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doi:10.1038/nindia.2014.30 Published online 12 March 2014

Indian TB scientist gets Germany's highest civilian award

Eminent Indian biologist Seyed Ehtesham Hasnain, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi has been awarded Germany's highest civilian award, the Order of Merit.

S E Hasnain (left) receiving the Order of Merit from German ambassador to India Michael Steiner. Inset: The Cross of Merit

Hasnain, known for his work on tuberculosis, was bestowed with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by German ambassador to India Michael Steiner at an informal ceremony in New Delhi last night (March 11, 2014). Hasnain has been awarded for his "outstanding achievements in the relationship between the two countries".

A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, Hasnain had earlier received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize, 2011 for his contributions to TB infection biology and was the first Indian to be honored with the Robert Koch Fellowship of the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.

With the Order of Merit, he joins the league of outstanding personalities from various fields including Nobel laureate biologist Paul Herman Muller, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and music conductor John Crosby.

"The recognition has raised the expectations from me of my friends and peers alike," Hasnain told Nature India after receiving the award.

Hasnain also got elected as a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Microbiology recently.