Written by Professor Zeba I. Seraj: Professor M. Imdadul Hoque, honorable Vice Chancellor of Jagannath University, was an astounding leader and organizer. He was almost like a parent to his junior Genetics and Plant Breeding faculty and students not only with his own Department of Botany at Dhaka University but in departments and research institutes specializing in Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology all over Bangladesh. He led us all through his position as the General Secretary of the Bangladesh Association of Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology (BAPTC&B). BAPTC&B came into being in 1989 through the efforts of Professor Ahmad Shamsul Islam and his colleagues at the Department of Botany, among which Professor Imdad was the foremost. The goal of BAPTC&B was to promote Plant Biotechnology both regionally and globally in order to popularise it to commercial entrepreneurs as well as policymakers. Professor Imdad took up the reign of the Association in the early nineties. He was instrumental in the organization of 10 successful international conferences and hands-on training in Plant Tissue Culture, Transformation, and DNA markers for Crop Improvement through BAPTC& B. Due to these activities, BAPTC& B has been acting as a cohesive force to keep Plant Scientists aware of current trends in Plant Biotechnology, enabling them to put it to use for crop improvement programs for the benefit of the country.
Professor Imdad was always at the helm, procuring funds, inviting eminent scientists to these events, and guiding student volunteers in the organizational events. Many of these volunteers became his colleagues at Dhaka University and at other public and private Universities. BAPTC&B was also instrumental in enabling
Bangladesh to become a member of the ICGEB (The International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology). It was the focal point for ICGEB for a few years, recruiting PhD students and post-doctoral for training in New Delhi. Again, Dr. Imdad played a leading role in all of these activities. He actively provided guidance as a member of the Editorial Board of the PTC&B bi-annual journal, published by BAPTC&B.
Professor Imdad was also the Country Director for the South Asia Biosafety Program and through this role, organized Bangladeshi teams to attend Biosafety conferences all over the world. Professor Imdad’s dynamism was evident by his election as the Dean of the Faculty of Biological Sciences for 4 consecutive terms from December 2012 to June 2021. He was a Humboldt Fellow and an excellent Plant Biotechnology researcher with around 100 publications. He was instrumental in obtaining a large amount of funds from the Bangladesh Climate Change
Trust (BCCT) of the Government of Bangladesh to establish a state-of-the-art Transgenic Green
House within the Botanical Garden premises at the Curzon Hall Campus. As usual, he dynamically led the design, functioning, and maintenance of this greenhouse. He helped me establish cBLAST (Center for Bioinformatics Learning and Systematics Training) at Dhaka University. He was also instrumental in arranging an MOU between Iwate University, Japan, and Dhaka University. As a close colleague, I found to be a very humble person, always smiling and forever ready to provide guidance and help when needed to all those around him. All his colleagues at Dhaka University and BAPTC& B will miss his presence acutely. May The Almighty Grant him Jannah. Rest in Peace, my honored colleague.