Bhudev Chandra Das obtained his BSc (Hons) and BEd (Sc) from Regional Colleges of Education (now Regional Institute of Education) of NCERT at Bhubaneshwar. He did his MSc (Zoology) and PhD (1982) (radiation genetics) under the guidance of Professor T Sharma, FNA, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi where he published his first paper in Nature. He joined, as Research Officer at the Cytology Research Centre (ICMR), New Delhi, now Institute of Cytology & Preventive Oncology (ICPO), Noida. In 1986, Das joined as a Guest Scientist to work on human papillomavirus and cervical cancer with Professor Harald zur Hausen, then Director of German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) Heidelberg, Germany. On returning from DKFZ, Heidelberg (1988), he stayed back at ICPO. In 2008, Dr Das retired as Chief of Division of Molecular Oncology and Director of Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICMR) at Noida and Immediately joined as Professor of Biomedical Science at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Center for Biomedical Research (ACBR), University of Delhi (North Campus) where he became Director in 2010.
Academic and Research Achievements: While at ICPO, Das created a new Division of Molecular Oncology at Maulana Azad Medical College Campus, New Delhi to continue his work on molecular biology of human papillomavirus and cervical cancer, breast, oral and other cancers. He pioneered the work on HPV in India and established prevalence of HPV in cervical cancer as one of the highest in the world. He showed that highly oncogenic HPV type 16 was exclusively prevalent (~90%) in India. He carried out national mapping of HPV and showed that HPV infection and age of consummation of marriage below 18 years increase the risk of cervical cancer by 22 fold. Also pregnancy was shown to be a high risk factor of HPV infection and cervical cancer increases as a function of number of pregnancy a woman carried. Several new, cost effective molecular diagnostic methods including most simple dry 'Paper Smear' technique have been developed by him for early detection and population screening of cervical cancer. A simple urine testing was developed for non-invasive early screening of HPV infection and monitoring HPV vaccine programme. A ngovel anti-HPV herbal compound Curcumin and Praneem have been discovered by Dr Das and these compounds have been accepted by the DBT and ICMR for multicentric national clinical trial. Presently, Das and his group is engaged in developing a second generation novel HPV DNA vaccine after identifying India-specific HPV 16/18 novel variants. His other areas of research interest at present are transcriptional regulation of viral oncogene expression, miRNA expression and cancer stem cell regulation. Dr Das has published more than 165 research papers in high impact journals including Nature and Lancet; has two US patents, and mentored 21 PhD and 72 MD/MS/DM/DNB students.
Other Contribution: As first Director of ICPO, Das transformed the Institute to a centre of excellence in molecular and preventive oncology. He is the pioneer of HPV research in India and selected as an advisor from South East (SE) Asian region for Global HPV vaccine programme. His laboratory has been recognized as National as well as WHO Regional Referral Centre for SE Asia for development of International Standards for HPV Diagnostics and HPV Vaccine programme. He was also the Principal Investigator for clinical trial of Merck's HPV Vaccine Gardasil in India. He was elected as President of Indian Association for Cancer Research (IACR) from 2006-2009. He designed several teaching and training programmes in the Institute for human resource development.
On joining ACBR, University of Delhi, Dr. Das took up teaching M.Sc. Biomedical Science students, brought out several changes both in infrastructure and academic curriculum, introduced Molecular Oncology and Clinical Research as special papers. Recently, he is trying to introduce a novel M.D.-Ph.D. program in the University of Delhi in collaboration with its affiliated Medical College and associated hospitals in Delhi.
Dr Das is a Member of Editorial Board/Associate editor and reviewer of several national and international journals.
Awards and Honours: Dr Das is the recipient of Dr BC Roy National Award of Medical Council of India; and Sandoz Oration Award of ICMR. He has also received Ranbaxy Research Award; ICMR's Dr PN Wahi Award; Ramniklal J Kinarivala Cancer Research Award of Gujarat Cancer Research Institute, Ahmedabad, Dr Pran Nath Chhuttani Oration Award of National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, American-Asian Scientists in Cancer Research (SAASCR) Award, USA and FICCI Award. Recently, he has been honoured with prestigious JC Bose National Fellowship of DST. He is a Fellow of International Union Against Cancer (UICC), Geneva; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; and Indian Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi