Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center participated in a three day International Conference on ‘Biotechnology for Sustainable Development’ held at Government College University, Lahore from 26th to 28th November 2014. The three day event was marked with oral and poster presentation related to Biotechnology. The Inaugural Ceremony on 26th November was marked with an address by the Chief Guest, Prof. (M) Dr. Khaleeq-ur-Rehman. Pakistan Academy of Sciences Secretary General Dr Anwar Naseem chaired the inaugural session of the two-day conference, while Prof. Dr Islam Ullah Khan (GCU Dean of Science and Technology), Prof Dr Ikram-ul-Haq (conference chairman) and Prof. Dr Muhammad Zakria Butt (Director Research) were also present. Prof Dr. Gunsaylus from University of California, Dr. Jarboe and Dr. Wen from Iowa State University and Dr. Arshad Ali from University of Florida were the foreign key speakers at the conference.
Addressing the conference, Dean Dr Islam Ullah Khan said that biotechnology had the potential to augment food security by developing novel bio-pesticides and flooding-tolerant food crop varieties via genetic engineering. He said that advances in biotechnology research could help also in increased health standards and longer lives by producing new preventive and curative pharmaceuticals.
As many as 250 research papers would be presented at the technical sessions of the conference.
The first keynote lecture of the conference was given Dr. Iqbal Choudhary (HEJ, Karachi), focusing on the creation of pharmacophores through biotransformation. The event was attended by various research institutes within the country as well as renowned scientists from the country. Apart from Dr. Iqbal, the first day was marked with key note lectures from Dr. Robert Gunsalus (Genomics and Proteomics), Dr. Kauser Abdullah Malik (Plant Biotechnology), Dr. Zhiyou Wen (Algal Biotechnology) and Dr. Shahid Mansoor (food security). All the key notes in their respective domains highlighted how through research driven innovation sustainable development can be achieved.
On the second day, key note lectures were given by Dr. Laura R. Jarboe (biofuels), Dr. M. Hafizur Rehman (Pathophysiology), Dr. Arshad Ali (Aquatic Biotechnology) and Dr. Abid Azhar (Biotechnology for Sustainable Development). The focus of these talks was to highlight alternatives present in the status to help remediate the country’s various crises in the domain of health, agriculture and environment.
Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center participated in the conference and had a stall arranged for the duration of the conference. Material from PABIC was shared and distributed among the attendees. A number of attendees signed up for updates from PABIC. PABIC’s approach of reaching out to members of academia was appreciated by the scientists present at the conference.
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