Gursaran Prasad Talwar received BSc (Hons) and MSc (Tech) degrees from the University of Punjab, DSc from Sorbonne working at the Institut Pasteur, Paris and DSc (hc) from Bundhelkhand University (2004). He was Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at Tubingen, Stuttgart and Munchen. He joined as Associate Professor of Biochemistry (1956) in the newly created All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and also worked there as Professor and Head till 1983. He was Head, ICMR-WHO Research and Training Centre in Immunology for India and South East Asia (1972-91). He founded and was the first Director of the National Institute of Immunology (NII) (1983-91) and also Professor of Eminence till 1994. He was Professor of Eminence and Senior Consultant, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi (1994-99) and Director Research, Talwar Research Foundation, New Delhi (2000- ). He was Visiting Professor, College de France (1991), Wellcome Professor at Johns Hopkins (1994-95), and Distinguished Professor at the Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, University of Pune (2005-10).
Academic and Research Achievements: Talwar's notable contributions include the development of an immunotherapeutic vaccine for leprosy. The vaccine is also showing efficacy as an immunotherapeutic adjunct to chemotherapy in tuberculosis and cancers. The vaccine is marketed as Immuvac by M/s Cadilla Pharma. A microbicide Praneem polyherbal tablet (PPHT) has passed through Phase III clinical trials successfully curing 92-97% of women with abnormal vaginal discharge syndrome. PPHT is licensed to M/s Panacea Biotec. He also pioneered research on immunological approaches to contraception and invented the first birth control vaccine in the world whose safety and efficacy has been tested. He has over 500 publications to his credit in reputed journals and authored/edited ten books and monographs.
Other Contributions: Talwar was Project Leader and Member Executive, International Committee on Contraception Research and Population Council, New York (1975-94), and Member, WHO Task Force on Birth Control Vaccines (1984-90), Executive Committee Member of International Network for Molecular and Cell Biology, UNCESCO, and Lifetime Managing Trustee of the Immunology Foundation.
Awards and Honours: Professor Talwar was conferred numerous awards, notably: National Award in Bio-Medicine by Ministry of Health and Family Planning (1969), Basanti Devi Amir Chand Senior Prize by ICMR (1972), National Lecturership by UGC (1975), FICCI Cash Award (1977), Sunder Lal Hora Medal by INSA (1978), JC Bose Award in Life Sciences by Hari Om Ashram Trust and UGC, Jalma Trust Prize in Leprosy by ICMR (1979), Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1979-81), Rameshwardas Birla Smarak Kosh National Award for Outstanding Research in Medical and Related Fields (1982), Ranbaxy Research Award for Biomedical Sciences (1990), Officier de la Legion d'Honneur, France (1991), Padma Bhushan (1992), Nils Lagerlof Memorial Award (1992), Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award (1994), Life Time Achievement Award by Indian Immunology Society (1998), Mastroianni-Segal Award by World Academy of Art and Science (1999), Silver Jubilee Award by International Academy of Human Reproduction (1999), Acharya JC Ghosh Memorial Award (2003), DP Burma Memorial Award by Society of Biological Chemists of India (2007), Golden Jubilee Commemoration Medal in Biological Sciences by INSA (2007), and many oration awards. He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India), National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, World Academy of Art and Science, and many other bodies. He was President of the International Society for Immunology of Reproduction (1995-98), Federation of Immunological Societies of Asia-Oceania (1992-95), Indian Academy of Vaccinology and Immunobiology (1994-98), Indian Immunology Society (1973-77), Endocrine Society of India (1978), Indian College of Allergy and Applied Immunology (1979), Association of Clinical Biochemists of India (1982), 10th International Congress of Immunology (1998), and Vice President of the World Institute of Sciences, Paris (1991).