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Expert Profile

Dr Pradeep Seth

Professor of Virology and Head, Department of Microbiology,
and In-charge HIV/AIDS Reference Centre (NACO),
A.I.I.M.S., New Delhi

Research specialisation: Virology Research Experience and Areas of Special Interest:
Dr Seth has been working in the field of Virology since 1968. From 1970 to 1990, he worked on the role of viruses, particularly herpes simplex virus type 2 and Human papilloma viruses in the aetiopathogenesis of uterine cervical cancer in humans. In 1986, the Government of India identified his laboratory as a National HIV/AIDS Reference Centre. In 1987, he and his co-authors were the first ones in India to isolate HIV-1 from Indian patients infected with HIV. In the decade of 1990 several landmarks were achieved by their Reference Centre: development of indigenous ELISA kit for the detection of HIV-1 and 2 antibodies in infected individuals; identification of HIV-1 subtypes circulating in India. Presently his laboratory has been working on the development of Indian HIV-1 subtype C DNA vaccine. It is under preclinical trials in non-human primates for its efficacy.
In addition, they have been working on the evolution of Dengue viruses in Southeast Asia, particularly India. In 1996, North India (Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh) experienced a devastating epidemic of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) with high morbidity and mortality. In Delhi alone more than 10,000 individuals sought treatment in various hospitals of Delhi and 423 died. They identified the virus as Dengue type 2 genotype IV which replaced the existent Dengue type 2 genotype V strain circulating in the population since 1957. They also found that the current genotype IV strain was similar to the Dengue type 2 strain which had resulted in the DHF epidemics in the Seychelles (1977), Sri Lanka (1982), Somalia (1984), Pakistan (1994), Torres Straits (1996) and the Cook Islands (1997).
He has been able to introduce the Polymerase Chain Reaction as a rapid assay for the diagnosis of tuberculosis particularly extrapulmonary tuberculosis and HIV infection in newborns. Both these assays havebeen developed keeping in mind the Indian strains of the causative microorganisms, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and HIV.
Academic Honours/Awards:
  • Raja Ravi Sher Singh of Kalsia Memorial Award of the Indian Council of Medical Research for Cancer Research on "Herpes simplex virus and cancer cervix" for the year 1978.
  • Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr. S. Rangachari Research Endowment Executive Committee Award of the Association of Surgeons of India on "Immunological aspects of breast cancer" for the year 1984.
  • Dr. J.B. Srivastava Oration Award of the Indian Council of Medical Research for research in the field of virology for the year 1985.
  • Dr. Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research for original contribution in the field of Medical Sciences for the year 1986.
  • Fogarty International Fellowship of the National Institutes of Health, U.S.A. in the special programme on AIDS from May 1st 1990 to June 30, 1991.
  • Dr. S.S. Aggarwal oration award of the Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists for contribution in the field of Microbiology for the year 1995.
  • Lok Sewa Award of the Chamber of Indian Trade and Industry for contribution in Medical Sciences for the year 1997.
  • Nominated member of the New York Academy of Sciences since 1980.
  • Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences.
  • President, Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists(1996-1997). Publications: 108 original papers including 8 review articles in international and national journals. Two chapters in books and two laboratory manuals.
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