Born in August 6, 1924, Prof. Shamsul Islam studied Botany and earned the following degrees: BSc (1945) and MSc (1947) at Presidency College, Calcutta, India, and a PhD (1954) from Manchester University. The latter awarded him the Currie Memorial Prize for his outstanding contribution to the cytogenetics of strawberry.
His post-doctoral activity covered research on “Embryo Culture of Jute” (1961-1962) at Cornell University, USA; on “Uptake of Radioactive Amino-Acids” (1962-1963) at the Davis campus, University of California (USA). At the University of Texas, Austin, he worked at the laboratory of Dr. Sathasivan, Department of MCDB and cloned several important genes of jute. He published the results of his research in the Journal of Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology.
He conducted intensive research work in Third World countries namely, Sindh University, Pakistan; the University of Nairobi, Kenya and the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania from 1955 until he retired in 1990 from Dhaka University, Bangladesh. Twenty students did their PhD under his solo or joint supervision in various topics on genetics and breeding of food and cash crops; chromosome breakage in mistletoe, and established several courses and laboratories in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
He is the founder editor of Sindh University Research Journal; Pakistan Journal of Botany; Science Series of Dhaka University, Dar-es-Salaam University Scientific Research Journal; and Bangladesh Journal of Botany and finally he started the Journal of Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology in 1990 which is now in its 28th year of publication.
He has published over 100 papers and two textbooks. He also wrote a book entitled, “Character Building through the Teaching of the Qur’an.” He also lectured at the University of Texas (Austin) for many years.
Prof. Shamsul Islam received the President’s Gold Medal for outstanding contribution in the field of Biology in Bangladesh.
He is a Fellow of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, past Honorary member of the American Institute of Biological Science, National Correspondent for the International Association for Plant Tissue Culture, member of the Indian and the Japanese Societies of Genetic and Plant Breeding, and past Secretary General of Bangladesh Association for Advancement of Science.
Prof. Islam is a Founding Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (1986).
Areas of Research:
- Genetics, Plant Breeding and Tissue Culture in Jute, Cotton, Rice, Millet, Peanut, Orchid and Potato .
- Islam AS, Haque MM, Haque Ml and Seraj ZI (1992). Tissue Culture and micropropagation of jute (Corchorus species) in Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry, Vol 1 9, High Tech and Micropropagation Ill. Bajaj YPS (Ed.), Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg pp. 505-526.
- Seraj Z, Sarker AF and Islam AS (1992). Plant regeneration in jute species (C. capsularis) and its possible relationship with glyoxalase-l. Plant Cell Rep. 12:29-33.
- Haque Ml, Haque MM and Islam AS (1988). Confirmation of Corchorus olitorius X C. capsularis hybrids through tissue culture and biochemical tests. Bangladesh J. Hot. 17:71-79.
- Islam AS, Shah Newaz and Haque M (1973). Origin of spontaneous amphidiploid in the F3 progeny of the cross, Corchorus olitorius X C. depressus. Bangladesh J. Bot. 2(1)41-50.
- Islam AS and Haque M (1972). A natural species hybrid of jute and its possible use in the evolution of the desired plant types. SABRAO Newsletter 4(1):7-16.
- Islam AS and Rashid A (1960). First successful hybridization between the two jute yielding species, Corchorus olitorius (Tossa) X C. capsularis (White). Nature 185:258-259.