It gives me immense pleasure to share my experiences at Department of Pharmacology, L. M. College of Pharmacy. It has been considered as the best budding hub for talented pharmacologists in India. It was the first department in the country to start M. Pharm. in Pharmacology in 1953. I’m recollecting those days, when I took admission at LMCP during the period of 1977-78 as a first year B.Pharm student. Back then, it was not uncommon for people to think that pharmacy was related with farming (agriculture). I stood first in the college as well as Gujarat state – this motivated me immensely. Consequently, I worked hard for rest of the three years and secured first class distinction with second rank in Gujarat University in final year B.Pharm. As a student, I was very sincere and regular. I never missed any classes and that has paid me a lot.
As I mentioned before, there was only one college of Pharmacy in Gujarat for M.Pharm admission. During those years also, Pharmaceutics was in high demand – and I was eligible to be admitted in the same. However, during my graduation tenure, I was very much impressed and influenced by the subject of Pharmacology due to the great teachers, Dr. H. R. Derasari, Prof. S. C. Verma and Dr. R. K. Goyal. So I opted for Pharmacology for my masters degree and made history. I stood first in University in my post-graduate program and also had the rare privilege of becoming a member of Board of studies, Gujarat University in 1984.
It was again my pleasure to join my Alma mater where I studied, as a lecturer. I was keen to continue for further study and eventually, I completed my Ph.D. in 1992. I was promoted from time to time and I am able to reach the highest academic position.
I got senior scale from September 1992 and selection grade in November 1999. Next, I was promoted as Assistant Professor by direct selection from 1st January 2005; and Professor as per CAS (AICTE) from November 2007 and by direct selection from July 2010. I also have been given the charge of Principal of L. M. College of Pharmacy from 1st January, 2012 to 22nd January, 2014.
I have been a recognized PG guide since 1992 and Ph.D. guide since 1999. I have guided 71 M.Pharm and 11 PhD students. Currently, 5 students are working for their Ph.D. under my guidance.
My major areas of interest in the research sector are Hypertension, Diabetes, Interstitial Cystitis, Cancer, Glaucoma, Asthma and Cardiac failure. I have published 247 papers – including 112 full research papers in various reputed National and International journals and 135 abstract. I have presented my research work at the International and National Conferences of Pharmacology and also delivered lectures. In addition to this, I am the author of 6 books and 4 book chapters. My teaching continued with Research and that has been appreciated by many awards. I have been awarded 36 prizes at the State and National level. To highlight some of my achievements, I have been awarded Prof. M.L. Khorana Memorial Best Paper Award for the year 2012 awarded in 2014, Best Pharmacy Teacher of the Year 2013 Award by APTI, 3 National level PharmaInnova Award by Rajnibhai Patel, Troikaa for Best Research Guide for M.Pharm. (2014 & 2016) and Ph.D. (2016) in Pharmacology, Distinguished Service Award in Cardiovascular Science, Medicine and Surgery by International academy of Cardiovascular Sciences, Winnipeg, Canada, February, 2016. Thus, I can say this is the reward of my 33 years of contribution to the teaching profession.
I have delivered talks and interacted with the alumni of the College and various scientists at Memphis, Minneapolis, Detroit, New York, New Jersy (US) and Glasgow, (UK). I was nominated by honorable Vice-Chancellor to visit Canada for six weeks under Global International Experience Program.
After that I have encouraged pharmacy students to join such program which gives added knowledge and work experience of other country.
During the tenure as a Principal, I developed full dynamic college website, provided WIFI facility in the college campus for the staff and students, did automation and digitalization of Library for issue and return of library books and journals, created Identity cards for staff and students with unique barcode, made access to online journals subscribed by college library and also provided mock online examination of GPAT/GATE and other competitive examination to students. Students were promoted to explore online teaching resources and webinars as a part of innovative teaching methodology.
I am Dean of Pharmacy Zone-I at Gujarat Technological University (GTU) since 2012. I have offered my services for taking policy decision in revision of syllabus, Norms for passing criteria in UG,PG; Norms for PG and Ph.D guide, Joint International research and student/Faculty exchange program. I have a credit of getting various Research Grants from U.G.C. & DST (13 lacs), GUJCOST (1.2 lacs), MODROB (13 lacs), and DST (FIST-69 lacs); for organizing 2 seminars (1.75 lacs) and travel grants from CSIR & DST to travel abroad for presenting research work. In addition I am also Project coordinator of NAFETIC (AICTE) (50lacs). I was President of Indian Pharmacological Society (IPS), Ahmedabad branch during 2014-15. I was Joint Organizing Secretary of World Congress of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences and National level conference of IPS. I have organized 2 symposiums, two workshops and Pharmafest as a convener. I have organized one day workshop on “Experiments in Pharmacology” in August 2013. The workshop got overwhelming response from not only pharmacy but medical and industrial fraternity from all over Gujarat. That was really a moment of pride for me. I have served various professional bodies like Boards of studies, Gujarat University (1984), M. S. University (2008-11). I am Member of NAAC Committee, AAA committee, PCI, AICTE etc. I am Joint Secretary, IPA, Gujarat State Branch for 2017-2018. I am member of Faculty of Pharmacy and Area Committee in Nirma University. I am also a member of Ethics committee for clinical and animal research at various Institutes.
I was highly honoured when Mr. Cameron Kruse, USIEF-Fullbright, USA, selected my name based on research work and CV and suggested to visit pharmacology lab for his research work during August, 2012 to May, 2013. As a project coordinator, I have collaborated with Parth Parikh, one of the Students of University of Southern California for public health role to create awareness for diabetes and body fat analysis under “Project India”. Three of my Ph.D. students are abroad as PDF. I collaborated with many hospitals for clinical projects, and also been involved in industry sponsored research projects from Zydus Cadila, UAP Pharma, Troikaa, Tapobhumi Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Ayukalp, Anlon Chemical Research Organization as a Principal Investigator.
In a nutshell, I can say that the influence of teachers and environment matters a lot for a student to progress and flourish in right direction, so whatever I have achieved in my life is due to my great teachers and of course whole hearted support from my family. I wish the LMCP and Pharmacology Department in future also maintains this trend of exponential growth.
Reported by – Vijaykumar Bhavsar
Edited by – Dr. Radhika Pandya & Tvisha Shah
Photography credit – Yash Mehta