Pioneering work highlighting link between arsenic and rice wins DMU researcher national award


Research highlighting a link between high consumption of rice and arsenic poisoning has won a De Montfort University (DMU) scientist a national award.

Professor Parvez Haris, chair of Biomedical Science at DMU, was named a winner in the UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce and Industry Awards (UKBCCI).

Professor Parvez Haris (R) winner of Business Innovation Award with Lord Karan Bilimoria

He took the Business Innovation Award for the impact he and his research has had, with pharmaceutical and agricultural industries both incorporating his findings into their practices.   

One particular piece of research cited by judges was a study co-authored by Prof Haris of more than 18,000 people, which showed conclusively that those who ate large amounts of rice had higher levels of arsenic in their system than those who did not.

Furthermore, Prof Haris’s work showed those who ate more rice had more symptoms such as skin lesions, a sign of arsenic toxicity in the body.

Professor Haris said: “Scientists often do not get enough recognition for the work they do in improving human lives, including contribution towards wealth creation and improving the environment.  

“Our research on removing arsenic from polluted water and identifying more nutritious and healthier variety of rice has made impacts on health and the environment.  

“The prize is dedicated to all my students and colleagues and especially my parents, wife, and children who had to live without seeing me as often as they would have liked, as I was too busy working in the lab or supervising students.”

Previous winners include TV’s Konnie Huq, footballer Anwar Uddin, politician Rushanara Ali and Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain.

Bajloor Rashid MBE, President of UKBCCI said of the Awards: Each year we aim to highlight the incredible impact of British Bangladeshi’s both here and internationally. 

“We hope that the platform provided is used as an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of those that have worked hard to succeed and to build upon their success.

Posted on Wednesday 9th October 2019

Search news archive

DMU Clearing
News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events at DMU

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.