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Salimuzzaman Siddiqui

Salimuzzaman Siddiqui




Salimuzzaman Siddiqui (1897–1994) was a renowned Pakistani organic chemist, researcher, and scholar whose contributions significantly advanced the field of natural product chemistry. Born on October 19, 1897, in Subeha, United Provinces of British India (now in Uttar Pradesh, India), Siddiqui's pioneering work laid the foundation for scientific research in Pakistan and earned him international recognition.

Siddiqui's early education was marked by academic excellence. He completed his bachelor's degree in Persian and Arabic from Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligarh, which later became Aligarh Muslim University. He developed an early interest in chemistry, leading him to pursue a Master's degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of London. His academic journey continued with a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) from the University of Frankfurt in Germany under the supervision of Nobel laureate Julius von Braun.

During his time in Germany, Siddiqui conducted groundbreaking research on natural products, focusing on alkaloids and terpenoids. He discovered a series of new compounds from medicinal plants, such as Rauwolfia serpentina, which have therapeutic properties. His work on Rauwolfia led to the isolation of the alkaloid reserpine, which became widely used in the treatment of hypertension and mental illnesses.

In 1947, following the partition of India, Siddiqui moved to Pakistan and played a crucial role in establishing scientific research in the newly formed country. He founded the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) in 1953 and served as its first chairman. Under his leadership, PCSIR became a leading institution for scientific research and development in Pakistan. He also established the HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry at the University of Karachi, which became a premier center for chemical research.

Siddiqui's research extended beyond natural products to include the chemistry of essential oils, resins, and various other organic compounds. His work contributed to the development of pharmaceuticals, essential oils, and other industrial products, significantly impacting the scientific and industrial landscape of Pakistan.

Throughout his career, Siddiqui received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his contributions to science. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), one of the highest honors for a scientist. In Pakistan, he was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz and Sitara-e-Imtiaz, prestigious civilian awards, for his services to science and research. Siddiqui was also a prolific writer and advocate for science education, publishing numerous research papers and articles to promote scientific knowledge.

Siddiqui's legacy is preserved through the institutions he established and the many students he mentored. His dedication to scientific research and education continues to inspire future generations of scientists in Pakistan and around the world. He passed away on April 14, 1994, leaving behind a rich legacy of scientific discovery and innovation.


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Place of Birth: Barabanki, India



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Date of Birth: October 19, 1897

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