Atta-ur-Rahman's accomplishments speak volume of his contributions, capabilities and versatile personality. It is impossible to record them all in a-short letter like this. But let me try.
He is, without doubt, the Ambassador of Pakistan to the chemists of the world. As of today he has more than 576 publications including 51 books that he has authored or edited. His original research published regularly in reputed international journals in the area of natural product chemistry, especially in the structural studies, are well recognized and deserve special comments. He maintains a research group that can compete, in quality, with any other leading groups in the world and has added excellent contributions to the chemical literature. Some of his recent contributions include: The CD in Situ Complexation Method as a Tool for the determination of Absolute Configurations of Cottonogenic Derivatives (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1993; 115, 12533); New Withanolides from Withania Species (J. Nat. Prod. 1993, 56, 1000), and Two New Non-nitrogenous Triterpenoids from Roots of Buxus papillosa (Phytochemistry, 1994, 35, 993).
He is a leader in modern two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and is the first one in the world to-publish a textbook to have a detailed discussion on 2-D NMR spectroscopy, the success of which led to its Japanese translation by Professors H. Hiorta and Motoo Tori. He has published another book on One and Two Dimensional NMR Spectroscopy". He is the editor of a prestigious series of books being published by Elsevier Science Publishers entitled "Studies in Natural Products Chemistry". All of his books are well read and used copiously by chemists both in the academia and industry. I must comment on his capabilities as editor, seeing to it that the books are published in time by doing an excellent job of editing removing the husk from the corn of today's flood of literature. This led to his appointment as one of the two Editors-in-Chief Chief of "Natural Product Letters". He is also the founding Editor-in-Chief of "Current Medicinal Chemistry".
It is amazing that he is able to do all these while taking care of one of the prestigious institutes in the country, the H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, as its Director. Under his able guidance, this Institute has become one of the finest in the world, in terms of the facilities, the quality of work and the scientists that it produces,
I have followed Prof. Rahman’s activity over two decades with immense respect. Professor Atta-ur-Rahman has long been involved in organic chemistry of broad area, but perhaps the most creditable are his accomplishments on natural products chemistry. In particular, he made a brilliant contribution to the area of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Professor Atta-ur-Rahman is obviously among the most productive-chemists in Pakistan. His accomplishment is not limited to his own original scientific work. He has made tremendous effort in editing monographs making this significant field highly visible. Furthermore, Professor Atta-ur-Rahman acts as an outstanding organizer who established the center of excellence, the H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, University of Karachi. He now serves as the Federal- Minister for the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan.
Professor Atta-ur-Rahman is known as a highly influential figure as both scientist and administrator in the international chemical community, particularly in the Islamic academy. His contribution has been recognized by many national and international awards, which include the UNESCO Science Prize in 1999.
Professor Atta-Ur-Rahman is one of the worldwide leading scientists in natural product chemistry and in the important field of nuclear magnetic resonance. He is at the same time one of the very best scientists that Pakistan has ever produced.
Professor Atta-ur-Rahman has made a large number of significant contributions to the structure elucidation of natural products. This is a field of science of obvious importance to an agriculturally oriented country, such as Pakistan. In this sense he has supported national economy. In this respect also his educational activities are of greatest importance for Pakistan and serve as an example for other countries of the region.
The number as well as the quality of his research publications and in particular of his books is highly astonishing. He is one of the most productive authors of books in science. That he remains to be at the same time a very creative and active scientist is indeed quite unusual. I have my highest respect for his enormously successful activities.
He is without doubt the leading experimental scientist in Pakistan. He has made major contributions to the Chemistry of Natural Products both by his own original work and by his production of erudite monographs. Those on NMR spectroscopy are especially appreciated by the international chemistry community.
Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman has published more than 400 original articles on the chemistry of Natural Products in Journals in the U.K., Germany and Japan where high standards are maintained. He is the leading expert in this field in the Sub-Indian Continent and in all the Moslem countries.
Professor Rahman is a very active scientist who has produced research work of very high caliber and is internationally recognized in his field of activity. He is the author of close to 500 Publications and has published 63 books!
By establishing an Institute of high standard, he has contributed most importantly to the development of chemical research in his country and his region of the world.
Finally, by his enthusiasm, dynamism and dedication he has a very strong impact on training, stimulating and inspiring young scientists as well as on -promoting international relations.
The merits of Professor Atta-ur-Rahman have been recognized in particular by the UNESCO Science Prize in 1999.
Prof. Atta-ur-Raman’s work is an example to developing countries on how to boost science training and activities in developing, thereby developing and retaining young scientists.