Dr. Shashi Bala SINGH
Dr. Shashi Bala Singh, formerly the founder Director, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Reseach (NIPER), Hyderabad (2018-2023), superannuated as Distinguished Scientist and Director General (Life Sciences) of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), New Delhi in 2018.
She has the distinction of serving as the Director of Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), Leh and Director, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) Delhi. She is an alumnus of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) from where she obtained her MSc and Ph.D. degree in Human Physiology with Dr. B.K. Anand Gold Medal for best graduating student. She obtained her D.Sc. from Bharathiar University, Coimbatore.
She has been instrumental in guiding studies on understanding adaptation, performance enhancement and rapid acclimatization using intermittent hypoxia. She has worked extensively in the area of High Altitude physiology and made remarkable contributions in improving the quality of life of the soldiers deployed at high altitudes. She has identified novel mechanisms of hypophagia and cognitive impairment and several signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms underlying morbidities associated with high altitude hypoxia. She worked on various behavioral, biochemical and electrophysiological studies which proved that impairment in memory function is mainly due to the oxidative stress leading to neuro-degeneration in brain structures (hippocampus, cortex and striatum) involved in learning and memory. She also worked on development of supplements with antioxidant and cholinomimetic drugs to improve high altitude induced impairment in cognitive functions.
Using translational research for improving life of troops at high altitude, her endeavors have made the life of troops comfortable in the most difficult-to-inhabit terrains. During her tenure as Director, DIHAR at Leh, she created an innovative agricultural eco-system that enabled the socio-economic development of Ladakh via science and technology. Her efforts resulted in increased fresh food productivity through introduction of new varieties, establishment of greater infrastructure and intensification of lab-to-land programme. Under her guidance, various technologies/products like oxygen-enrichment facilities, Sourja (solar shelter), Bukhari, Alocal (for frost-bite) were improvised. All these helped in modulating the microclimate of soldiers, thus, improving habitability in difficult terrains. She has been instrumental in customizing various yoga packages for high altitude and hot desert conditions.
For her significant contribution to Defence technologies, Dr Singh received many awards and honors including DRDO’s ‘Scientist of the Year’ award from Hon’ble Prime Minister, Macro innovation foundation Award, CSIR’s Innovation and Technology spin off award. She was also a recipient of Prof US Srivastava memorial Lecture Award for outstanding contribution from National Academy of Sciences (NASI). Under her able leadership, DIHAR & DIPAS had been awarded with Titanium Trophy by Hon’ble PM for the best Science Laboratories of DRDO. She is also an elected Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences (FNASc) and Indian Academy of Neurosciences (FIAN) and Member of Executive Council of Federation of Asian Oceanian Physiological Societies (FAOPS). She was also a member of DRDO’s Inter-Academy panel on vision document on “Women in Science in India” , and “Innovation Scholars In-Residence” Program at Rashtrapati Bhavan as well as Project review committee of National Innovation Foundation (NIF). Bharat Nirman Organisation conferred on her Bharat Nirman Talented Ladies Award for the outstanding contribution made in field of Life Sciences. She has been a member of the Executive council of Federation of Asian Oceanian Physiological Societies (FAOPS) And the recipient of a number of oration and Lab level technology awards.
She has more than 200 publications in national and international journals. She has been successful in commercialization and transfer of several of her technologies and has 22 patents to her credit. Technology transfers of 10 products have been given to industries and are under commercial production. She has supervised 25 Ph.D. students. She was the Editor of ‘Journal of Biomedicine’ (Physiology section) and ‘Annals of Neuroscience’.
During her tenure as founder Director of NIPER, Hyderabad, the institute attained the first rank in India in 2023 in Pharmacy category under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) declared by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.