ECOSF Plan to Recognize Centres of Excellence in Medical and Health Sciences in ECO Member States – ICCBS, University of Karachi, Pakistan

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ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) plans to initiate a programme of recognizing Centres of Excellence in different disciplines in the ECO Member Countries, which are engaged in cutting edge scientific and technological research and capacity building. ECOSF has initiated the process of conducting a review and assessment of various institutions in ECO member states to designate such institutions as Centres of Excellence. In this connection, Engr. Khalil Raza Scientific Officer ECOSF visited International Center for Biological and Chemical Sciences (ICCBS) in Karachi on January 17, 2018 and met some members of the team designated as the Director Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Chaudhary was on mission abroad. ECOSF official was met by Dr. Reaz Uddin, Assistant Professor to facilitate preliminary assessment and review of ICCBS for designating as one of the ECOSF Centers of Excellence. Engr. Khalil Raza briefly outlined the objectives of this programme of designating centers of excellences in various scientific disciplines. Dr. Reaz Uddin introduced the various programmes, unique strengths and success stories of ICCBS with a potential to develop strong scientific and research linkages for the benefit of entire ECO region. 

The objective of designating such centers is to establish effective collaboration and research linkages among the research and higher education institutes and organizations of the ECO member states for boosting scientific and technological exchange and research. This programme is expected to serve as a platform for complimenting unique scientific and technological strengths of each designated center and link them with similar research and capacity building institutes of other ECO member states with an end goal of uplifting socio-economic standing and achieving inclusive growth in the region.

The ICCBS is one of premier research organization in the developing world. Its reputation for scientific research and training extends far beyond the country's borders. ICCBS emerged from generous support of private sector, and sustained by the governments grants. In the last 51 years, it has earned major recognition from Pakistan, apart from training thousands of young researchers from home and abroad in frontiers areas of science and technology.

The H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry

The H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry is an integral part of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences system (ICCBS) along with the newly established Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, governed by the same Executive Board under the chairmanship of the Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi.

The H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry was established through a generous donation by the leading philanthropist / industrialist Mr. Latif Ebrahim Jamal on behalf of the Husein Ebrahim Jamal Foundation in 1976. This was the largest donation at that time in the history of the country. The institute was accordingly named as “Husein Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry” in the memory of Mr. Husein Ebrahim Jamal.

The main areas of research and development and training of students include natural product chemistry, protein chemistry, pharmacology, computational medicinal chemistry and plant biotechnology. The analytical, spectroscopic, computational and other facilities present in the institute are at par with any good Institution in the world. The Institute also houses an Industrial Analytical Center, which is providing analytical and consultancy services to over 350 industries in Pakistan annually. The areas of research covered in the programs of the Institute broadly relate to isolation, structural, synthetic and pharmacological studies on novel natural products as well as various aspects of protein chemistry.

The Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD)

The Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD) was established as a constituent center of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS) through a generous donation and patronage of Ms Nadira Panjwani H.I.,S.I. (Chairperson, Dr. Panjwani Memorial Trust) in the memory of her beloved father, Dr. Mohammad Hussain Panjwani, a leading scholar and philanthropist. The PCMD initiated a number of scientific programs with the objective to find possible treatments of often neglected and prevalent diseases of Pakistan, as well as associated human resource development.

 The main objective of the Center is to train highly qualified manpower in the emerging new fields of molecular medicine and drug development. The academicians, clinicians, and pharmaceutical researchers are brought together to translate basic scientific discoveries into new therapies, vaccines and diagnostic tests. The center has over 150 young research scholars registered in M.Phil and Ph.D program.

The efforts in the Center is mainly focused on developing greater and more comprehensive understanding of the pattern and causes of most common diseases of Pakistan in order to develop effective diagnostic tools and affordable treatments by using molecular medicinal, chemical and computational methods. The mission of the center is to foster excellence and achieve international recognition in the targeted areas of graduate training and research, which are relevant to national needs.

To accomplish this mission, the center is involved in:

a) Enhancing the quality and quantity of scientific training of graduate students in the area of molecular medicine and rational drug designing, 

b) Focusing on the development of new and effective diagnostic, and treatment techniques for prevalent diseases,
c) Providing forum for information exchange between academic disciplines, and
d) raising general awareness about the diseases and their prevention, cure and treatments.

The Center has number of facilities, research wing and centers, including animal houses, Center for Bioequivalence and Clinical Research(CBSCR), and Jamil-ur-Rahman Center for Genomics. The Center thus has all the ingredients to be declared as an ECOSF Centre of Excellence in Chemical and Biological Sciences. 

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