Professor Samir K Saha wins the 2017 Carlos J. Finlay UNESCO Prize for Microbiology


Professor Samir K Saha, Dhaka Shishu Hospital (ex-graduate of Department of Microbiology, Dhaka University) and executive director of Child Health Research Foundation, has won the 2017 Carlos J. Finlay UNESCO Prize for Microbiology for his outstanding contribution to microbiology and its applications. The Prize will be presented to him on 6 November during the 39th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, which will bring together the Organization’s 195 Member States. Dr. Samir Saha will share the prize with Dr. Shahida Hasnain, a prominent microbiologist of Pakistan.

Dr. Saha was named a laureate for his lifelong dedication to generate scientific evidence in the field of clinical microbiology and thus aid institution of informed policy decisions to save lives. Throughout his career, Dr. Saha has architected sustainable models for conducting high-quality research on infectious diseases in settings with minimal resources, where they are needed the most. Besides capacity-building, he has played noteworthy roles in translating evidence gathered by his team into policies that directly impact children’s lives.

Dr. Samir Saha has broken the vicious cycle of limited resources that lead to lack of data required for evidence-based policy decisions, which lead back to limited resources. His contributions led to introductions of two important vaccines against bacteria that cause childhood meningitis, directly saving lives of thousands of children in the country. His work and successful research models in Bangladesh have begun to spill over into other developing countries.

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