– By NUST Science Society
Salimuzzaman Siddiqui was a leading Pakistani scientist in Natural Product Chemistry. He is credited for pioneering the isolation of unique chemical compounds from Neem and other flora. As founder director of H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, he revolutionized research on pharmacology of various domestic plants found in South Asia to extract novel chemical substances of medicinal importance. In addition to his scientific talents, Siddiqui was also an avid painter, a poet, and a great connoisseur of music.
Salimuzzaman Siddiqui was born in Subeha near Lucknow on 19 October 1897 and received his early education at Lucknow, India. He later studied at the MAO College (now the Muslim University, Aligarh, India), from where he graduated in Arts. He went to Europe, and earned the degree of D.Phil. (Nat.) in Organic Chemistry.
On his return, he established the Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbi Research Institute at Tibbia College, Delhi. In 1940, he joined Indian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. In 1951, Dr. Siddiqui was appointed as Director of Pakistan Department of Research. In 1960, he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society, UK, and was the first scientist working in Pakistan to have received such a distinction. In 1975, in recognition of his work, the Hussein Group of Industries contributed a sizable grant towards the establishment of the Hussein Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry. Professor Siddiqui has over a hundred and forty research papers and memoirs and about fifty patent specifications to his credit and may rightly be regarded as pioneer of R&D in Pakistan.
Siddiqui was awarded the prestigious Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance and Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his various contributions.
He passed away on April 14, 1994 in Karachi.