Bashir Ahmad obtained his PhD degree from the University of London, UK. His area of specialization was biochemistry. He was Professor of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director, Institute of Chemistry, Panjab University, Lahore.
Academic and Research Achievements: A leading biochemist of India and later of Pakistan, Ahmad made contributions in the fields of vitamins, hormones, carotene and basal human metabolism. Ahmad and his associates developed processed products from amla powder, amla preservative, juice and vitamin C syrup. He suggested the use of co-sulphonated castor oil to replace Turkey red oil for the growing needs of Pakistan's textile industry. The relationship between vitamin A reserves in human beings with the nutrition level was also studied. The Indian labour class had very low vitamin A reserves as compared to better fed middle class. Studies were carried out to understand the calcification and tissue structure of the developing teeth on the basis of calcium and phosphorus supplements in diet of (albino) rats. Calcium , phosphorus and phytin content of the diet of the people of Kangra Valley (Himachal Pradesh), a region having occurrence of rickets and calcium deficiency, showed that the calcium intake was low while the phosporus intake was high. Determination of inorganic phosphorus in red blood cells, blood plasma and whole blood of normal adult males, females and children of both sexes revealed that the major portion of phosphorus was contained in blood plasma. It was true, in general, even for patients of pyrexia, liver diseases, anemia, bacillary dysentry, osteomalacia, etc. However, inorganic phosphorus in blood plasma was abnormally high in anemic cases and rather low for cases of osteomalacia.
Other Contributions: Ahmad was instrumental in putting Pakistan on the scientific map of the world by founding many learned and professional bodies.
Awards and Honours: Ahmad was a Fellow of Royal Institute of Chemistry (London); Foundation Fellow of Pakistan Academy of Sciences; and Member of Biochemical Society (London), Indian Chemical Society, Society of Biological Chemists (India), Pakistan Association for the Advancement of Science (General President, 1953), Indian Pharmaceutical Congress (President, 1942), and President, Physiology Section, Indian Science Congress (1948).