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Atta-ur-Rahman, born on September 22, 1942, in Delhi, British India, is a distinguished Pakistani scientist renowned for his contributions to the field of organic chemistry. He has played a pivotal role in the advancement of science and technology in Pakistan, earning numerous accolades and recognition both nationally and internationally.

Rahman moved to Karachi, Pakistan, following the partition of India in 1947. He received his early education in Pakistan and later pursued higher studies abroad. Rahman earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from King's College, Cambridge in 1968, under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Alexander Todd. His research focused on natural product chemistry, particularly the chemistry of alkaloids, which are compounds derived from plants with significant pharmacological properties.

Upon his return to Pakistan, Rahman joined the University of Karachi as a faculty member. Over the years, he has made substantial contributions to the field of natural product chemistry, authoring over 1,200 research publications, including books and articles in renowned scientific journals. His work has had a significant impact on the understanding of bioactive compounds and their potential applications in medicine.

Rahman's scientific achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2006, one of the highest honors a scientist can receive. Additionally, he has been awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence), Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence), and Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) by the Government of Pakistan for his outstanding contributions to science and education.

Beyond his scientific research, Rahman has played a crucial role in promoting science and technology in Pakistan. He served as the Federal Minister for Science and Technology from 2000 to 2002 and later as the Chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan from 2002 to 2008. During his tenure at the HEC, Rahman implemented significant reforms to improve the quality of higher education and research in Pakistan. These reforms included increasing funding for universities, enhancing research facilities, and promoting international collaborations.

Rahman is also the founding President of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and has served on various national and international scientific committees. He has been a strong advocate for the development of science and technology as a means to drive economic growth and societal development in Pakistan.

In addition to his academic and administrative roles, Rahman has been involved in various initiatives to popularize science and inspire young scientists. He has delivered numerous lectures and presentations worldwide, highlighting the importance of scientific research and innovation.

Throughout his career, Atta-ur-Rahman has remained dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge and fostering a culture of research and innovation in Pakistan. His contributions to organic chemistry and his efforts to improve the higher education system have left a lasting impact on the scientific community and the nation as a whole.


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Place of Birth: Old Delhi, Delhi, India



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Date of Birth: September 22, 1942

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