near a singularity may reach faraway observers in the universe. Astrophysical and quantum gravity signatures of the same are being explored now. His research, some 200 publications in reputed International journals, books and monographs in topmost series from the OUP (Oxford) and CUP (Cambridge) are now widely cited, making this a frontier research field in black hole physics and cosmology. Member of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi and National Academy of Sciences, India, he has received the DAE C. V. Raman lecture award and the Prof. A. C. Banerji Gold Medal and Memorial Lecture Award, among others.

MAMUN, A A (Bangladesh): (M). PhD, Professor, Department of Physics, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. The nominee has pioneering contribution in nonlinear phenomena (solitons, shocks, vortices, etc.) which are related to the natural disasters like cyclones, tornado, hurricanes, etc., occurring quite frequently in Bangladesh, in different fluids (viz. plasma fluid, complex plasma fluid, degenerate quantum plasma fluid, etc.). He also made great contribution in the progress of physical sciences in a third world country like Bangladesh by mentoring young bright minds of his own country. Member of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, he has received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award and the BAS Gold Medal, among others.

PAZ, Juan Pablo (Argentina): (M) PhD, Superior Investigator (CONICET), Plenary Full Professor, Departamento De Fisica, Facultad De Ciencias Exacta Y Naturales, Universidad De Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina. The nominee is a leader in quantum information. He made major contributions to the theory of quantum open systems and to the study of the process of decoherence. He contributed to the theory of quantum error correction and to design new quantum algorithms for physics simulations. He played a key role in establishing a strong experimental basis for quantum technologies in Argentina. As a Director of the Physics Department of UBA, he played a key role to position it as a leading institution in the region. Member of the Academia de Ciencias de America Latina ACAL, he has received the TWAS Prize in Physics, the  Bernardo Houssay Prize and Konex Prize, among others.