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International Researcher, Scholar Honored at USciences’ 193rd Founders’ Day Ceremony

By Lauren Whetzel-Siburkis

founders day group photo

Honorary degree recipient Harkishan Singh, PhD, (center) professor emeritus at Panjab University in India, is pictured here (from left to right) with Heidi Anderson, PhD, provost and vice president for academic affairs;  University president Helen Giles-Gee, PhD; Marvin Samson, chairman of the board; and B.J. Cunningham, PhD, dean of students.

To the applause of the University of the Sciences community, Harkishan Singh, PhD, professor emeritus at Panjab University in India, received an honorary doctor of science degree during the University’s 193rd Founders’ Day ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 20. 

“Professor Singh is a world-renowned pharmaceutical academic, researcher, and science historian with more than 50 years of experience,” said University president Helen Giles-Gee, PhD. “His experience and contributions to the science and healthcare industries aligns with the mission and vision of our institution.”

Professor Singh is no stranger to higher academia. He has taught abroad at Banaras Hindu University, University of Saugar, Panjab University in India, and University of London; as well as within the U.S., at University of Maryland and University of Mississippi. Beyond his time in the classroom, Professor Singh has also conducted scientific research in the fields of organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and natural products; and his research group has been successful in designing a clinically useful drug: candocuronium iodide, which is a synthetic azasteroid. 

He has presented his research at several institutions and conferences across the world, including Harvard School of Medicine and the International Symposium on Molecular Structure in Beijing. Under Professor Singh’s supervision, nearly 50 master and doctoral theses have been completed. Furthermore, he has published 125 original scientific research papers, and obtained 14 patents for his work. 

“I am grateful the University has considered me worthy for the honor which has been bestowed upon me,” said Professor Singh. "For students from India, USciences has been an institution of choice for higher pharmaceutical studies. Several of them have returned to India upon graduation and contributed to progress of the pharmaceutical profession and industry."

Each year, Founders’ Day at USciences recognizes its establishment on Feb. 23, 1821, as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy  — the first college of pharmacy in North America, which is now a part of USciences. As part of the ceremony, merit awards were presented to current students and a faculty member, and faculty members were formally installed into their respective endowed positions.

  • Zhijun Li, PhD, associate professor of bioinformatics in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was selected as the eighth recipient of the Founders’ Day Faculty Award of Merit.
  • Joseph Becica C'14 received the Undergraduate Student Award of Merit.
  • Snehal Atwe PhD'14 received the Graduate Student Award of Merit.
For more information, visit the University’s Founders’ Day webpage.

Categories: News, Feature Story, Faculty, Students, President, Awards and Honors, Event, Leadership, Research, Academics, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Misher College, USciences, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutics