Dr. Samir Saha was born on December 28, 1955. He attended Chandpur Government College. He earned his MSc from the Dhaka University in 1984 and his PhD from the Institute of Medical Sciences,Banaras Hindu University, India, in 1989. His daughter, Dr. Senjuti Saha, is a rising microbiologist who works with him as Director and Senior Scientist at Child Health Research Foundation. The two have been called the “dynamic duo of global health research” by Bill Gates. He is married to Dr. Setarunnahar, an eminent public health researcher who served as a government officer at DGHS and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Their son is currently pursuing his PhD in Population Health Sciences at Harvard University.
Professor Saha is the Founder and Executive Director of the Child Health Research Foundation. He is the Head of the Department of Microbiology at Bangladesh Shishu (Children) Hospital and Institute in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is globally known for his research on child infectious diseases with a specific focus on pneumonia, meningitis, and enteric fever in Bangladesh. In his research, he strives to investigate the causative organisms behind these killer diseases, the drug resistance patterns and serotype distribution. His work facilitated the introduction of two life-saving vaccines, Hib and PCV10, into the National Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) of Bangladesh.
In recognition of his pathbreaking work in clinical microbiology, he received the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Award in 2017. He also received a fellowship from the American Academy of Microbiology. The same year, he received (sharing with, Professor Shahida Hasnain of Pakistan) the Carlos J. Finlay UNESCO Prize for Microbiology. In fall of 2019, an article by Professor Saha and his co-authors published in The Lancet received The Charles C. Shepard Science Award for outstanding contribution in public health. In November 2019, Professor Saha received membership (FRCPath) from the Royal College of Pathologist, United Kingdom. In 2020, Professor Saha and his daughter, Dr. Senjuti Saha, were recognized as Bill Gates’s Hero for their work to reduce child mortality rates among children in Bangladesh and improve global health equity. The same year, under the supervision of Dr. Samir Saha and the direction of Dr. Senjuti Saha, the first SARS-CoV-2 genome was sequenced in Bangladesh.
Dr. Samir Saha is a member of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NiTAG) of the Government of Bangladesh. He serves on the board of the International Society of Pneumonia and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD). Along with his co-authors, he has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals relating to childhood typhoid, pneumonia, and meningitis. For his lifelong commitment and devotion to the field of science and public health, Professor Saha received the prestigious Ekushey Padak (second highest civilian award in Bangladesh) in 2021. Professor Saha is the recipient of the 2023 BDI Lifetime Achievement Award.