MOST RECENT EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER DATA
2000 -2008, Basic Sciences Division, New York University. Retired mainly due to politics (not by choice) as a Research Scientist. A Research Scientist (mainly a Research position, not a Teaching one) in most academic institutes is generally equivalent to: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/vpaa/handbook/research.html.
As is well known in our prismatic planet some people are not too comfortable with an individual who has intellectual (I like to learn good things from all, yet follow no mortal) independence. Obviously with experience in Israel, in a very good university in Europe and in quite a few top universities in the USA (including being on the Faculty the Special Force of Global Academics, The Rockefeller University) I surely deserved a Senior Position in a top University. Nevertheless, I was not perturbed and branched into my diverse hobbies after retirement rather than take up a routine job, in which I had no interest whatsoever, even if it meant making a good amount of money! Hence, I continued to be intellectually creative.
Moreover, what is my approach towards research in science? It is my opinion after a good doctoral training one is on an auto-pilot. Nevertheless, scientists often approach research in an individual manner. What I prefer doing is pick up a project which interests me and then think of solutions related to that project without consulting textbooks (I own none in science and few of others) or scientific literature. Thus in such a manner one’s ideas do not have a prior orientation, but just emerge out of one’s imagination. After this I then study the scientific literature in depth to make sure that I am not reinventing the wheel! Following this I try the idea. An example of this approach (among others) which bore fruit is a method I developed for the separation, isolation and purification of DNA. The separation, isolation and purification of DNA is a critical step in Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and related disciplines. This publication was thought about, worked on and written by me. Therefore, I am the first (though first author does not always necessarily carry weight) and the corresponding (this carries much weight) author. Thus being the first and corresponding author carries almost absolute weight:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2059440/
Also quite a few well established apparatus manufacturers (though they have misspelt my name) refer to this method:
Now shifting gears a little. Does anything shock or surprise me? Rarely if ever! The main reason is that I have the solid genes of none other than Panditani Leelawati coupled with lots of experience in Europe and the USA. Nevertheless, I was taken a little by surprise in the USA! It so happened that during my initial years in research in the USA I thought of an effective method to label amino acids with isotopes. Hence, I tried this in the lab and made it work and then generalized this approach. Following this I wrote a publication and as is the routine placed myself as the first and corresponding author. However, quite in contradiction to the usual academic values and norms my then Boss (who moreover had little understanding of this discipline) placed his own name (it was his grant) as the corresponding author, and we submitted this publication. Following this I proceeded to India due to the passing away of my father. On my return I was somewhat surprised to find my name even removed as the first author and replaced by that of a novice (though a nice chap his contribution in this publication was negligible) who was assigned to work under me to pick up this discipline! Clearly this Boss wanted to encourage him at my expense:https://pascal-francis.inist.fr/vibad/index.php?action=getRecordDetail&idt=8630435
Lawrence School Sanawar, Bharat. Obtained the Indian School Certificate conducted by the University of Cambridge 1965. Studied in Sanawar (since 1956) on the prestigious and hefty Govt. of India Scholarship for gifted children. One of the 60 children selected every year from all over Bharat for education in Bharat's elite residential schools. Was required to maintain a top-most grade (First Class) yearly for the continuation of this scholarship. During this period I was immeasurably influenced (taught me strong fundamentals) by Mr. Gore, Mr. Bhave, Mr. Mukerji, etc. Among others Sanawar during that period also had other extremely smart teachers such as Mrs. Sikand, Mr. Gupta, etc. Crazily some time before the final Cambridge exams I shifted from arts to biological sciences! Thus even though I had missed the necessary courses for a significant period yet quite a few of my teachers (not all) were convinced that I could clear the exams in biological sciences. Evidently I did not fail them! So how did I achieve this? It so happened that before I shifted to the arts section I was in the science one in the junior classes and was a very good student with strong fundamentals. Hence when I appeared in the Cambridge Final Exams in the biological sciences I did pretty good in 4 subjects though I left the biology paper technically blank! Moreover, it was mandatory to pass in 5 subjects (out of 6) and I passed only in 4, nevertheless the Cambridge University (as per their rules then) passed me as a special case since I performed pretty well in four subjects!
B.Sc. Part 1, Banaras Hindu University, India, 1967, Topped in BZC Section.
B.Sc. Final, Jammu and Kashmir University, India, 1969.
M.Sc. (Organic Chemistry) Kanpur University (P.P.N. College, founded by Pandit P.N. Chak), India, 1971. During this period I was immeasurably influenced by Dr. K.S. Bajpai.
Post Master's Fellow, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in the group of the late Prof. Ernst David Bergmann (Chairman Israel Atomic Energy Commission), 1972-73. https://www.atomicheritage.org/profile/ernst-david-bergmann
Research Assistant, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, India, 1973-74.
D.Sc. (Doctor of Science), University of Ghent, Belgium, 1977. Doctoral dissertation related to the study of biologically active substances by means of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. My Guru during this period was Prof. Dr. M. J. O. Anteunis. Prof. Anteunis derives his direct academic lineage from none other than Friedrich August Kekulé and immediate lineage from Vladimir Prelog. Also some seminal scientists on the faculty at Ghent included Kekule, Baeyer, Schrödinger, Heymans, de Hevesy, etc. Also the famous Leo Hendrik Baekeland was educated at Ghent.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UReja_i7WlA
SOME OF THE RESEARCH POSITIONS HELD
Visiting Fellow, Dept. of Pharmacology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.
Guest Investigator, Dept. of Physical Biochemistry, Rockefeller University, New York, NY:https://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-a-weil/touch-wood_b_7612002.html
Belfer Fellow and Senior Research Associate, Dept. of Genetics, Molecular Pharmacology and Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY. Visiting Scientist, Dept. of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX.
Visiting Scientist, Dept. of Cardiology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN.
University of Kanpur Light and Middleweight weightlifting champion and record holder 1969-70. In 1969 and also 1970 interestingly I had the highest total lift among all the weight categories.
I have never been a Post-Doc or a Research Associate at The New York University. This news was surely politically planted data. I joined this university as an Assistant Research Scientist. For details see below the NYU publication Nexus (winter 2002 issue):
JOSEPH ZELIG, ’02, on placing second in the student research competition at the Greater New York Dental Meeting for his paper entitled “The Prevalence of Identical Porphromonas Gingivalis Strains Among Family Members.” The project contains a novel adaptation of PCR methodology to the study of bacterial transmission. Joseph’s faculty mentors were Dr. Robert J. Boylan, associate professor of basic science and craniofacial biology; Dr. Mea A. Weinberg, clinical associate professor of periodontics; and Dr. Upinder Fotadar, assistant research scientist.
Moreover, In my opinion I deserved a more senior position to start with based on my research experience. However, clearly some politics (mainly due to my independent thinking) was involved.
TWO PEOPLE WHO HAD A GREAT IMPACT ON MY LIFE
Pandit Niranjan Nath Fotadar and Major R. Som Dutt. Pandit Fotadar was a great educationist of Kashmir and his contributions towards my life unfathomable. Moreover, below an objective view on the contribution of Pandit Niranjan Nath Fotadar towards modern education in Kashmir:http://dspaces.uok.edu.in:8080/jspui/bitstream/1/1442/3/Anayat%20Ali%20Shah.pdf
It is also impossible for me to express my indebtedness to the aristocratic (Mohiyal Brahmin) Major Somdutt M.A. (Cantab), the brilliant educationist and a colossal individual in every manner. He at considerable personal risk protected me more than once, thus I survived in Sanawar. I believe that so far I have not disappointed him (though via an unconventional approach) to any great degree! Moreover, Major Somdutt taught us all at Sanawar to take only the best of the East and West.