Prem Narain Saxena received DSc (1978) from Aligarh Muslim University. He worked as Chairman/Head, Pharmacology Department, JN Medical College; Director, Indigenous Drugs Research Unit; ICMR Emeritus Medical Scientist (1987-90); and Professor Emeritus (1991- ), Pharmacology Department , all at Aligarh Muslim University.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Saxena co-discovered the tranquillizer and hypnotic activity in 2,3-disubstituted quinazolones, one of which is marketed as Methaquolone/Melsedin and enters the composition of Mandrax. He contributed to the ionic theory which holds that the constancy of body temperature in homeotherms depends upon the balance of sodium and calcium ions in the hypothalamus, an excess of sodium ions raising and that of calcium lowering the set-point. He showed that pyrogens act by removing calcium ions allowing sodium ions to produce fever. He studied the role of prostaglandins in fever production. Along with coworkers, he devised an experimental method for studying antifilarial activity of drugs. He authored three books and co-authored one book.
Other Contributions: Saxena established the Department of Pharmacology at JN Medical College and served as its Founder Professor and Chairman. He was Member of the International Brain Research Organization and also on the Editorial Board of Indian Journal of Pharmacology.
Awards and Honours: Dr Saxena was awarded BN Ghosh Memorial Lectureship and Gold Medal by the University of Calcutta (1981). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Neurosciences (President, 1984), National Academy of Medical Sciences (India), Allahabad and International Medical Sciences Academy; Commonwealth Medical Fellow (1969-70); and Wellcome Trust Medical Fellow (1970-71).