Nurul Islam
Nurul Islam

General Information
National Professor
Physician, Educator

Full Name: Professor Dr. Nurul Islam

Affiliation: University of Science and Technology Chittagong

Current Position: Deceased

Date of Birth: April 01, 1928

Date of Death: January 24, 2013

Place of Birth: Bangladesh

Home District: Chittagong

Nationality: Bangladeshi


Dr. Nurul Islam (01 April 1928 – 24 January 2013) was a legendary doctor of Bangladesh who was famous for his medicine and teaching. In 1987, he was selected as the National Professor of Bangladesh. He founded and served as the vice-chancellor of University of Science and Technology Chittagong. He was a Founding Fellow of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences since 1973. He served as the personal physician of late President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh. In 1997, he was awarded the Independence Day Award.

Islam was born in Mohammadpur village, Chandanaish Upazila, Chittagong to Syedur Rahman and Gulmeher Begum. His father was a school teacher. Islam was the youngest of eight siblings. He passed SSC from Gachbaria Nityananda Gourachandra Model Govt. Secondary School and ISc from Calcutta Islamia Science College in 1943 and 1945 respectively. He then earned his bachelor's in medicine from Calcutta Medical College in 1951.

Islam obtained the top position in the merit list in 1952 through the PSC interview and was appointed to the outdoor department of Chest Diseases of Dhaka Medical College. On April 1, 1954, he started the MRCP course at Whittington Hospital, London. After training in medicine, he joined the TDD course at the University of Wales in January 1955 and took the exam in June that year. He returned to the country in March 1956 and was posted in the external department’s duty of the Dhaka Medical College. After six months in this position, he was appointed as a lecturer in medicine at Mitford Medical School and at the same time he also held the responsibility of TB ward.

Islam joined Dhaka Medical College as an associate professor in 1958, and Chittagong Medical College as a professor in 1962. In 1963, he was awarded the first 'Nuffield Scholarship' in Medical Science from the then East Pakistan. He worked as visiting professor in London during 1963–1964. He was the founder and director of the Institute of Postgraduate Medicine Research (IPGMR) which is later renamed to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

Islam served as the Founding Dean of Faculty of Postgraduate Medicine at the University of Dhaka. In May 1989, he established the Institute of Applied Health and Science (IAHS) which was later renamed University of Science and Technology Chittagong (USTC). He founded Islamic Medical Mission, Janasheba Foundation and ADHUNIK, an anti-tobacco organization recognized by the World Health Organization. He formulated "The Bangladesh National Drug Policy 1982". He served as the Chairman of Bangladesh First National AIDS Committee and National Drug Administration Committee.

A partial list of Islam's awards:

  • President's Gold Medal (1963)
  • Sitara-i-Imtiaz (1970)
  • Fazlul Haque Memorial Award (1982)
  • Academy Gold Medal by Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (1982)
  • Daymi Award for Religion and Social work (1986)
  • Rangdhanu Academy Award for Social Service (1986)
  • WHO Commemorative Medal (1990, 1992)
  • Bhashani Memorial Gold Medal (1993)
  • Ibn Sina Medal (1995)
  • Independence Day Award (1997)
  • Gold Medal-RCP Edin (1999)
  • Social Service Award by the Government of Bangladesh (2000)
  • Bangladesh Nutrition Society Award (2002)
  • Bangla Academy Award (2003)
  • Hussain Shahid Suhrawardi Award for tobacco-free society (2003)
  • Dr. BC Roy Gold Medal and 'Chikitsa Ratna' Award for Medical Science, Kolkata (2003)
  • Enriching Communal Harmony & Human Rights Award, Kolkata University, India (2004)
  • WHO, DG's Special Award for outstanding work in the field of tobacco control in the South East Asia Region (2005)
  • Marie Curie Award for Medical Science (2006)

Islam died on January 24, 2013, at the LabAid Hospital in Dhaka. He was buried in the USTC campus.

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