Born on 1st January 1922, Prof. Burney got his MBBS (Punjab) in 1948, MCPath (London) in 1965, FCPS (Pakistan) in 1972, and FRCPath (London) in 1977.
He started his career as a virologist in the Pakistan Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, where he established the first Department of Virology in 1959.
Of the very significant contributions made by Dr Burney, were: the identification of a focus of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Baltistan in 1962, and the discovery of a new species of Phlebotomus named after him as P-Burneyii-specimen. This is kept in the British museum of natural sciences. He did original work, isolating the Chlamydia Trachomatis and viruses EV-70 and Coxsackie-21 from cases of acute haemorrhagic conjuctivitis. He has worked on viral causes of acute respiratory illness (ARI) and diarrhoeas of children.
In 1976, he isolated the Congo virus from human cases of viral haemorrhagic fever in a nosocomial outbreak in Rawalpindi General Hospital. He has the distinction of establishing Measles and HDC Rabies vaccine production laboratories, the first such venture in the developing world.
Prof. Burney published more than 80 research papers as well 7 books and /or monographs.
Prof. Burney is an elected Fellow of the Islamic Academy of Sciences (1994), Fellow of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (1983), and Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (Pakistan). He is Emeritus Professor at he the Army Medical College.
He is the awardee of the Hilal-i-Imtiaz (1982), and the WHO “Shousha Award” (1984).