PK Seth obtained BSc and MSc (Biochemistry) from Lucknow University, pursued his research in the field of 'biochemical pharmacology' at KG Medical College, Lucknow and obtained PhD in 1967. He then served Chicago Medical School, Chicago, USA as Research Associate and Assistant Professor (1967-71). Thereafter, he joined Industrial Toxicology Research Centre (ITRC), Lucknow as Senior Scientist (1971) and served as its Director (1997-2003). He is an Adjunct Professor, Department of Elementology and Toxicology, Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi; and Honorary Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Lucknow University.
Academic and Research Achievements: Seth made notable contributions to molecular biology and biotechnology related to health sciences, particularly understanding the effect of chemicals and drugs on the nervous system. He introduced concept of mechanistic toxicology for assessing risk to toxic substances and the need to identify the target molecules to serve as markers of exposure and prediction of adverse effects of chemicals. His studies led to understanding of the mechanisms of toxicity (monomers like acrylamide, metals like manganese and mercury and pesticides like endosulfan and lindane). His later studies demonstrated expression of cytochrome P450 isoenzymes in mammalian lymphocytes and opened up new avenues for identifying individuals susceptible to chemicals. He developed a receptor-binding screen to identify the neuronal circuits affected by neurotoxicants which was converted into a 'high throughput screen'. He has published over 240 research papers, contributed over 50 review articles/book chapters and reports and held 10 patents. More than 30 PhD students worked under his supervision.
Other Contributions: Dr Seth planned and built up a state-of-the-art GLP Compliant Animal House at ITRC for rodents. He was a member of several committees of ICMR, DRDO, DST, DBT, MOEF, etc. and also of High Power Committee for Management of Hazardous Waste constituted by Supreme Court, International Brain Research Organization, and General Secretary and Council Member of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad. He chaired the first Task Force on Toxicogenomics set up by CSIR.
Awards and Honours: Dr Seth is recipient of Raj Kristo Dutt Memorial Lecture Award of Indian Science Congress (2002); Vigyan Gaurav Samman (2004) of Government of Uttar Pradesh; Professor BK Bachhawat Life Time Achievement Award of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (2006); Oration Award of Association of Clinical Biochemists of India (2006); Norman Dill Award of Society of Biosciences; and PC Ray Memorial Award of Indian Science Congress (2007). He is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; National Academy of Medical Sciences, India; Indian Academy of Neurosciences (Founder Fellow and Past President); and Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum. He has been President of the Indian Academy of Neurosciences, the Society of Toxicology (India), Environmental Mutagen Society of India, and is currently President of Indian Network for Soil Contamination Research and Uttar Pradesh Association for Science and Technology Advancement.