News: News Archives
AAAS Honors Mahabir P. Gupta for Efforts
in Biodiversity, International Cooperation
For his exemplary efforts to promote science advances across Ibero-American countries and for utilizing biodiversity as a source of pharmaceuticals to benefit all people, Dr. Mahabir P. Gupta of the University of Panama has been named to receive the coveted AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation.
Gupta serves as the international coordinator of the Ibero-American Program of Science and Technology for Development (CYTED) Natural Products Drug Recovery Program at the University of Panama, and as the executive director of the Interciencia Association, a federation of 17 associations for the advancement of science in the Americas. Among his current activities, he is responsible for improving standards and quality control of biopharmaceutical drugs in Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and Panama. Gupta's involvement with CYTED has improved scientific cooperation among 19 Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal. Thousands of plant extracts from these countries are screened to obtain compounds for the treatment of cancer, depression and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria.
As head of the Interciencia Association, Gupta organized over 50 international training courses, symposia, seminars and workshops on facets of drug discovery benefiting scientists in Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal. Three of his most influential international symposia focused on ethnobotany, financing science and technology in Latin America and the conservation of wildlife and wild land.
For more than 30 years, Gupta has been encouraging international scientific cooperation and has made it an integral component of his academic and life goals. His many contributions have been recognized by his international colleagues. In 2003, he was appointed to the Royal Academy of Pharmacy in Spain; the Latin American Academy of Sciences; and the National Commission of Biodiversity in Panama.
Gupta earned his B.S. from the University of Rajasthan in India; his M.S. from Banaras Hindu University, also in India; and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from Washington State University. He will be honored during the 2004 AAAS Annual Meeting in February.
(See "AAAS Annual Meeting" for more details.)
Each year, the AAAS Awards Program recognizes individuals or groups who make outstanding contributions toward furthering international cooperation in science and engineering. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific organization, and publisher of the weekly journal, Science.
(See AAAS Awards for more information.)
2 January 2004