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Biotechnology in Pakistan From The Perspective of an Undergraduate


The field of science has seen a great rise of innovative ideas from all over the world in these last few decades, but if you turn your eye over to Pakistan, you can clearly observe that this country is literally 20 years behind everything else in the world, except for exceptional abilities in social networking like twitter, Instagram, and the magnificent Facebook.

Let me tell you a bit about myself,

My name is Abdul Hadi Abro, from Hyderabad, Sindh, I am an undergraduate student, currently in my 6th semester, doing my BS (Hons) in the field of Genetics, from University of Sindh, Jamshoro. I chose this field out of my thirst for curiosity as to how the whole human body works, it gave me insight into the most basic unit, the basis of life as some would call it – THE DNA.

As I started out in my exploration of the field of genetics and biotechnology, I was excited to see all the new things, to learn how humans have reached the point where they can manipulate a living creation, to make it do their bidding and to give them what they specifically want. But what I failed to notice in my freshman year was that these technologies, tools and this level of manipulation were something that wasn’t a privilege awarded to all. As time passed I got to see that we only got to perform the most basic methodologies of the laboratory and had problems in completing them as well.

I was losing hope in the field, in my career and my choice. And the out of the blue, I saw this poster on the notice board of my department. An Invitation, A call for the FIRST iGEM TEAM FROM PAKISTAN.

As I read about the iGEM competition on the internet and saw its scale, I thought to myself that this is a platform that I can use to highlight my ideas on a national scale as well as a global one, and through applying I got into contact with one of the greatest minds in Biotech industry of Pakistan right now, a real entrepreneur, a man with a vision to change the lack of Biotech in Pakistan.FAISAL F. KHAN – Dr. Faisal is currently the Director of the Institute of Integrative Biosciences, at CECOS University, Peshawar. He got his bachelor’s from the

FAISAL F. KHAN – Dr. Faisal is currently the Director of the Institute of Integrative Biosciences, at CECOS University, Peshawar. He got his bachelor’s from the University of Peshawar and his MSc and D.Phil from & University of Oxford, UK.

Dr. Faisal Khan – Director IIB, The man behind all of this.

He has briefed me in on the basics of SynBio, about the deteriorating condition of Bio-Tech in Pakistan, told me what we could do to enhance the industry and how to make a difference. He literally told us that there is no Bio-tech in Pakistan.

From a personal quote from him:

I got into Biotech because I didn’t want to prescribe drugs, I wanted to make drugs.’’

Hearing this from him was a great inspiration from him, and this gave me the boost to apply for the iGEM team. I got selected and now I am in Peshawar, working day and night to put Pakistan on the map of Synthetic Biology. The team is great, there are people from all over the country from Baluchistan, Karachi, Lahore, and also from Peshawar.


Abdul Hadi Abro, 22, Hyderabad.

Week 1.

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