Ananda S. Prasad
Ananda S. Prasad was born in Buxar, a small town in the state of Bihar, India. After graduation from high school, he joined Patna Science College, Patna University where he was top student in chemistry and received B.Sc degree with honors in mathematics. Prasad entered the Patna Medial College in Bihar, graduating there in 1951 with high distinction in physiology.
In 1952 Prasad went to St. Paul’s Hospital, Dallas, Texas, for residency training in pathology, accompanied by his wife, who sought further training in obstetrics and gynecology. Contrary to the route taken by his classmates, Ananda Prasad decided not to seek Membership in the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP), England, and looked for additional training in the USA. He was accepted by Dr. C.J. Watson, a well known outstanding Professor of Medicine, for training in internal medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He was trained at Minnesota to be a clinical scientist with research interests in calcium and magnesium metabolism. Thus began a lifelong interest in the metabolism of various elements, including zinc.
Prasad then went to Iran at the invitation of Hobart A. Reimann, who had preceded Dr. Watson as Chief of Medicine in Minnesota, and was Chief of Medicine at the Nemazee Hospital of Pahlevi University in Shiraz, Iran. He was a personal friend of the Shah of Iran. Prasad left Iran in January 1961 and joined the department of Biochemistry and Medicine of Vanderbilt University under Dr. William J. Darby. Although Dr. Darby wanted Prasad to study porphyrin metabolism in Pellagra in Egypt, Prasad shared with Darby his speculation that zinc deficiency in the Middle East was prevalent and was responsible for widespread growth retardation. Darby approved plans to investigate zinc metabolism in growth-retarded subjects and Prasad was able to join the U.S. Naval Medical Research unit No.3 (NAMRU-3), in Egypt. Studies in Egypt showed that the growth retardation and gonadal hypofunction in these subjects were related to zinc deficiency. The anaemia was due to iron deficiency and responded to oral iron treatment.
Ananda S. Prasad, M.D., Ph.D., has been at the WSU School of Medicine since 1963, when he took a position as director of the Division of Hematology. Dr. Prasad was appointed a Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology- Oncology, in 2000.
Ananda Prasad has published over 300 papers and fifteen books. He was founding editor of two journals, American Journal of Hematology and Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine. Prasad has received much recognition for his contributions. These include AMA Goldberger Award, American College of Physicians Award for outstanding work in science as related to Medicine, Medal of Honor from Mayor of Lyon, France, First Raulin Award for pioneering research in zinc from International Society for Trace Elements Research in Humans (ISTERH), Robert H. Herman Award from American Society of Clinical Nutrition, Mastership from the American College of Physicians, inducted in the Heritage Hall of Fame, International Institute Foundation, Detroit, Michigan and Asian Academy Hall of Distinction Award, Washington, DC. Most importantly Prasad received the 2010 Prince Mahidol Award from Bangkok.