ISLAMABAD: Pakistani scientist Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary has won this year’s Mustafa Prize International, widely considered the equivalent of the Nobel prize in the Muslim world.
The top science and technology award is granted biennially to top researchers and scientists of the Islamic world. It was set up in 2012 “to appreciate prominent scientists and provide the ground for scientific cooperation and development worldwide.”
Dr. Choudhary is a biochemist at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) at the University Of Karachi. He is among world leaders in the field of natural product chemistry, and has discovered many potent anti-epileptic and anti-leishmanial compounds from indigenous medicinal plants that are under clinical trials.
“As a chemist, I have been truly fascinated by the immense chemical diversity present in plants,” Dr. Choudhary was quoted as saying in a statement published on the Mustafa Prize website.
“Our work and work of other scientists have firmly established the importance of medicinal plants as the most important source of new drug entities, and in many cases scientifically substantiated their traditional uses,” he said.
Dr. Choudhary said his dream was to establish a multidisciplinary International Center for Tropical and Neglected Diseases.
“This center will fulfill my dream of creating a world-class research facility with sustainable funding and global network of satellite laboratories to study the causes and treatment of innumerable tropical and neglected diseases,” he said.