Asha Mathur completed her MBBS degree (1965) from Agra Medical College and then received Diploma in Clinical Pathology (1966) and MD degree (1969) in Pathology & Bacteriology from King Georges’ Medical College (KGMC), Lucknow. In the same year, she joined the Department as Lecturer in Virology. In 1970, she took training in basic techniques in virology at National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and later worked on respiratory viruses with Dr DAJ Tyrrell at Common Cold Unit, Salisbury, UK, as a WHO Fellow (1971). Subsequently, she worked with Professor Gardner at New Castle Upon, Tyne, UK (1985), to deduce new techniques for rapid diagnosis of viruses. After coming back to India, she joined the same Department as Head of the Department of Virology, KGMC (1998). Dr Mathur continued to work as Professor in the Department of Virology (1998-2000) and then as Emeritus Scientist at Central Drug Research Institute till 2003. Presently, she is the Professor and Head of General Pathology and Microbiology at Saraswati Dental and Medical College, Lucknow.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Mathur initiated research programmes on respiratory viruses at KGMC, Lucknow. She was able to steer the working capability of her laboratory to provide diagnostic and investigative assistance to wide range of viral diseases, such as respiratory viruses, Japanese encephalitis, congenital viral infections, poliomyelitis, conjunctivitis and AIDS. She made significant contributions on various aspects of Japanese encephalitis, such as host immune response, virus persistence and latency, transplacental transmission of virus in humans as well as in experimental mouse model. Dr Mathur was the first to develop immunofluoroscence technique for rapid diagnosis of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection in patients. Her major contributions are on cytokine-based pathogenesis of JEV. She helped in the development of the IgM capture ELISA kit for the diagnosis of JE (JEV-Chex). She has published over 170 research articles and mentored about 15 PhD and more than 35 MD students.
Other Contributions: Professor Mathur has started the AIDS surveillance centre in UP. She has set up the Department of General Pathology and Microbiology in Saraswati Dental College, Lucknow and developed the research facilities for the various dental ailments. She has been the Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi (1999-2002); and Member, Professional Women’s Advisory Board of International Who’s Who of Professional & Business Women. Professor Mathur has been included as the Pathfinder in National Science Centre, New Delhi.
Awards and Honours: Professor Mathur is the recipient of first Senior National Women Bio-scientist Award by DBT (1999) and Dr Om Prakash Bhasin Award (1994). She is a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1989), National Academy of Medical Sciences (India) (1992), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1993) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Italy (2001).