Distinguished Researcher Award - Spring 2002
The Distinguished Researcher Award recognizes a faculty member’s contribution to scholarship through the creation, expansion and critique of knowledge. The University has selected Ali H. Rajput, Professor in the Division of Neurology, College of Medicine as the Spring 2002 recipient of this award.
Professor Rajput earned Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees (1958) at the University of Sind, Pakistan and a Master of Science degree (1966) in neurology at the University of Michigan. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1966.
With the exception of one year’s sabbatical at the Mayo Clinic, he has spent his 35-year career at the University of Saskatchewan. He served as head of the Division of Neurology from 1985 to 2001. He is currently an associate member of the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology.
Professor Rajput is one of the world’s foremost researchers on Parkinson’s disease. He has done substantial research on levodopa, the first effective long-term treatment for Parkinson’s disease. His work has settled controversy about possible toxic side effects of the drug, enabling physicians to prescribe levodopa without hesitation to patients who would benefit.
Professor Rajput’s studies on levodopa therapy have changed standard practices in neurology. He has found that the drug is not toxic to humans and that timely levodopa administration prolongs survival in Parkinson’s disease patients. Patients now receive lower, more beneficial doses of levodopa. He has also done extensive study of clinical diagnosis in Parkinsonism.
He has recently discovered a compound in the brains of Parkinson’s patients that could be related to the cause of the disease, making prevention of Parkinson’s a possibility. He has also done significant clinical research on Alzheimer’s pathology that has potential applications for helping both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.
He has balanced clinical practice with teaching, administrative duties and research, acting as a mentor and collaborator to faculty, residents and students throughout his career.
Professor Rajput has been honoured with many awards including the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1993, the Order of Canada (Officer) in 1997, and the Morton Schulman Award from the Parkinson Society of Canada in 2001.
He has served on national and international committees, and has published numerous book chapters, articles and papers. He is a reviewer for many professional journals and granting agencies. He is also in demand as a consultant, guest lecturer, and media resource on Parkinson’s disease and research.
Professor Rajput has made important discoveries in neurology and has played a leading role in his field, provincially, nationally and internationally. He is a worthy recipient of this award.