Srinagar: A scientist of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Srinagar has bagged the inaugural International Best Paper Award for his research paper on influenza vaccine efficacy.
Hyder Mir, a scientist-C while working with the research project “Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network” at SKIMS bagged the 2021 first MENA-ISN research award for his paper entitled “poor vaccine effectiveness against Influenza B-Related Severe Acute Respiratory Infection in a temperate north Indian state (2019-2020):A Call for further data for possible vaccines with closer match.”
Mir will present his work at MENA-ISN Influenza Day, 2022 on October 07- 08, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey and will receive a cash prize of Rs 2.5 lakh. “Hyder is the first international scientist to receive this award,” an official said.
Mir said that the work was conducted in Influenza Lab, SKIMS under the supervision of present Director SKIMS, Dr Parvaiz A. Koul and was funded by GIHSN, Spain.
Mir who has also completed his PhD recently said that this research was based on the surveillance of the circulating influenza virus and subsequently the effectiveness of influenza vaccines against the circulating strains.
“However, we found that the vaccine was partially effective against influenza A H1N1 while its effectiveness was zero against influenza B as strains were mismatching,” she said.
“It was found that vaccines were being prepared against one strain while another strain was circulating,” he said, adding that in our research paper we have put emphasis on extra stringent surveillance so that strains won’t get mismatched and accordingly vaccines can be prepared which will be protective against the circulating strain.
Mir said that he applied for the award in October last year and research was conducted in the year 2019-20. He has also recently got the ESWI Young Scientist award given by the European Scientists working group on Influenza. He presented the work in Dec 2021 in a virtual conference which was attended by around 650 scientists working worldwide on Influenza.
He said the virus is witnessing drifts and shifts that is why there is need of stringent surveillance, “so that we can see pre-dominant strains and accordingly vaccines can be prepared.”
“People who are interested in research must prefer the best mentor instead of choosing more sophisticated labs because if your boss is supportive, it will be a big boost to your career,” he said.
Mir said that researchers must choose their boss wisely and should not only research about the topic they want to work on but about the person that they are going to spend time working with.
Mir is the first international scientist to receive this award.
Director SKIMS congratulated Mir, said such acknowledgement at International level are a shot in the arm for researchers at SKIMS besides that research is going to be the top priority in SKIMS.