Prof. Dr. Pramod R.Saxena

Prof. Pramod Saxena

Prof. Pramod R. Saxena is a Founding Trustee and past President of the Foundation for Critical Choices for India. He is retired Professor & Head, Department of Pharmacology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam 

Prof. Pramod Saxena graduated in medicine (M.B; B.S., 1962) and obtained a doctorate in Pharmacology (M.D., 1965 with cum laude) from the King George’s Medical College, Lucknow, India. He became a Lecturer in Pharmacology (1965-66) and also worked as a Family Physician (1962-1966), before joining the Pharmacology department of Organon, Oss. At Organon, he contributed to the development of muscle relaxant Pavulon® and antidepressant Tovlon®). Prof. Saxena moved back to academia, joining in 1970 the then newly established Medical Faculty Rotterdam (now Erasmus MC), where he was Professor and Chairman (1990-2004) of Pharmacology department. During 1988-1991, he served as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. He continued his research interests in the field of Serotonin and Migraine, contributing towards the classification and nomenclature of serotonin receptors and the development of triptans, a new class of drugs for migraine. In 1998, he established Erasmus Pharma and was its Managing Director (until 2005) and Chairman, Board of Commissioners (2005-2019). Professor Saxena has to his credit a large number (~500) of scientific publications, many of which have been extensively cited (over 20,000; H-index: 67; to earn him a place as a “Highly Cited Researcher” (American Society for Information Science & Technology).

He was an office-bearer of Dutch Pharmacology Society (Chairman), Dutch Headache Society (Vice-president), Anglo-Dutch Migraine Association (Vice President), European Headache Federation (President), Serotonin Club (President), and Lundbeck Foundation Center for Neurovascular Signaling, Glostrup, Denmark (Member, International Scientific Advisory Board). Prof. Saxena is well recognized: Harold G. Wolff Prize (1973) and John Graham Senior Clinician Award (1996) by American Headache Association, Bhargava-Gujral Oration (1988) by King George's Medical University, Marcia Wilkinson Lecture (1998) and Honorary Membership (2004) by Anglo-Dutch Migraine Association, Life-time Achievement Award (2001) by Headache Cooperative of New England, Irvine Page Lecture (2002) and Honorary Membership (2004) by Serotonin Club, Ad Fontes Medal (2004) by Erasmus University, Migraine Trust Lecture (2004), and Thomas Burks Memorial Lecture (2009) by Western Pharmacology Society. At his retirement in 2004, the Dutch Headache Society instituted a “Prof. Dr. P.R. Saxena prize” awarded annually to the author of the best scientific paper in the headache field.

Having lived in The Netherlands for over 50 years, Prof. Saxena recognizes that the Dutch society is still pretty receptive to foreigners. Obviously, he is loyal to host country, but not when it comes to Cricket or Hockey matches between India and The Netherlands. Prof. Saxena taught pharmacology to thousands of medical students and trained some 40 PhD students, including some from India. He facilitated scientific exchange by promoting visits by Dutch colleagues to India and of Indian counterparts to the Erasmus University and to International meetings that he organized. On the social side, Prof. Saxena furthered understanding between India and The Netherlands via his Cricket, Hockey, and Bridge clubs as well as the Netherlands-India Association and Rotary club.

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