Friday, 15 January 2016

Prof Farida Habib Shah

Name: Prof Farida bt Habib Shah
Other names: Prof Farida Shah/Prof Shah
DOB: 29 June 1948, Malacca
Date of demise: 1 November 2014 (aged 66 years)
Occupation: molecular biologist as well as professor at UKM and UMT, and biotechpreneur
Dubbed: Iron Lady of Biotechnology
Husband: Peter Anderson (travel writer and photographer)

Father: Tan Sri Habib Mohammed Shah (HM Shah)
Mother: a Malay lady in Melaka
Siblings: 10
  1. Dr Kamal Ariffin bin Habib (born 22 July 1947, eldest) - Medical practitioner, KL, Malaysia
  2. Prof Farida Shah/Prof Farida Habib Shah (29 June 1948-2014) - ex-TKC, Molecular biologist & professor at UKM and UMT. Died aged 66.
  3. Jamilah Habib Shah - ex-TKC
  4. Nyarus Habib Shah
  5. Hanief Shah
  6. Soraya bt Habib Shah (born 17 Feb 1954) - Entrepreneur, London, UK
  7. Khairudin Shah (born 1956) - Manager, Malaysia
  8. Omar Din bin Habib Shah  (born 15 June 1959) - trader, London, UK
  9. Shahrum Ali bin H M Shah (born 11 June 1962)  - lawyer, Bangsar, Malaysia
  10. Viera's son: Shariff Shah (born 1975) - Hotelier

Her academic background, taken from TWAS

Farida Habib Shah was born 29 June 1948 in Melaka, Malaysia. She obtained her Master's of Science in immunogenetics in 1975 at the University of Malaya and her PhD in molecular biology in 1983 at the School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of New South Wales in Australia. She was the first Malaysian professor of molecular biology at the National University of Malaysia (UKM).

In 2003, she set up and became CEO of Melaka Biotech Corp. and director of the  Melaka Institute of Biotechnology. She founded the government-owned Melaka Biotech Holdings, with 4 subsidiary companies.

During her academic career, she authored over 200 papers and presented over 250 papers. He work also focused on developing molecular marker techniques for determining genetic diversity of oil palms and medicinal plants. In addition, she was  involved in the development of Jatropha (a flowering plant in the euphorbia family) as alternative feedstock for biodiesel.

Prof. Shah also was founder and president of the Malaysian Molecular and Biotechnology Society. She served as chairperson of the Science and Technology Commission, National Council Women's Organisations in Malaysia, and was founding treasurer of the Malaysian Genetics Society.

In addition to her other work, Prof. Shah had most recently been serving as adjunct professor at the University Malaysia Terengganu.

External links:

The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)
In Memoriam: Farida Shah

Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)
Farida Habib Shah - Vice President OWSD (Asia-Pacific region)
Member 1994

University College of Science and Technology Malaysia
Publications authored by Farida Habib Shah

Malaysian Society for Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (MSMBB)
Prof Dr Farida Habib Shah President MSMBB 1989-1991

Pharmacognosy Research
Farida Habib Shah
Department of Research and Development,
Novel Plants Sdn. Bhd.,
27C Jln Petaling Utama 12,
7.5 Miles Old Klang Road,
46000 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia,

The Petri Dish
Remembering Farida: Farida's fervour
November 2014

Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS)
Young Women Scientists Workshop

International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA)
Experts Enlighten Malaysia MPs on Biotech

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