STAFF REPORT IBD: Dr Yusuf Zafar, who is the Director General agriculture and biotechnology at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, has been declared Scientist of the Year-2012 for his pioneering work in the cotton biotechnology sector.
Zafar has over 110 scientific papers to his name. According to ICAC, “in cotton virology his group covers nearly 90 per cent of the global published literature.”
The Faisalabad-based scientist played a key role in bringing together the worlds major cotton groups, including Australia, China, UK and USA, for the purpose of conducting joint research.
Heading the National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering in Faisalabad, Zafar and his team have contributed and helped produce nearly 100 M.Phil and 30 Ph.D Pakistan-based students, focusing on various aspects of research and development in cotton. He has, meanwhile, remained in the frontline to establish Biosafety Protocols, Plant Breeder Rights, Intellectual Property Rights/Patents and ISO certification in Pakistan.
In 2001, the PAEC awarded him the Best Scientist of the Year Award. The President of Pakistan awarded him Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Distinction) in 2004, the highest recognition for a researcher.
In other honours, Zafar has also won the Rockefeller Foundation and UNESCO Research Awards on Agri-Biotechnology, and is member of the USDA Cochran Fellow on Agriculture Biotechnology.

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