Prof. Arif Siddiqui, M. Phil, Ph.D (1948-2020)

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OBITUARY
Prof. Arif Siddiqui, M. Phil, Ph.D 
(1948-2020)

Prof. Arif Siddiqui an eminent physiologist of the country passed away on May 15th 2020. May God Almighty rest the departed soul in Peace. Ameen. He was borne in 1948 at Karachi. He did his BSc (Hons) in Physiology in 1970 and MSc in Physiology (Male Reproductive Endocrinology) in 1972 from University of Karachi, Karachi. He qualified his MPhil in Reproductive Physiology from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad in 1976. He completed his doctorate (PhD) in Reproductive Neuroendocrinology from University of Glasgow, United Kingdom in 1986.

After obtaining a PhD from University of Glasgow, Dr. Siddiqui has worked for more than 30 years in the field of teaching and research in Physiology at premier institutions including Aga Khan University, Karachi, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London and at Islamic International Medical College, Riphah International University, Islamabad. He has also published widely in peer-reviewed impact factor journals, and has served on editorial boards of several journals including Advances in Physiology, where he remained as Associate Editor for over ten years. Additionally, he was a Founding Member of Pakistan Physiological Society (PPS) and South Asian Association of Physiologists (SAAP). He has served several academic bodies including International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) and Federation of Asian & Oceanian Physiological Societies (FAOPS) at various committees. Recently, he performed the role of the Founding Vice Chancellor, Barrett Hodgson University, Karachi and steered its launching from all aspects starting from accreditation by all concerned bodies, to the University’s first student intake.


Prof. Arif Siddiqui

Over the years, Dr. Siddiqui raised funding and organized over two dozen research and teaching workshops and conferences within Pakistan and in North and South America, Asian, and African countries. Currently he was serving as President of the South Asian Association of Physiologists. Through Higher Education Commission, Pakistan he, remained involved in the institutional performance review process for 22 universities in Pakistan.

Dr. Arif Siddiqui had been selected for his scholarly activities and committee(s) presentation at Aga Khan University, Karachi. He had organized innumerous educational, research and pedagogical symposia, workshops and conferences in all facets of his career. He has been a distinguished invited speaker at elegant institutions of the country of Medical and Biomedical Sciences within the country and abroad. He has been a key office bearer of national and international societies like Pakistan Physiological Society, Pakistan Neuroendocrine Group, South Asian Association of Physiologists, The Neuroendocrine Society Pakistan, Federation of Asian & Oceanian Physiological Societies, Society for Endocrinology UK, American Physiological Society USA, Pakistan Pharmacological Society, Pakistan Zoological Society, Pakistan Association of Medical Editors, International Association of Medical Science Education USA and International Neuroendocrine Federation, USA. He was a sitting President, South Asian Association of Physiologists in 2018 – 2020 till his death.

Professor Arif Siddiqui has been an awardee of British Council Overseas Research Award (1984-86), Faculty Development Award (1992-93) for research in Reproductive Neuroendocrinology, Biomedical Research Fellowship (1997-98) by the Wellcome Trust UK, Research Fellowship (2003) by Fimurare Barnhus Stiftelsen Stockholm, Service Excellence Award at Aga Khan University Karachi (2009) and Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished services for teaching and research in South Asia at VIth Biennial Conference of SAAP held at University of Lahore (2018). Besides, Dr. Siddiqui attracted several research grants to meaningful research projects in Physiological Sciences from funding agencies within the country (PHRC, PSF, HEC) or abroad (Wellcome Research Grant, IUPS). Dr. Siddiqui has published his research studies (over 60) in refereed and peer-reviewed Medical and Biomedical Journals.

Dr. Siddiqui was a well-known Physiologist, collaborator and an administrator. He was a founder member of Pakistan Physiological Society and South Asian Association of Physiologists. He has been an Executive Member of the Society and was current President of SAAP. He represented PPS and Pakistan at IUPS, FAOPS and other forums. The vacuum created by the sad demise cannot be filled for a longtime. All members of PPS and SAAP share hard time of the grieved family and pray for “Maghfirat” of our friend who has passed away to his eternal home.

Professor Siddiqui developed Diabetes Mellitus about a decade ago and was on insulin therapy. A couple of months ago, he developed Lymphoma and underwent four courses of Chemotherapy at Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad. Each time, he didn’t tolerate the cytotoxic drugs and exhibited many symptoms from retching, aches, restlessness and so forth. But, in the recent past, he developed respiratory features like short of breath and developed pneumonia. His COVID-19 tests were repeatedly negative. He was then hospitalized in Maroof International Hospital, Islamabad and was given Oxygen and later put on Ventilator. He couldn’t make out and breathed his last on Friday, 15th May 2020 at 09:30 a.m. That day falls on 21st of Ramadan Mubarak.

Dr. Siddiqui was a graceful, tall and a polite personality. He used to discuss issues with critics and logic and always gave multiple solutions to the issue(s). He was focused towards his professional pursuits and promoted the youngsters to advance in Education, Science and Research. He had the courage to call a spade a spade but with civilized coded language. He has been a teacher, supervisor and mentor to hundreds of undergraduate and postgraduate students. I was like a family member to each other since I met him for the first time in the International Conference on Neuroendocrinology at San Francisco, USA in 1986. We used to share our personal, family and professional matters often. That soul is not with us and it is only the “remembrances” of the past. We, the Physiologists, cherish the happy moments spent with him. He has left behind a widow and two daughters. One daughter is a doctor at USA with children and the second daughter is working in Heritage Archeology with her husband in Austria. May his soul rest in eternal peace (Ameen).

Maj Gen Prof. M. Aslam (Retd)
Founder VC, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Islamabad
Former VC, UHS, Lahore
Former Pro-VC, NUMS, Rawalpindi
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