HG Sen received GVSc (1948) from Bengal Veterinary College, Kolkata, BSc (1950) from University of Calcutta, and MS (Parasitology) (1958) and PhD (Parasitology) (1960) degrees from University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. He was Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania, USA (1960-62); Senior Scientist, Hindustan Ciba Geigy Research Centre, Mumbai (1962-81); Technical Advisor, Research & Development, Organon (India) Ltd, Kolkata (1981-83); Visiting Scientist, IICB, Jadavpur (1983-85); Chief of R&D, Dey’s Medical Laboratory, Kolkata (1985-90); Consultant, WHO (1994-96); Consultant, Bose Institute, Kolkata (1996-98); Principal Investigator, India Project on Immunoprophylaxis of Hookworms; and Adjunct Professor, Department of Microbiology and Tropical Medicine, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC (2001- ).
Academic and Research Achievements: While at the University of Pennsylvania, he studied the metabolic pathways of Ascaris suum and determined the role of mitochondria in the phosphorylation of the parasite. During his stay at Hindustan Ciba Geigy Research Centre, he developed a new hamster-hookworm model, a very valuable experimental tool for the study of hookworm diseases in the laboratory previously unknown in medical history. The hamster being an abnormal host was made susceptible to the human hookworm, Necator americanus under the influence of corticosteroid through serial passages. The human hookworm being highly host specific, no laboratory animal was found suitable despite efforts made in UK, USA, Japan and elsewhere. Using this new hamster-hookworm model, two board spectrum antihelmintic drugs were discovered and both were found highly effective in man in single doses without adverse side effects. He further studied the effect of irradiated larvae (pathogen) in hamsters and found the larvae immunogenic. Hamsters infected with gamma irradiated larvae became resistant to challenge infection. Further development of the vaccine could not be initiated as he moved to Kolkata and joined Organon (India) Ltd as Technical Advisor, R&D. His work on hamster-hookworm model was confirmed on N. americanus of Nigerian origin in the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London. The hamster adapted strain is being maintained widely.
Awards and Honours: Professor Sen won the Shambhu Nath De Memorial Lecture Award (2005).