Dhaka 21st December, ’14. With a heavy heart, profound shock and grief GNOBB announces the passing away of Professor Dr. Maqsudul Alam at an early age 60. In his death Bangladesh lost a great scientist and a genuine friend. Although he was a USA
immigrant, at heart he was a true Bangladeshi. This patriotic feeling inspired him to undertake the jute genome work which he completed in record time in collaboration with BJRI scientists whom he trained. He was able to obtain a liberal grant from the Government of Bangladesh to set up in the BJRI premises one of the finest biotech laboratories in the country. The BJRI scientists trained by him unraveled the genomic sequence of the pathogen, Macrophomina phaseolina which in some years takes a toll of the entire Deshi jute crop in some localities.
Earlier he unraveled the genome of Hawaiian papaya highly susceptible to ring rot virus. He published the results in Nature and was the lead author of the group consisting of 85 members affiliated to different institutions. On the invitation of Malaysian Government he worked on genome sequencing of the rubber plant in collaboration of a Malaysian University. Along with his associates there he sequenced the rubber genome
· Dr Alam was suffering from liver cirrhosis and lay in coma for the last two weeks before he breathed his last. While expressing our condolence, we pray for his departed soul and offer sincerest condolence to his bereaved family members. Late Dr. Maqsudul Alam, who had earlier decoded the genome of papaya in the US and rubber plant in Malaysia, unraveled the sequencing of both Tossa and Deshi jute genome. Bangladesh will remember him for his great contribution which will go a long way in improving the quality of jute fibers and may in one day prove to be a good substitute of cotton.
· GNOBB suggests that the Biotech Laboratory, which was built with the fund he procured from GoB and constructed under his direction in the BJRI premises be dedicated in his memory. GNOBB members are earnestly requested to air their views on this issue. GNOBB will approach the Government after ascertaining that this proposal is backed by the entire community of GNOBB members.