Obtained a BSc (Hons., First Class) in Biochemistry in 1967 and a MSc (First Class) in Biochemistry in 1968 from Dhaka University. He then did a PhD in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry in 1973 from the University of Toronto followed by two years post-doctoral training. He obtained excellence awards and scholarships throughout his academic studies.
Areas of Expertise: All aspects of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering including Nucleic Acid and Protein Biochemistry; Molecular Biology; Recombinant DNA Technology (including development of expression vectors and large-scale production Fermentation Technology; Structural Biology; Vaccine Development; Discovery and Rational Design of Drugs.
Research Experience and Achievements: Dr. Azad has 30 years of varied research experience in theoretical and applied biotechnology and in the biomedical applications of biochemistry and molecular biology. This has resulted in an extensive list of publications and numerous invited talks at various international conferences. The research projects he has been involved with include the role of ribosomal RNAs in protein synthesis, yeast and plant molecular genetics, genetic improvement of cheese starter strains, and molecular studies of viruses such as influenza virus and development has been recognised by the award of the CSIRO Chairman’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Achievement in 1997. Work in his laboratory on HIV pathogenesis has resulted in an understanding of the role of the viral accessory proteins in progression to AIDS and the development of novel therapeutics that could prevent the death of bystander immune cells.
Publications and Patents: Over 120 Publication in peer reviewed international journals and 7 Patent Applications of which 5 have already been granted.
Research Management: Dr. Azad had a very strong record of research leadership and management. He played a major role in the introduction recombinant DNA technology and biotechnology to the Parkville laboratory of the CSIRO, and in infrastructure development, training of existing staff and recruitment of key staff in the new technology area. He has been Project Leader on a number of new initiatives within the CSIRO and BRI, and a Principal Investigator on various externally funded projects. As Program Manager and Head of Department his role has been to provide guidance and assistance to project leaders and junior staff. His tow latest research activities (IBDV vaccine and HIV drug development) has involved scientific direction of very large multidisciplinary research teams and his role has been to report to and liase with the institutional administration, commercial partners and government regulatory bodies. One of his major roles as a research manager has been the procurement of external funds, an activity in which he has been very successful. His two latest research projects have attracted external funds in excess of $10 million.
Prof. Azad was elected a Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences in 2000.