Prof. Palpu Pushpangadan, presently the Director General of Amity Institute for Herbal & Biotech Products Development (AIHBPD), an institute established by Ritnand Balved Education Foundation at Thiruvananthapurm. Prior to the present assignment Prof.Pushpangadan served as Director, National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) from Feb 1999 to Feb 2006; Director, Tropical Botanic Garden & Research Institute (TBGRI) from Nov 1990 Feb 1999. He also held additional charges as Director of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) from 18.4.94 to 15.12.94 and Central Institute for Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) from 31.12.2000 to 10.05.2001. Dr. Pushpangadan is a multidisciplinary scientist having over 43 years experience. He has carried out original research in Cytogenetics & Plant Breeding, Biotechnology, Molecular Taxonomy, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, Ethnobiology, Ethnopharmacology, Bioprospecting and natural product development etc. He has published over 525 original research papers (224 in peer reviewed journals, 83 chapters in books &
218 in proceedings of scientific seminars/symposia) in national and
international journals and proceedings, authored and edited 26 books & 36
During the beginning of his career, Dr. Pushpangadan carried extensive and intensive cytogenetical and breeding investigation in medicinal and aromatic plants with special reference to Ocimum sp., Mentha sp., Cymbopogon and Pyrethrum sp. He has developed novel high yielding varieties in these species of which special mention may be made on the ‘Clocimum’ and ‘Cymbopogon’ hybrids. Dr. Pushpangadan and his team carried out bioprospecting work leading to interesting pharmaceutical discoveries through an integrated research that combined the wisdom of the traditional systems of medicines and the modern scientific knowledge. He and his team have successfully isolated potential biodynamic compounds and developed scientifically validated and standardized herbal drugs / products. He has about 232 patents (of 95 patents- 61 US patents & 65
European, French, German, Canadian and Japan patents awarded and rest in India) granted and 14 patents
filed in India. 20 of his patented products are now commercially produced and globally marketed. Dr. Pushpangadan brought a unique distinction to India as the first in developing a benefit-sharing model that implemented the Article 8(j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Prof.. Pushpangadan served/serving as consultant to WHO, DANIDA, UNESCO, UNDP, UNEP, NAM S&T Centre, for developing countries, Proctor & Gamble, Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakal, and Godfray Philip and UN-CBD.
Prof. Pushpangadan functioned as team leader of many official scientific delegations on behalf of Govt. of India / CSIR to sign bilateral agreements on S&T collaboration to present country papers on subjects like Biodiversity, Biotechnology, Herbal Technology, Traditional Medicine and Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, CBD, WTO and on Benefit sharing .
Prof. Pushpangadan has been appointed as the official expert for Ministry of Environment & Forest, GOI and Ministry of Commerce, GOI on matters related CBD, WTO, IPR and Traditional Knowledge and accordingly he participated in the UN-CBD meeting held at Bangkok from March 14-18, 2005.
With the approval of Govt. of India / CSIR Prof. Pushpangadan was engaged by Govt. of South Africa as the Chairman of an International Panel of experts to review the 5 year research performance of South African research institutions / universities funded by the National Science Foundation and Deptt. of Science & Technology, South Africa in March 2004 at Pretoria.
48 students received Ph.D./MD under his guidance and 5 are currently registered for Ph.D./M.D. programme in different universities in India and abroad.
Prof. Pushpangadan has received many national and international medals/awards including the prestigious UNEP Borlaug Award in 1998 and the UN-Equator Initiative Award-2002 at World Summit at Johannesburg, South Africa in September 2002. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (FNASc), Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (FNAASc) and also Fellow of four other Scientific Bodies in India. He is the President of National Society of Ethnopharmacology. He also served as the President of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology (1998-2001), International Society of Environmental botanist and environmental botanist (April 1999 to Jan 2006). He also served as Vice-President/Chairman/Vice Chairman/Member of many National and International scientific bodies/committees. He has visited over 65 countries in various capacities as leader of scientific delegation/scientific expert or to participate in International seminars/symposia or to chair the International Expert Panel to review research programmes.