ANKARA, 15 December 2015: During an impressive ceremony held at the Presidency in Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conferred the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) Inaugural International Award for 2015 in the Health and Life Sciences category to Pakistan’s leading physician, Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmad Bhutta.

A large number of Turkish scientists and researchers, including young scientists, received awards at the ceremony, which was also attended by the Speaker of Turkish Parliament, Chief of Turkish General Staff, Head of the Constitutional Court, Cabinet Ministers, President of Higher Education Council (YOK), and Head of Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA). Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood was also present.

Other scientists who received awards from President Erdogan included Niyazi Serdar Sariçiftçi of Linz Johannes Kepler University (Austria) in the category of Basic and Engineering Sciences and Mehmet Genç of Istanbul Şehir University in the category of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta has had a distinguished career and is recognized as a leading voice for integrated maternal and new born and child health globally. Dr Bhutta is the founding Director of the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, and Robert Harding Inaugural Chair in Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.

Dr. Bhutta’s research interests include community-based perinatal care, interaction of nutrition and infections, micronutrient malnutrition, and maternal and child health policy issues. He has published three books, 40 book chapters, and over 225 indexed publications to date. Having served in myraid international positions, Dr. Bhutta has also been a recipient of a large number of national and international awards.

In his comments on the occasion, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood stated that the TÜBA award was an acknowledgement of Dr. Bhutta’s outstanding achievements in health and life sciences, a recognition of Pakistan’s rich contributions to this field, and a strong catalyst for closer collaboration between Pakistan and Turkey in the field of sciences in the years to come.

Notably, the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) signed an agreement of cooperation with Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) in Islamabad in February 2015 on the occasion of 4th Session of High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), in the presence of Pime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Ahmet Davutoğlu.