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doi:10.1038/nindia.2014.70 Published online 23 May 2014

Indian American scientists’ body elects 25th president

NI News Network

Sarfraz Ahmad
ASIOA

The Association of Scientists of Indian Origin in America (ASIOA) has chosen a new body to lead the 33-year old organisation promoting fellowship among scientists of Indian origin living in North America.

Sarfraz Ahmad, Director of Clinical Research at the Gynecologic Oncology department of Florida Hospital Cancer Institute (FHCI), Orlando, has been chosen ASIOA’s 25th President for a two-year term beginning May 2014.

Ahmad, an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University and North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, worked at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi before immigrating to the U.S in 1992. He has been a researcher and professor at Loyola University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Central Florida, and Florida State University, Orlando.

Besides Ahmad, the other elected members of ASIOA include Kameswara Rao Badri (secretary), Nagaraju Ganji (councilor) and Gauthami Jalagadugula (councilor).

Ahmad says the scientific and educational society, which facilitates communication among scientists and acts as a fraternal charitable association, has been training scientists immigrating from India to the US, as also physician scientists in biomedical research. It mentors junior faculty and post-doctoral and pre-doctoral fellows. 

Since 1981, ASIOA has made 140 life members and a floating number of regular members, post-doctoral fellows, and student members. Nearly 700 scientists of Indian origin have been transient members of ASIOA.

The association meets annually at an experimental biology conference and has active interests in the area of neuroscience and toxicology. The association draws its senior members from PhDs working as professors in various graduate and medical schools, scientists at national research laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry. Some of the association members testify at US Congressional Committees on scientific matters, and have served in the administrations of US Presidents. 

Ahmad says ASIOA members also visit Indian research laboratories under a UNDP-sponsored programme to give lectures and donate instruments. They have served as conduits for the transfer of technology. The association also provides laboratory facilities and guidance to young Indian students who are in high school or college to undertake research projects during summer.