Prof. Emerita Datuk Dr. Asma binti Ismail is the Immediate Past President of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia and National Science, Technology and Innovation Advisor. She is currently the Ibnu Sina Chair for Medicine at IIUM and the Consultative and Anti-Corruption Panel for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Prof. Emerita Datuk Dr. Asma binti Ismail holds a BSc (Biology) from the University of Nevada, Reno, USA, M.A. (Microbiology) from Indiana University, USA and a Ph.D (Cellular and Molecular Biology) from University of Nevada, Reno, USA. She also received her Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Glasgow, Honorary Degree Doctor of the University, Keele University and Honorary Doctorate in Literature from Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (KUFS).

Besides being the first female Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prof. Emerita Datuk Dr. Asma binti Ismail is also Malaysia’s first female Director-General of Higher Education, first female President of Academy of Sciences Malaysia, first female to be appointed as the Chairperson of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and the first woman to be the National Science Advisor to the country. In addition, she was elected to the Academy of Sciences Malaysia in 2003, The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) in 2010, The Islamic World Academy of Sciences in 2016, and was elected as an Honorary Member of the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences in 2017.  

Prof. Emerita Datuk Dr. Asma binti Ismail’s contribution to higher education and science development ecosystem are internationally recognised. She has initiated scientific discoveries which have led to the attainment of 16 patents that are commercialised worldwide, and the rapid diagnostic test for typhoid called TYPHIDOT, advocated by WHO. She had also obtained numerous awards and recognitions (more than 270) for her achievements at National and International levels. At the moment, she has shared her knowledge via more than 130 papers, more than 540 invited talks and more than 80 keynotes at national and global levels.  

Prof. Emerita Datuk Dr. Asma binti Ismail has been elected as a member of several international boards including the Board of Governors for Commonwealth of Learning (COL) based in Vancouver, Canada, member of the Directing Board and Executive Committee for Islamic Citation Center based in Shiraz, Iran for the OIC, Member of the College of Fellows, Keele University and as a Governing Advisory Board Member for Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan. She has been appointed as Co-Chair, for the Inter Academy Partnership Board comprising of 158 science academies world-wide in 2022 and elected as a member of the International Science Council Standing Committee for Science Planning in 2022 and Chair of the membership for IAP.

At the national level she serves as a board member for CREST (Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology) Center to move STI based companies in the country since 2017, board member of IIUM Holdings Sdn. Bhd, member of the National Science Council chaired by the Prime Minister, High-Tech Nation Council chaired by the Minister of MOSTI (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation), member of the National Action Council on Shared Prosperity Vision under the Distinguished Educator category and independent board of Trustee for Merdeka Award Trust.  

She has also been a part of the selection panel for various international awards and recognitions such as TWAS membership (Medical and Health Sciences) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Prize for Women’s contribution to development. She was also part of the jury panel for the Merdeka Award, Rhodes Scholarship to select Malaysians to Oxford University, the Loreal Women in Science Award, the Anugerah Akademik Negara (National Academic Award), MOHE Entrepreneurial Award (MEA) and Best Managed Companies, Asia by Deloitte.

Prof. Emerita Datuk Dr. Asma binti Ismail was also awarded as “Tokoh Srikandi” National Award (Academic) in 2018, and “Tokoh Maulidul Rasul” (national level) in 2019, “Tokoh Akademik Negara “ or National Academic Laureate in 2022 and was named in Jan ,2023 by Forbes Asia magazine as among the 50 women over 50 from Asia Pacific that had reached new heights in contributing to the field of higher education, research and innovation as well as policy in the Science,Technology, Inovation and Economy locally and abroad and for inspiring the next generation

Prof. Emerita Datuk Dr. Asma binti Ismail’s contributions to Malaysia’s higher education system include the establishment of the prestigious National Academic Award (Anugerah Akademik Negara), the establishment of Research Universities in Malaysia and in developing and implementing The Malaysian Education Blueprint (Higher Education) 2013 to 2025.